DownSouth Down’s Syndrome Support Group January’s Torbay Lottery Good Cause of the Month


Every month Torbay Lottery shines the light on one of the good causes that receive funds from the local lottery, and January’s good cause is DownSouth Down’s Syndrome Support Group.

Clare from DownSouth said: “In 1983 two parents of young babies with Down’s syndrome met in a waiting room at Torbay Hospital and decided to meet up for a coffee. Over the following months more parents joined them and those coffee mornings evolved into our support group – DownSouth.

“35 years later, DownSouth is still a flourishing local charity, affiliated with the national Down’s syndrome Association and we have over 70 members of all ages and stages. We are always available to provide support and a listening ear to anyone who has been touched by Down’s syndrome, and who wants our help. This is especially important when a baby has been diagnosed as having Down’s syndrome and we work in partnership with Torbay hospital maternity to provide up to date and balanced information to all families.

“We work hard to raise awareness of Down’s syndrome, on behalf of our members, and offer training to schools and employers and most importantly, we have fun together at our social activities and form life-long friendships!

“As we are all carers ourselves, any help we receive with fundraising is very much appreciated and the Torbay Lottery has been an amazing support. Apart from the financial benefits of people buying their tickets for our group, the satisfaction of knowing that people appreciate what we do and want to support us, is immeasurable. Thank you!”

You can find out more on their website at

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Apart from five years studying in Oxford I’ve lived most of my life in London where for many years I was Head of English in a prestigious girls’ school, but since taking early retirement and heading West to be nearer to my two daughters - settling in Torbay with my wife, Anna, in 2011 - I’ve worked in the voluntary sector. I took on the role of Service Provider, for example, promoting the Red Cross Torbay Navigators Project, while now I’m a Trustee and part of the Media Team for our local Healthwatch. I’m a governor at Torquay Academy, too, giving me the chance to stay up to date with what’s happening in the world of education. Other interests, aside from friends and family, include art and art history, reading - from contemporary fiction and poetry to Elizabethan/Jacobean literature - history, politics, cooking, walking, and music, in particular Bob Dylan, the blues, and early Elvis. I love writing, too, with one novel published so far – Elvis in Wonderland – and another, Who’s There?, that still needs plenty of work!