MP calls on county council to provide the care that young people need
Local MP Tim Farron has called on the county council to increase the support offered to children with Downs Syndrome in South Lakeland, following a visit to the South Lakes early years Downs Syndrome support group at St Thomas' school in Kendal.
The South Lakes early years Downs Syndrome support group is a voluntary group run by parents with no support from the local authorities. After talking to the parents and volunteers, Tim is convinced that early years intervention support in South Lakeland is patchy to non-existent. In the South Lakes, 'portage' (early years intervention tailored to individual needs) is only available to parents of early years children who have Downs Syndrome once every 6 weeks at best. However in Carlisle, children and their families get this service weekly. Tim is calling for parity in services across the county. Parents also highlighted huge gaps in the availability speech therapy in the South Lakes, compared to Carlisle and Barrow.
Tim has written to Dianne Wood, the Chief Executive of Cumbria County Council, asking her to meet with the parents to discuss their concerns.
Tim said: "When I visited the children's centre it was incredibly humbling to meet the parents who have to fight to get the help they deserve. As a Dad my heart went out to them. I am now calling on Cumbria County Council to accept the responsibility for this lack of provision, meet with the parents and then offer the support that these families need.
"The support group does a fantastic job, with skilled and dedicated volunteers. I saw first-hand, how much love and care there was and I want to thank the parents for inviting me along. I'd love to go back again soon."