Taking the plunge for Down’s support group

South Elmsall friends to compete in the Great North Swim to raise money for the Wakefield Down's Syndrome Support Group. 'L to R) Dave Stones, Jo Allen with baby Amelia Mayne, Rachel Shakespear.'h7570b204
South Elmsall friends to compete in the Great North Swim to raise money for the Wakefield Down's Syndrome Support Group. 'L to R) Dave Stones, Jo Allen with baby Amelia Mayne, Rachel Shakespear.'h7570b204
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FOUR South Elmsall friends will be taking the plunge to raise money for two causes that are close to their hearts.

Jo Allen, 36, of Minsthorpe Vale, Rachel Shakespeare, 28, of John Street, Steve Picken, 37, of Grange Avenue, and Dave Stones, 41, also of Minsthorpe Vale, have signed up for the Great North Swim to raise funds for the Wakefield and District Down’s Syndrome Support Group and the neonatal wards at Pinderfields and Leeds General infirmary.

The group decided to take part in the one-mile event on Lake Windermere, Cumbria, after Miss Allen’s daughter, Amelia Hope Mayne, now nine weeks, was diagnosed with Down’s syndrome.

The support group - which was set up around 12 years ago by mums from the SESKU area who had children with Down’s syndrome - has been a massive support to Miss Allen and her family.

Little Amelia spent a week on the high dependency unit at Pinderfield’s neonatal ward and Mr Stones’ son, Jack, spent time on the neonatal ward at LGI.

Miss Allen said: “Nothing could have prepared us for the range of emotions we experienced but the support, counselling and advice from the group has been amazing and has helped us on our way to be the best parents we can be for our beautiful amazing daughter.

“With the help and support of the group there will be no limit to what she can achieve. And the staff at the Neonatal wards are unsung heroes. They are remarkable and work tirelessly to give the babies the best possible start in life.”

To donate, e-mail joallen1@hotmail.co.uk or rachelshakespearewakey54@hotmail.com