A sing and sign event was held in celebration of World Down Syndrome Day (March 21).
Anna Melling, of Loud Arts CIC, organised the event with the aim of shining a light on Down Syndrome and helping show people and families the communication method Makaton.
Anna, who runs the non profit Blyth-based company with her husband Gary, say they are keen to provide inclusive opportunities for communities across the region.
As part of the business Anna delivers ‘Empower’ which uses music, movement and Makaton to build confidence and develop inclusive communication skills in young people.
Makaton is a signing and symbol system used to support those with communication difficulties, used by many people within and supporting the disabled community, giving a voice to those who may otherwise struggle to communicate.
Local communities and schools were invited to learn the hit song ‘So Strong’ and the Makaton translation to perform at a mass ‘Sing and sign‘ event on World Down Syndrome Day, with the song being chosen for its powerful lyrics and positive message.
Children and adults met at St Cuthberts Church Hall, Blyth, and celebrated the day together in song and sign, raising awareness and spirits in a show of unity.
As part of the world campaign, participants were encouraged to ‘rock those socks’ and wear bright or odd socks.
The event was videoed in a bid to spread a positive message on social media.
Anna Melling said: “We were overwhelmed at the support from the local community, from families, schools and disability support groups.
"Singing brings such joy and coupled with Makaton we knew this was the perfect way to raise awareness around Down Syndrome and show local support.
"Thank you to everyone involved.”
For more information around Empower please contact Anna Melling via [email protected]
For more information about Makaton please visit makaton.org