Today is World Down Syndrome Day 2018, and Charlton Athletic Community Trust (CACT) has published a report highlighting the impact of the Charlton Upbeats programme since it was launched 10 years ago.
100% of parents interviewed affirmed that they would recommend the Charlton Upbeats to any family that has children with Down’s syndrome, and that they found valued support from coaches and staff involved with the Upbeats.
The sister of a 26-year-old male participant said:
“For my brother before the Upbeats there wasn’t anything to do on a Saturday, nothing available at all. Since then he’s become so confident, I’ve seen him evolve, flourish! It’s absolutely amazing, every aspect of their life gets impacted and it’s fantastic to see”.
Family members interviewed for the study commented on how the programme has improved participants’ confidence and also the socialising and friendship opportunities it provides.
“It’s given him a lot, it’s given him a chance to bond with other kids, in and outside”, said the father of a 13-year-old participant.
93% of parents feel more confident and aspirational in relation to their son or daughter’s life and future since coming to the Upbeats.
As well as providing an important service during the sessions themselves, and the programme has influenced the outlook and aspirations of the Upbeats and their families outside of the hours it takes place during and strengthened bonds and relationships between them.
A number of the Upbeats recently completed FA Level 1 coaching courses so they can deliver sessions to younger participants. They are some of the first people with Down’s syndrome in the country to gain the qualification.
Using the Social Return on Investment approach to measure the impact of a charity’s programmes, the study calculated that for every £1 spent, the programme generates £7.87 in social value.
The report was written by Clara Freixes Ramoneda, CACT’s Research and Impact Officer.
The Upbeats Walk to raise money for the programme, which is entirely funded by voluntary donations, will take place on Saturday 14 April ahead of Charlton Athletic’s match against Scunthorpe United. Click here to sign up.