July 22, 2020 Jacqui Hicklin Our Work Below is a handful of the projects that we have produced or been involved with over the years. You can find more on our You Tube Channel Going back to where it all began….The mums in this video and the dad who created it met online and got together to show the world just how ordinary and fun life with the Down syndrome is and how they “Wouldn’t Change a Thing”. It features a carpool karaoke lip sync in support of World Down Syndrome Day 2018 and features 50 mums and their children singing along to Christina Perri’s multi-platinum selling track, “A Thousand Years”. The video was originally inspired by Singing Hands – a UK organisation whose videos have helped many in the group learn Makaton for supporting their children’s communication development. Makaton is designed to help hearing people with learning or communication difficulties using signs and symbols alongside speech. With thanks to the artist Christina Perri for her support and Singing Hands for the original concept. The next video pulled together and the first under the official WCAT umbrella was ‘3 Lions’ which was developed to show our support for the England team during World Cup 2018. Six short months on from the original ’50 mums’ the next project by the Wouldn’t Change a Thing Down syndrome awareness organisation attempted to visualise the road less travelled by those families who have a child with the condition. It shows the initial trepidation often felt by new parents when obtaining a diagnosis. As the video continues the children get older. You see that in some cases the condition can bring medical challenges, but that ultimately life typically blossoms into something very special. It shows why, in spite of the challenges, research shows that over 90% of people with Down syndrome and their families report being happier and more enriched for having the condition in their lives. Ultimately it shows why so many families say they #wouldntchangeathing. This project was expected to resonate with new parents or those with a recent diagnosis who may be wondering what the future may bring. It is a message from other parents at a future stage and says “We are here. We know how you feel. Congratulations. Welcome to a unique and wonderful journey.” At the start of December 2018 the team at Wouldn’t Change A Thing received a very exciting phone call from the producers at ITV’s This Morning asking us to prepare a Christmas video in collaboration with Phil and Rochelle. For the first time we were recording in a real studio and not just off our phones in our homes. Little did we know that Michael Buble himself would do the introduction for this whirlwind project. World Book Day falls in March and in 2019 we were asked to take part in a collaboration with Family Fund, The Makaton Charity and Singing Hands. Families and tutors from across the organisations performed a signed version of Julia Donaldson’s The Snail and The Whale. This lovely project also featured a surprise appearance by Justin Fletcher and Dave Benson-Phillips. World Down Syndrome Day 2019 quickly came round and a year after ’50 Mums’ was created, Wouldn’t Change A Thing released “Don’t Stop Me Now!” which sought to highlight the ways which people with Down syndrome of all ages achieve and enjoy life. This video project let the fulfilling lives of young people with Down syndrome do the talking. It held up a mirror to society and dares the viewer to challenge everything they thought they knew about Down syndrome and to think again. What began as a Father’s Day project, became quite the adventure when a group of dads thought they could give the mums a run for their money! They wanted to show that children with Down syndrome are loved and accepted every bit as much by their dads and that, just like the mums, they “Wouldn’t Change a Thing”. The group of fathers managed to enlist the help of Paramount Pictures, who had been supporters of the Wouldn’t Change a Thing vision after seeing the “50 mum’s” viral video in 2018. As part of Viacommunity Day, a day of giving back during which all Viacom Companies, Paramount included, work in service of a charitable project, a team from Paramount enlisted help from their friends at Pinewood Studios and production company PMA to assist the Wouldn’t Change a Thing Dads in their quest. Jamie McCallum, the project leader of the “Dads Don’t Count Chromosomes” project, said: “We knew we’d never be able to match the mums’ ability to tug on the heart strings of the world so we went for some good-humoured competition instead! Dads who have children with additional needs are extremely under-represented and under-supported in this world and play a huge part in advocating for our children. We wanted to take the opportunity to shout from the rooftops how much our children are loved and welcome in our lives and how, just like the mums, we wouldn’t change a thing.” With our kindest thanks to: – Paramount – PMA – Pinewood Studios – Isabella Signs Track “Shine” by Take That under licence from: Sony ATV, Universal Music, Domino Records, BMG In October 2019 we launched the Wouldn’t Change A Thing book, which was a pure labour of love. The book is designed to support new and expectant parents and maternity units in the UK. The publication focuses solely on the true stories of positive, lived experience typical of the majority of real people with Down syndrome and their families and seeks to dispel the fear that can consume new parents upon receipt of a Down syndrome diagnosis. Wouldn’t Change A Thing were delighted to have partnered with the Australian Celebrate T21 network. Stephanie Lenzo-Rodden, who produced the Australian version of the book, has been paramount to its production here in the UK. The books are priced at £6.00 and can be found here or in our online shop. Each book purchased funds the production and donation of another book for Support Groups and new/expectant parents around the country. Our project for October 2019 was “Meet the Grandparents” and was a very special collaboration with the wonderful Zebedee Management.The relationship between Grandparent and Grandchild is so special and unique. Stories and imagery tends to focus around the immediate family relationships. Through this project we wanted to share daily Grandparent images, stories and interviews. Huge thanks to Zebedee Management and the incredible Elise Dumontet Photography for her fabulous talent and personality. The shoot was a very special day. WCAT also wanted to use this campaign to link to the wonderful Tea At Grandmas. Tea At Grandmas is a place where they celebrate the unique bond between Grandparent and Grandchild within the Down syndrome community. They welcome stories of people’s experiences and share the stories of others to show the lived family perspective of having a grandchild with Down syndrome to support new grandparents who are adapting to new information about their little one. World Book Day 2020 saw Wouldn’t Change A Thing collaborate with Family Fund, The Makaton Charity and Singing Hands to bring the second signed book. This time the book selected was The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr. World Down Syndrome Day 2020….This year’s Wouldn’t Change A Thing theme, “What Do You See?”, aimed to highlight the individuality of those with Down syndrome and portray how they are viewed by those closest to them. It challenges the viewer to consider what they see and encourages them to look at the individual, rather than the diagnosis. Coming soon…..Down syndrome awareness month, October 2020….