Downright Special charity receives funding and support worth over £50,000 from the Matthew Good Foundation

The Matthew Good Foundation has donated £50,000, plus additional support to produce a promotional video, to Downright Special, a Hull-based charity whose aim is to build a brighter future for children with Down Syndrome by assisting in all aspects of their care and education across Hull and the East Riding of Yorkshire.

Michelle Taft, Director of The Matthew Good Foundation hands a cheque to Gillian Bowlas, Downright Special Manager

Originally started in 2007 by a group of parents who wanted to support each other and reach out to other local families, Downright Special quickly developed into an organisation of professionally trained volunteers and staff providing emotional, practical and educational support to families and professionals.

The donation to Downright Special came through the Matthew Good Foundation – a charitable trust established in 2011 by the John Good Group. The John Good Group donates to the Matthew Good Foundation each year as part of the company’s ongoing commitment to supporting charitable causes.

The funding, to be provided over the next five years, will help support Downright Special’s wide range of services for children from birth onwards including weekly play and education groups, training for teaching assistants and other professionals, lending of specialist resources, and promoting inclusion for children with Down Syndrome.

As well as providing funding, the Matthew Good Foundation also helped the charity with additional funding and pro bono support in the co-ordination of a promotional video. The extra support was given as part of the Foundation’s recently launched “Films for Good” programme, which aims to amplify the voices of small charities and projects – whose work is often unseen and underfunded – through the power of film.

Gillian Bowlas, Charity Manager at Downright special said: “We are so delighted to have long term funding from the Matthew Good Foundation, helping to ensure that the future of the charity is secure and that we can continue to grow Downright Special. Over and above, that the additional support and expertise provided to us to make a short video about the charity will be so helpful in promoting the charity to new families who may want to join us and to potential new funders who would like to support us in the future. Matthew Good Foundation have been such a good funder to be involved with. They have been quite unique in getting to know us as a charity to make sure they can support us in ways that are as helpful as possible and allowing us to make use of the expertise that exists within the Foundation.”

Michelle Taft, Executive Director of the Matthew Good Foundation said: “Downright Special is a perfect example of how small charities can make a huge difference to society. We first heard about Downright Special through our members who, through John Good Group’s charitable giving programme, have supported the charity with several small grants over the years. Along with our latest commitment to provide £50,000 over five years, the charity film will help Downright Special connect with their audience and raise awareness so more people can see the incredible work that they do.”

The charity’s new promotional video, which has launched this week, was filmed at one of their popular education sessions at the Bodmin Road Church on Bransholme. Michelle Taft, Executive Director of the Matthew Good Foundation also visited the session to present the cheque to Gillian Bowlas, Downright Special’s Charity Manager.