April 16, 2024

This World Down Syndrome Day, we shine a light-weight on DS Champions, a well being and wellbeing programme in Letterkenny that empowers individuals with Down syndrome to turn into leaders of their very own well being story.


The No Obstacles Basis in Letterkenny has been main the way in which in inclusive health and neighborhood participation for years. This 12 months isn’t any totally different, because the DS Champions programme gives group and particular person periods particularly tailor-made to the well being and wellbeing of individuals with Down syndrome. 

Programme one noticed 17 adults with Down syndrome graduate as DS Champions and achieve optimistic well being outcomes, together with elevated muscle mass, improved temper, higher sleep and extra vitality. 

The programme has been designed and developed by CORU registered Allied Well being Professionals, Health Coaches and Train Therapists in a neighborhood health setting. This distinctive mixture of CORU registered professionals and community-based health consultants focuses on enhancing the bodily and emotional well-being of people with Down Syndrome to allow them to make higher selections that may help a happier and more healthy life.

General, sixty members from throughout Donegal will profit from entry to the 6-week programme which is run three days per week on the No Obstacles Basis at Mountain High Letterkenny.

The programme is delivered in partnership with Donegal Down Syndrome and is funded by Rethink Eire.

November 2023: Minister for Incapacity Anne Rabbitte launched the DS Champion Programme on the No Obstacles Basis in Pinehill Industrial Property, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal. Picture by Joe Dunne

The programme was designed by means of a strategy of co-creation. In different phrases, individuals with Down syndrome have been consulted on the design and roll out of the well being and well-being methods developed by the multidisciplinary group. Consequently, individuals with Down syndrome are making selections and changing into leaders in their very own well being story, whereas integrating train and significant life expertise of their native health neighborhood.

“Co-creation is admittedly necessary to us. We’re frequently checking in with DS Champion members to seek out out their opinions on what they worth in a wholesome way of life and the way they’ll finest implement modifications,” stated Andrea Mc Feely, Medical Lead and Programme Coordinator for the DS Champions Programme.

“At preliminary session we establish if an individual requires one-to-one Occupational Remedy, Physiotherapy or Cognitive Behavioural Remedy and we work with them individually’ to realize their distinctive remedy objectives.”

DS Champions Vitamin Training

Wholesome smoothie making on the DS Champions programme

DS Champions Vitamin Training

As programme two begins, one other cohort of adults are making optimistic life modifications with the help of the No Obstacles multidisciplinary group specialists. No Obstacles Basis believes in supporting range and inclusive management, the multidisciplinary group have invited two members with Down syndrome to affix the No Obstacles teaching group. 

Meg Carr from Letterkenny and Bernard Toland from Inishowen have joined the DS Champions teaching group as assistant coaches.

Meg and Bernard are sharing their enter and empowering different members to try for management roles of their lives and inside their native communities. Meg is the assistant power and conditioning coach whereas Bernard helps the supply of emotional consciousness, yoga and mindfulness periods.

“Right here on the No Obstacles Basis on the DS Champions Programme we actively search out and embrace various viewpoints, foster a tradition of belonging and work to dismantle boundaries to inclusion in society,” stated Andrea.

As a Advisor Occupational Therapist with over 22 years of expertise, Andrea’s absolute focus and keenness is on the supply of a brand new and dynamic well being and well-being programme that’s accessible to various members with Down syndrome.

“Testimonials from mother and father and members up to now have knowledgeable us that the programme is each enjoyable and fulfilling with optimistic modifications noticed in all areas however particularly in bodily and emotional well being e.g., members have gained muscle mass, misplaced physique fats, seen a rise in vitality ranges and enhancements in emotional well being and temper.”

The foundations of this distinctive programme are remedy knowledgeable together with content material from CORU registered Allied Well being Professionals e.g., Occupational Remedy, Physiotherapy, Speech and Language Remedy.

Professionals from Vitamin and Cognitive Behavioural Remedy (CBT) present and ship sensible hands-on studying to help wholesome consuming and emotional consciousness.

Yoga on the DS Champions programme

Beneath the route of Actions Lead, David Hone, the Power and Conditioning courses are particularly designed for individuals with Down syndrome, focusing on particular areas equivalent to stability, coordination, muscle tone, hypermobility and train endurance.

When the train actions are modified to go well with an individual’s capability they are going to really feel a better sense of success and achievement. In flip, members could really feel extra motivated to maintain up wholesome habits.

Train Therapists have designed and delivered instructional modules on coronary heart and lung operate and sleep routine to help wholesome selections in on a regular basis routines.

Train actions at No Obstacles

Moreover, all members achieve hands-on studying to develop independence in on a regular basis life expertise, equivalent to sequencing the steps required to make a reservation at a restaurant or to order a drink in a espresso store.

Above all, it’s the social side that has many widespread advantages. 

Andrea acknowledged that “Group integration is crucial to success. At No Obstacles Basis we see neighborhood inclusion occurring organically. Our DS Champions are getting fitter, more healthy and extra impartial alongside others in the neighborhood.

“It’s a very distinctive programme that educates everybody in society that we’re all distinctive, various and particular person. All of us have the suitable to train and to take part in a neighborhood based mostly health club.”

Programme three will include a teen inhabitants and once more will run over a 6-week timeframe.

The No Obstacles Basis welcomes all who’re to get in contact by way of Donegal Down syndrome affiliation or by way of hi [email protected] to investigate in regards to the DS Champions programme.

First of its type well being programme enabling individuals with Down Syndrome in Donegal to thrive was final modified: March twenty first, 2024 by Workers Author

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