Six-year-old 'Rosie Boo' from Wiltshire inspires new doll created for World Down Syndrome Day

  • 'Meet Rosie Boo' - six-year-old Rosie and the doll that's named after her

A little girl from Wiltshire is the inspiration for a brand new doll created for World Down Syndrome Day.

Toy company Lottie Dolls has made the Rosie Boo doll after hearing about Rosie Barnett and her extraordinary family.

In summer 2020, during lockdown, dad Jason Kneen and mum Hannah Barnett built Rosie and her brothers and sisters a life-sized version of the company's Lottie Doll Treehouse.

Rosie loved her Lottie Doll tree house so much her parents built the five children a life-size version. Credit: Jason Kneen

The creation, in the back garden of their home in Faberstown near Ludgershall, made international news when Jason decided to list it on AirBnB for a laugh - and it even got some customers.

Six-year-old Rosie, known as Rosie Boo, has Down's Syndrome and, when Lottie Dolls CEO Ian Harkin heard about her and how much she loved his toys, he offered to make a doll based on her.

The company is dedicated to diversity and inclusion and, in 2017, made a doll with a cochlear implant. It has also produced the world’s first ever doll with autism.

Six-year-old 'Rosie Boo' Barnett from Faberstown in Wiltshire with the doll she inspired. Credit: Jason Kneen

Ian Harkin says, “Working with Dr Sian Jones from Queen Margaret University we have learnt how playing with toys with differences helps develop empathy in kids before culture determines how we should react to differences."

Rosie’s mum and dad added “We’ve been huge fans of Lottie and Finn dolls especially because of their focus on realism and diversity, and Rosie Boo has enjoyed playing with her collection for many years.

"She especially loves the Lottie Treehouse, so much so that we now have a full-size one in our garden!"

Hannah and Jason added, "It’s really wonderful to see Down’s Syndrome being represented like this and we are looking forward to seeing photos of children playing with their 'Rosie Boo' doll.

A £1 donation from every sale of the Rosie Boo doll will be made to the family's local charity, Andover Twenty1, which supports people with Down’s Syndrome and their families.

The Rosie Boo doll has features like Rosie's and is even wearing odd socks for World Down Syndrome Day. Credit: Lottie Dolls

What is Down's Syndrome and World Down Syndrome Day?

People with Down’s Syndrome are born with an extra chromosome. Chromosomes are apart of our DNA and under the microscope look a bit like pairs of socks. People with Down’s Syndrome have three copies of Chromosome 21, instead of the typical pair.

World Down Syndrome Day is marked on the 21st day of the 3rd month. On 21 March every year, we celebrate by wearing brightly coloured odd socks, just like the chromosomes.

Even the Rosie Boo Doll is now wearing odd socks!

  • Watch Caron Bell's report on the Somerset siblings taking on Carpool Karaoke for World Down Syndrome Day 2021

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