Raising awareness of International Downs Syndrome Day

Children played a role in going viral to celebrate a national occasion.

Friday, 5th April 2019, 8:10 pm
Updated Friday, 5th April 2019, 8:14 pm
Children at Loud Arts CIC take part in a viral Sing and Sign video for International Downs Syndrome day.

Youngsters at Loud Arts CIC took part in a mass Sing and Sign viral video to raise awareness and celebrate International Downs Syndrome Day.

Children across south east Northumberland, aged four and over, spent weeks learning the track ahead of the big event at Seaton Delaval First School.

They were joined by parents, carers and family to get the message out that communication is more than just words.

Loud Arts CIC, run by Anna and Gary Melling, uses music, dancing and singing to raise self-esteem and confidence.

Although not all children who attend are disabled, the sessions see Makaton used to support non-verbal communication.

Anna originally undertook Makaton training with coaches Bethany Hall and Bailey Dunn after her own son was struggling to learn to talk.

The trio now teach Empower every week at Neptune HQ in South Beach, and Anna works with Year 3 pupils at Seaton Sluice First School.

She said: “I initially starting incorporating Makaton signing into dance and song sessions so that we could reach children who typically struggled to tale part in mainstream activities because of communication barriers, but as the classes developed it became such an enriching and empowering thing for everyone to learn.

“I adore running the sessions and seeing how happy it makes the children and can’t wait to share our video on social media so hopefully more people will get involved.”

Loud Arts CIC is a not-for-profit arts training community and works across the region, offering music, dance and media sessions for all ages. It is recognised as Makaton Friendly.

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