Somerset teen Pippa stars in new film about Down Syndrome inclusion

A Somerset mum is calling for people with Down Syndrome to be better included - and for people not to make assumptions about their abilities.

Samantha Gee’s daughter Pippa features in a new film which focuses on inclusion.

It has been made by the charity Wouldn’t Change A Thing, which has called for better access and opportunities for people with Down Syndrome.

Pippa, 15, is in her final year at school - the local mainstream secondary in their town. Her mum Samantha says how she’s been treated there is a great example of inclusion.

She said: "Although she won’t be able to take the GCSE examinations, the school have been very good at finding alternative qualifications at a level that Pippa will be able to do.

"She will come away from all her courses with some form of qualification, some certificates, some piece of paper.

"Down Syndrome is a very broad spectrum. You have to take everyone on face value and get to know what people can and can't do.

"What we wanted to show with the video is that it's a bit of a metaphor for life. Life is a party and we want everyone to be included and we want people with Down Syndrome to be included in everyday life."

The charity wanted people who watch the film to see all different people having a great time.

Founding member of Wouldn't Change A Thing, Tania Charlton, said: "There are little steps that have been made to make people more comfortable to be there. People might need things like a wheelchair or ear defenders or visual aids because they're non-verbal, because that is inclusion.

"It is about making sure that everyone is comfortable being there just as they are."

The video was made to mark World Down Syndrome Day on Monday 21 March.

The Gee family hopes to get a message across for people to better understand Down Syndrome so that as young people like Pippa grow up, they get the chances and opportunities to  achieve whatever they want.