Week 2: The learning curve

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Wow..it’s amazing how much you can learn in a week. It’s my second week here at the Down’s Syndrome Association (DSA). I have learnt an incredible amount about Charity organisations and how they work in general but specifically about all the great support the DSA provides to children/adults with Down Syndrome as well as the parent and carers. I have also learnt a great deal about Down Syndrome in general and met children and parents this week who had come into the Langdon Down Centre for various reasons. What I didn’t expect to learn was the historical background which I find fascinating and delightful.

The Down Syndrome Association offices are based in Teddington, in a grade II listed building called the Langdon Down Centre. The building also had a museum of learning disability, wing which used to be the Normansfiled Hospital and a Theatre (Picture inset) which used to be part of the Normansfiled Hospital. It was founded around 1866 by Lord John Langdon Down, a physician who dedicated most of his life to discovering and caring for people with learning disabilities and specifically those with Down’s Syndrome hence why this genetic condition had been named after him. There are pages and pages of history on the Langdon Down Centre Website. Please have a read http://langdondowncentre.org.uk/index/centre-history/

The Museum is frequently used by schools for educational purposes and the Theatre is hired out to local drama groups. They are both enchanting and I feel privileged to be working in a such a building.

I also learnt it’s important to listen, listen and listen. We don’t need to talk all the time like we have to in GSK meetings. I have to learn all there is to learn before coming up with any valuable suggestions and plans and that takes time..so I need to be “patient”..a foreign word in my GSK world…and probably part of my personal development plan 🙂

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