A group of fifteen determined children, aged from two to nine years old, are embarking on a challenge this October to walk 300-miles across London.

The children, who have Down's Syndrome, will be walking, running, scooting, cycling and swimming, to cover the equivalent distance from Land’s End to Peckham between them.

The Down’s South London KIDS WALK 300 challenge is hoping to raise money for Down’s South London (DSL), a small charity based in Peckham, to replace more than £50,000 of lost income that the charity has suffered this year due to the pandemic.

The service, offered free to families, is paid for by voluntary donations and through a range of fundraising initiatives by DSL’s trustees, families, their friends and supporters.

All the children participating in the challenge are either current or former recipients of DSL’s therapy services.

Early intervention speech and language, physiotherapy and sensory packages are delivered by a team of highly skilled therapists with specialist knowledge of how young children with Down’s Syndrome develop.

Tooting parents, Ruth and Adam Crawford, thanked the charity for its help with their three-year old daughter:

“We were lucky enough to meet the amazing team at DSL when Lucy was just 6 months old and they quickly became our trusted advisors. Their expertise combined with their dedication to and love for our children is incredible and we are so grateful for everything they have done for Lucy and our family.”

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This physical challenge is particularly demanding as children with Down’s Syndrome typically have some level of hypotonia, or low muscle tone, which for many means it has taken longer to learn to walk than it would for a typically developing child.

Chair of Down’s South London, Gün Akyuz, said:

“This year our donations have fallen by more than 50%, and we’ve been hit like much of the charity sector. The pandemic has prevented us from organising our usual fundraisers, and our fantastic families have once again stepped up to safeguard their much-loved therapy.”

Once the challenge begins on the 17th October, the group will be sharing their progress on Instagram via @downssouthlondon. Donations can be made via the team’s Virgin Money Giving page.