Foyle Down Syndrome Trust is a local charity established in 1995 by parents who believed that more could and should be done to help their children lead full, meaningful and productive lives. It fosters a culture of inclusion with its innovative and groundbreaking approach to the educational and social needs of children and young people with Down syndrome enabling them to reach their full potential.
The aim of the programme was to encourage and support children and young people with Down Syndrome to engage and participate in a Music Education and Therapy project offering new opportunities for the children and young people to learn to play musical instruments, develop musical awareness and vocal skills, whilst being engaged in creative music making and show casing their talents on an annual basis to a wide audience in one of the local theatres. A Music Education and Therapy Centre would be opened in an unused room the Shared Future Centre.
The £4,000 grant provided by IYF was used to purchase a wide variety of musical instruments and resources, which have been explored and enjoyed by over 80 children and young people aged up to 30 and they continue to do so on a daily basis. The grant also covered the cost of wall padding for the Music Education and Therapy Centre. The musical instruments are accessible, physical, sensory, portable, socially interactive, expressive, cultural and offer a unique aesthetic experience for the children and young people. Drumming, shaking, singing, dancing and learning new musical skills have been powerful tools to help them address their social, communication, dexterity, emotional and cognitive needs, leading to enhanced confidence and self-belief to access mainstream opportunities. For more about the work of the Foyle Down Syndrome Trust visit their website.