It is World Down Syndrome Day 2015

It is a date to focus on sharing information, support and personal stories.

So, how can you get involved in #WDSD15?

Wear your funkiest socks #lotsofsocks

We tried to think what to do to have fun with socks. My son suggested sock puppets, I though I might dust with socks on my hands and my daughter thought about wearing socks in her hair. In the end, as we had bought a funky purple microwave, we tried to see how many colourful socks we could get in the box. Daddy did not quite fit and fell backwards showing the bottom of his mucky socks.

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It’s a way of showing our individual differences, and of gaining attention so that you can engage people in conversation about the day and leave them a little wiser about the condition.

Donate as you Text SOCK £1 to 70070.

Just £1 is all it takes to make a difference to the Down’s Syndrome Association. Money goes towards medical research, support for families and educational resources as well as campaigns that benefit us all. Downs Side Up is fundraising on their behalf this year and I am proud to call her my friend and to have shared a cuddle with the lovely Natty. I am also proud of Mia for her great work on the awareness-raising book I Love you Natty. The family are giving a donation of £2 from every hard copy of I Love You Natty sold during March to the Down’s Syndrome Association and you could do worse than buy a copy for your school or home. It’s also now available as an iBook.

Keep Active

The focus from the charities this year is on keeping active for health and wellbeing.

You can share your photos and stories, as well as your sock selfies using the hashtags #lotsofsocks #WDSD15 and #TeamT21.

My youngest son always has to be different but says you get a thumbs up for him for putting your best sock forward for such a great cause.

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To find out more please visit my friend Hayley’s blog at DownsSideUP

Are you a fan of cats?

We had a lovely day out at the Cats’ Protection headquarters in Sussex at the weekend. Everyone enjoyed visiting the cats and learning more about cat care, rehoming and sponsorship.

The thing I noticed about the centre was that it was so attractive and clean. Parking was plentiful and there was clear signage to the various parts including the toilets, the shop and the café. As readers know, these little things can make all the difference.

I fell in love with so many of the cats and a white playful one in particular. I was reminded by staff that everyone finds cats like that attractive but that other cats were equally deserving of a loving home. They also told me how tough they find it to rehome black cats.

My son fell in love with Maypole and you could sponsor Maypole’s pen for just £6 per month.

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We learned how the centre has its own vets and how cats and kittens often arrive in quite a bad state so need to go into an isolation wing to prevent the spread of disease.

My daughter got very excited at meeting the real cats and also the rather large one in the well-equipped play area adjacent to the shop.

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We had a lovely lunch in the café which had some gorgeous cakes, sandwiches and hot meals.

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I was really impressed by how much more affordable the pet products in the Cats Protection shop were in comparison with other outlets. I also liked that there were tiny prices and bigger ones so something for every budget.

There was everything you need for cats there including amazing play equipment, litter and toys.

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There was also a very wide range of giftware – scarves, clothing, jewellery, bags and toys.

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You can even have a fun children’s party and as we left a group of excited girls were arriving for a birthday. My son was rather keen to return too.

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Admission to Cats Protection is free.

If you are interested in rehoming or sponsoring a cat, this is the place for you.

My son will point you in the right direction.

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Visit the Cats Protection website today to search for your purrfect cat, to check out some pawsome content for kids and to learn more about cat welfare.

I am always keen to raise awareness of charity services, campaigns and fundraising initiatives.

Where hospices are concerned, the costs are huge and they rely largely on the help of the general public to raise essential funds.

I want to let you know about a charity auction for a 1977 retro Vauxhall Viva will all proceeds going to Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice. The eBay auction goes live on the 9th of January and ends on the evening on the 19th.

The car will go on a tour to raise vital awareness for the charity while raising money along the way through raffles and games.

Thursday 9th January St Georges Square Huddersfield

Saturday 11th January Rotherham United

Sunday 12th January Fishgate Preston

Wednesday 15th January Mill Gate shopping centre Bury

Thursday 16th January Market Square Aylesbury

Sunday 19th January Tesco Whitstable

Alongside the Viva there are other items to bid on in the auction including an iPad air, Kindle HD Fire, Samsung Galaxy Note, Signed Sterling Moss Steering Wheel, signed Mel C photos, BTTC tickets and official Ferrari Goodies.

Check out hashtag #MILES4SMILES of Facebook and Twitter.

www.perrys.co.uk/miles4smiles