Charity day at Mannington Hall

An annual charity day at Mannington Hall on September 2 is raising funds for a cause which particularly strikes a chord with the Walpole family.

An annual charity day at Mannington Hall on September 2 is raising funds for a cause which particularly strikes a chord with the Walpole family.

The event is being organised by Down's Syndrome groups from Norfolk and Oxfordshire and funds will help to provide information, support and activities for people with Down's, their families and friends as well as working to increase positive awareness of the condition.

The Oxfordshire connection is through Benedict and Ellie Walpole who have two children, Thomas aged four who has Down's syndrome and Bertie who is just two years old.

“Because Thomas has Down's, his development is that much slower so now Bertie is catching him up much of the time it is like we have toddler twins which can be quite a handful but they do interact together well now,” Ellie said.


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“Thomas will be starting main-stream school in September and we hope that once he is in a class with other children of his own age he may begin to talk a little more. At present, I have to interpret lots of noises and pointing to work out what he wants.

“The work done in these parent support groups is wide ranging. For the younger children we organise early development groups run by a speech and language therapist.

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“It is a very supportive environment where we share ideas for encouraging learning and communication within the group and show you how to use everyday resources you have at home.

“We have been able to share the tears and laughter over the years since Thomas' birth with other parents of children with similar special needs. There is so much fun too and joy as you see children progress and because you realise you are not alone and isolated it helps you to cope with issues which are facing your child and family life,” Ellie said.

The charity event will run from 12 noon to 5pm at Mannington and BBC Radio Norfolk's Roy Waller will be on hand to host the day.

Norwich Samba Band and carnival dancers will be providing entertainment and there will be a drumming workshop for children along with donkey rides, lots of other local and national charity stalls, a craft tent and refreshments.

Entrance tickets are £4 for adults, £3 for concessions and children under 16 are free.

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