Lucy Cotton (Chairperson) & Steve Cotton
Steve and I joined the Solihull Down Syndrome Support Group in 2013 following the birth of our son, Sam. We had a 1 in 7 chance of having a child with Down Syndrome and this was confirmed shortly after Sam’s early arrival 10 weeks before his due date. I first met others in the group at a coffee morning and shortly after I was asked if I wanted to meet another new mum whose little girl was a week older than Sam. This was one of our other Trustees, Tracey and her daughter Lauren.
The group has been a fundamental part of our lives where we’ve met good friends, other families and become part of a community. Because of this, Steve and I both decided to become Trustees to give something back to the group that has given us so much.
I am married with twins, Vicki and Tom. I’ve been with the group for over 20 years and have always welcomed the support and friendship that it offers.
I have worked in the third sector for over 15 years usually in the areas of supporting parents and carers with disabled children and young people.
Rachel Green (Group Secretary)
I approached the group in 2009 when I found out in my first pregnancy that my baby had Down Syndrome. I attended coffee mornings held by the group before my little girl, Jeannie-Lea was born. As my baby has grown through the different development stages and into childhood, I have been able to tap into members experiences to deal with challenges and prepare for each stage in my daughters’ life. My knowledge has grown because of my involvement in the group and this has given me the confidence to support my daughter through mainstream school and activities.
I have been so grateful for the help and support of the group and in 2013 I decided to take on the role of Trustee as I could see that the group exists because of the volunteer work done by the family members and carers of the children and young adults in the group. After 2 years I agreed to become Group Secretary where my main role is to ensure that we have formal records of trustee meetings, AGM’s and General Meetings as required by the charity commission. I also contribute to the work that trustee’s complete including organising activities, fundraising and ensuring the stability and compliance of the group. Professionally I have had a career in HR for over 15 years and so hopefully I have been able to use some of my skills and experience to perform my role as Trustee.
Playing a role in the group is very rewarding and I am proud to have been part of fundraising teams for the group who have successfully organised the larger events such as the Train Fete and Group Ball. I have also been pleased to see improvements in the stability and governance within the group since being a trustee. The longevity of the group’s services including the speech and language support is a testament to the hard work and commitment of the trustees of the group past and present.
I live in Solihull with my partner Andrew and our two daughters, Charlotte and Lauren, who has Down’s Syndrome. I have been involved in running the play and stay sessions for a few years now but look forward to developing my role as Trustee.
I work as senior educational psychologist within a local authority (not Solihull). I have been an educational psychologist for fourteen years now and have extensive experience of supporting children, young people and their families with a range of needs across a range of settings. This has included supporting children with Down’s Syndrome and working with other support groups.
Inclusion is inherent in my professional practice and I hope to use my experience to enhance and support the training offered by Solihull Down Syndrome Support Group. I also have experience of the voluntary sector through various roles in Girl guiding.
Being a member of the group has been a big support from the very early days following Lauren’s birth. We have made some fantastic friends and the support and advice from other parents has been invaluable. I hope as a Trustee I can play a part in ensuring this continues for all families.