World Down Syndrome Day – Meet Sarah and Philip

Sarah is mum to Philip and lives in Chorley, Lancashire with her husband and their other son Patrick. Philip is a typical mischievous four-year-old; he loves pirates and cars, and is fascinated by animals.

When Phillp was diagnosed with Down Syndrome, Sarah felt isolated and helpless. Although her family and friends were very supportive, she felt unable to return to work, and her self-esteem suffered as a result.

Face 2 Face parent befriending

Patrick, Philip and SarahSarah discovered Scope’s Face 2 Face Befriender scheme when Phillip was a year old. It’s a network of parents with disabled children who support each other through their common experiences. She found that it gave her a safe space to talk about how she really felt. “That was one of the differences that it really made – they were prepared to listen to my darkest fears.”

As her confidence increased, Sarah attended courses on speech therapy and signing, developing skills that she could use to assist her son. Without these and the support from Face 2 Face, Sarah believes that Philip wouldn’t have been able to start mainstream school in September.

Later, Sarah trained to become a befriender herself, passing on what she had learned to new parents so they could “wear the many hats that the parent of a disabled child must wear: physio, speech therapist, playmate and educator” in order to support their child.

A future full of possibilities

Sarah and Philip are now looking forward to a future full of possibilities, thanks to the support of people like you. She told us, “I’m so hopeful for what Philip will achieve now. I know he is going to contribute to the world around him – and I can’t wait to watch!”

Thanks to your support, we’re able to recruit and train more befrienders who can then support many more families with disabled children, meaning that they too can have a future full of possibilities. Thank you.