In March 2021, my fiancé Rachel and I welcomed our second son, Alfie, into the world. An incredibly happy, chilled, cuddly and smiley baby, Alfie has brought us so much joy and we could not love him more.
Alfie also happens to have Trisomy 21, also known as Downs Syndrome. We received a postnatal diagnosis with Alfie following a very straight forward pregnancy. To say it was a shock is an understatement! Rachel and I have had a lot to take in over the past 5 months, finding out about Downs Syndrome and what support and opportunities there are for Alfie in Nottinghamshire.
We have become involved in the Nottinghamshire Downs Syndrome community and met some lovely people through the Nottinghamshire Downs Syndrome Support Group and, more recently, Footprints.
Through one of our friends, we were introduced to Paul Brooks, the organiser of The Footprints Cup.
The event takes place every year to raise money for the Nottingham Footprints Conductive Education Centre and sees former football stars and TV personalities come together to host a charity football match.
This year, former Nottingham Forest players including Eric Lihaj and Marlon Harewood and TV stars from Emmerdale and Hollyoaks gave up their Sunday put their boots on and take to the field. The match was in memory of Oscar Leonardo Martin who was born with Down Syndrome and who sadly died due to bowel complications 18 months ago.
I was asked if I could post about the event on social media to help raise awareness. I thought we could go a step further and put the PR skills or RedTree PR to good use and secure local media coverage.
I was pleased to see news of the event featured on Nottinghamshire Live the week prior to the match. Paul Brooks was also interviewed alongside former Nottingham Forest star Craig Westcarr on BBC Radio Nottingham!
On the day of the game, BBC East Midlands Today attended the match to interview players and learn more about the inspiration behind the Footprints Cup. It was great to see the story featured on the news that evening.
It’s great to see fundraising events like these back up and running and we are proud to have played a small role in helping raise funds for a charity that positively impacts the lives of children with Downs Syndrome, motor learning difficulties and motor development delay.
Overall, the day raised in excess of £5,000.
For more information on Footprints, please its website – https://www.footprintscec.org/
In September, I will be putting on my running shoes to complete the Nottingham Robin Hood Half Marathon. I will be raising money for the Nottinghamshire Down Syndrome Support Group and I’m looking forward to completing the distance and raising as much money as possible for them.
The RedTree PR team and I are looking forward to putting our PR expertise into effect again next year to help raise awareness of the match and support the fantastic people of the Nottinghamshire Downs Syndrome Community.