Down Syndrome Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:54 pm on 4th February 2022.

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Photo of Gagan Mohindra Gagan Mohindra Conservative, South West Hertfordshire 12:54 pm, 4th February 2022

Absolutely; my hon. Friend is on a roll with her interventions and I look forward to more of them.

When I was growing up—I am sure others will have had a similar experience—I always looked at the TV screen, the media or the newspapers and asked where the people of my ilk had got to and what they had achieved. It can only be a good thing for people to be able to see others who look or sound the same as them being world leaders or industry leaders or social activists—people who change others’ lives.

Locally to me, I want to give a shout out to DS Achieve and its teamwork across Hertfordshire. I did a bit of research—unfortunately for my right hon. Friend the Member for North Somerset I was unable to be involved in previous iterations of this Bill—and reading its website and understanding what it is doing is reassuring: it is about people achieving their potential and not being regarded as just having a disability. There is lots of work going on—my right hon. Friend commented earlier about the expected lifespan now associated with this condition, which is to be applauded—but we need to make sure that we consider not just living but quality of life. This Bill goes hand in glove with that aim, ensuring a safety net of local councils and communities so that additional support is in place if individuals feel they need it. Others have spoken about the fact that people’s needs are different: different individuals will need support at different times in their life, and not all the time, and being able to dip in and out knowing there is a named person they can go to as a one-stop shop for support is a smart idea, so I applaud my right hon. Friend for his foresight.