BBC’s Line of Duty star Tommy Jessop is backing the launch of the new All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Down Syndrome, which will be launched at an inaugural meeting at Westminster Wednesday 12th May 2021.
A number of Down syndrome advocacy and support groups along with a cross-party group of MPs, led by SNP MP Dr Lisa Cameron and Labour MP Matt Western, have come together to launch the new All-Party Parliamentary Group on Down Syndrome.
The new group has been launched to raise issues affecting people with Down syndrome and their families and carers, as well as to promote equality and respect at all stages of life, to campaign for equal access and support in all areas of life and to highlight the innate worth of people with Down syndrome and the contribution they make.
The first meeting will include a speech by advocates with Down syndrome welcoming the establishment of the group and highlighting the issues that the group will be seeking positive change on. These issues range from maternity care for parents expecting a baby with Down syndrome to the matter of premature death for people living with Down syndrome.
APPG members will be supported by the newly-formed Down Syndrome Policy Group in the Secretariat role. The policy group is comprised of interest groups and individuals who have Down syndrome, therefore linking the parliamentary group to others with knowledge of the issues important to the wider Down syndrome community.
Line of Duty actor Tommy Jessop said:
“I welcome the new All-Party Parliamentary Group for Down Syndrome. I hope this will raise awareness of people living with Down syndrome and who we really are so that we really do have a voice to speak up for ourselves and other people”.
“I want to see people with Down syndrome treated equally with others before and after they are born. We are the only group of people in the UK where people try to end our lives before we are born just because we have Down syndrome. This is not fair. It scars our lives and causes mental health problems”.
Self-advocate Heidi Crowter, from Coventry, said:
“We hope that the members of the All-Party Group can use their powers and their energy to help make positive change for people like me and my husband James who has Down syndrome”.
Conservative MP Elliot Coburn, the group co-chair, said:
“I was delighted to be asked to join the new All-Party Parliamentary Group on Down Syndrome, and to become a Vice Chair. People with Down Syndrome deserve a strong voice in Parliament to stand up for them and their families, and to press for greater support to help with the child’s development and for the family”.
Government Minister Caroline Dinenage said:
“I’m so delighted to support the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Down Syndrome. Portsmouth DSA is such a source of support, strength and positivity for so many individuals and families across our region. I am all in favour of action to ensure people with Down syndrome lead healthy, active and independent lives – that their talents are recognised and their voices heard”.
Warwick and Leamington MP Matt Western said: “The launch of this APPG is a chance for those in public life to celebrate the contribution of those with Down syndrome to their local communities, to the lives of their families and to British society in its entirety.
“It is vital we as politicians listen to those with Down syndrome so we can ensure that, through our work in Parliament, nothing holds people back from fulfilling their potential. I am proud to be part of this new APPG and I pledge to give those with Down syndrome a voice in politics whenever I can.”
Nicola Enoch from the Down Syndrome Policy Group said:
“We are striving to ensure that people with Down syndrome will have the opportunity to have their voices heard at Parliament. For too long their views have not been canvassed or heard; the APPG will provide a public platform for people with Down syndrome to speak”.
For more information, see the Down Syndrome Policy Group website www.dspg.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For interviews, contact Lynn Murray on 0784 0966 736 or email email@example.com
People with Down syndrome who are trustees of the Down Syndrome Policy Group introduce themselves: https://www.youtube.com/watch?
Sharing the News Report 2019 – The maternity experience of parents of a baby with Down syndrome https://downsyndromeuk.co.uk/
Birth incidence, deaths and hospitalisations of children and young people with Down syndrome https://bmjopen.bmj.com/
Life expectancy and causes of death of people living with Down syndrome http://www.sldo.ac.uk/our-
research/life-expectancy-and- mortality/life-expectancy-and- causes-of-death-of-people- with-down-syndrome/
Down syndrome abortion figures are expected to increase as NIPT is rolled out across NHS hospitals. The number of babies born with Down’s syndrome has dropped by 30% in NHS hospitals that have introduced the new test. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/
article/new-test-brings-big- fall-in-birth-downs-babies- c89krkjcx