Tuesday, 12 April 2011

The Final Call

So yesterday saw 'Little Miss H' perform for the final time in her drama club.

This is no ordinary drama club, this is a club especially for children with Down syndrome. This is a place where children with Down syndrome can grow in confidence, develop their speech and acting skills but most importantly it is a place where they can have fun and make friends that are like them.

This drama club has had to close because of lack of funding. Typical. Bids are in to various places to secure more funding but the group has closed until at least September. Poo. Poo.

So last night was a chance for parents to watch what happens behind the closed doors of the 'Up Club'. Trust me this was an amazing thing to see. 'Little Miss H' has been going to 'Up club' for a year and never, I mean NEVER have we seen what happens! We only know that our little girl has grown lots, since taking classes here.

 So here they all are warming up. That's my two there with their backs to the camera - oh I forgot to say last night siblings were able to join in too, 'Master M' was most pleased!

Oh dear! A touch of stage fright. This is why the club usually runs behind closed doors, she doesn't do this if we're not there.

Singing the 'Up Club' song with some assistance by Kim who runs the theatre group. Again this eyes closed and hiding business is all because I'm there! I've heard 'Little Miss H' through a closed door belting this song out at previous sessions!!

'Master M' really enjoyed his turn at singing!

The night for me though was made by a miming piece that 'Little Miss H' and one of her friends did entitled 'The Park Bench'.

Can you see the book is upside down?? Her mask had slipped and she couldn't see!!! She carried on regardless though in the true spirit of acting.

The story unfolded as 'Little Miss H's' character sat reading on the park bench. A gardener who was sweeping up near her kept leaving things on the bench that she picked up and put in her basket. The final thing was a lovely red engagement ring and off the couple trotted into the sunset. Very lovely as well as highly hilarious due to 'Little Miss H' not been able to see properly and having to feel for the love tokens on the bench!!!!

We're all really saddened that the club has had to close for now. It feels like those who need funding the most are losing it left right and centre at the moment with all the current cut-backs. 

It's difficult for disabled kids to access main stream groups as there is just a huge lack of understanding and support and often their self-esteem takes a knock as they simply can't keep up. Groups like this offer disabled kids a chance to be themselves in a setting where they can succeed. There should be more of this, not less.


  1. Awwww how lovely to be able to see Little Miss H in action! It's such a shame that funding stops for places like these that make such a difference to lives. I hope that at least they will be able to find the funding to re-open in the future.

    Here is the link to the book I mentioned.
    Amazon show you inside the book at some of the projects. There is so much I want to have a go at!!!!!! ha ha! If I get the chance!

    Have a fab day Justine!

    Vanessa x

  2. Hopefully this special drama club can continue lessons soon, much too important to be closed! P.s. I noticed Holly has the same skirt as my Luna :)

  3. What a fantastic club... I have a friend with 2 downs syndrome boys (18 and 21), the younger has been inviting me to the special needs service at our church and I have really enjoyed it - the microphone is passed round so anyone who wants can talk about their day, anything on their mind, good/bad news - it's lovely for all these young people to have a chance to share and to be treated equally I think more than anything. I am now a regular attendee. Bettyx

  4. That sounds like a very special place, indeed. So sorry it has to take a break until fall - fingers crossed that the money will show up from somewhere so these kids can continue to experience such freedom and creativity!

  5. Lovely pics, Justine - the club looks great fun. It makes me so cross when funding is withdrawn for much needed activities. I really hope the club is successful in securing funds for the future.

  6. Thank you for that peep into your daughters life, it is such a shame that they have lost their funding, thats the second Arts group today i've heard have lost their funding. Art groups can make such a difference to peoples lives.

  7. I Hope the funding is through soon, so all the kids don't have to wait so long to get back to the fun they clearly have! Such a special group deserves to succeed, especially in the difficult times we are experiencing.

  8. Great post Justine, loved the bit where her book is upside down! My little boy's school has a disco for autistic children that is fantastic. The kids can dance and make as much noise as they like without people tutting and staring. It's nice for parents to be able to go somewhere where nobody judges their children (or them in some cases!) So frustrating about the lack of funding, I can really empathise with you on this one. xx

  9. Really sorry to read the drama group has had to close, it's obvious from your post how important it is and it's lovely to see LMH in action. Really hope the funding comes through and they are open again as soon as possible. Bx

  10. This brought tears to my eyes - the miming scene sounds wonderful. I do hope they get some funding and can be back up and running soon. You must be so proud of her. Juliex

  11. what a very special place indeed and you must be so proud of Grace, watching her there. I hope they get the funding to continue xx


Well hello and thanks so much for commenting! It's lovely to hear from you, Justine xx

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