THE BIG ONE……….19th March 2016 we will be hosting a gala dinner at The Pines Hotel, Chorley. This is to tie in and celebrate World Downs Syndrome Day on the 21st. Further details will be released but we will start selling tickets very shortly and the event will comprise of a three course meal, entertainment and various fun bits and pieces.
Chorley striker Josh Hine has signed up for the Staffordshire half IronMan in June 2016. He has expressed a desire to use the event raise awareness of Twincess by doing it in the official Twincess triathlon kit. fantastic gesture. Thanks Josh
“Where on earth do we start with World Down’s Syndrome Day 2014 on March 21 other than to say it was one of the proudest and most fulfilling days we have ever been involved in and one which neither of us will ever forget.
A little over a week earlier at a Twincess Trustee meeting it was suggested that we did some media interviews to coincide with World Down’s Syndrome Day and the launch of our new Twincess website at www.twincess.co.uk . However we never expected the day to be as filled as much as it was.
Neither have lots of media experience although we spoke on BBC Radio Lancashire on March 17 when the girls were chosen by Chorley FC to be mascots at their cup final at Bolton Wanderers’ Reebok Stadium.
However the thought of appearing on national radio and prime time TV was a different proposition.
On the morning of Friday March 21 we were up with the crack of sparrows as our first interview was with BBC 5 Live with the excellent Rachel Burden at 7.20am.
We arrived at MediaCity in Salford Quays with plenty of time and met some very friendly people from the BBC. we also had a cheeky photograph with Maxine Peake who plays Martha Costello in one of our favourite TV programmes, Silk. She was lovely and happily agreed to be pictured with Isobel and Abigail.
We then went upstairs and into the studio. Rachel made us feel very welcome as did legendary sports reporter George Reily. Rachel’s co-presenter Nicky Campbell was in a different studio and it’s an impressively slick operation.
The interview was amazing. It was only five minutes’ long but it gave us the chance to talk to the nation about Down’s Syndrome and the nation had the chance to hear directly from Abigail and Isobel.
Rachel was really nice and loved the girls. She’s a mum herself and was tweeting pictures of the girls whilst on air, as was George. It was so warming that they were sharing the joy of Abigail and Isobel.
We stayed for a short period longer and shared some extra experiences with the production team before going upstairs to feed the girls in the BBC canteen.
We went headed down the stairs to BBC Radio Manchester in plenty of time and had a good chat with Mike Sweeney who had his picture taken with the girls and had a great time chasing them around the floor.
It was time to go in with breakfast show host Allan Beswick. I must Allan was fantastic. He was far more at ease with the girls crawling around the studio, near his radio equipment and reading his paper than we were.
We were terrified the twins would pull out some wires and inevitable disaster would follow. The interview was so relaxed and Allan seemed to have personal experience of Down’s. We seemed to be in the studio for ages but he was never short of conversation, he did a great job of plugging the new Twincess website (www.twincess.co.uk) and we thoroughly enjoyed our time in his company.
As we left, it was time for me to go to work. By this time my phone had gone into meltdown. I had so many text messages, Twitter notifications, Facebook messages, I felt so guilty that I knew that I would be unable to reply to each one individually as there about 250 messages in total. Never under-estimate the force for good that the media can be.
The girls were still in great spirits as we left the studio and as we came out we were approached by BBC Radio 5 Live again. Apparently the impact of our initial interview had created significant interest and they wanted one of us to go back into the studio and do the “Your Call” feature for an hour with Nicky Campbell.
We were honoured. We will talk about our girls until we are blue in the face but to have others take an interest and want to know more was completely humbling.
That hour flew by. We were joined on air by actor Tommy Jessop, who starred in the show ‘Growing up Downs’. which was incredibly nice. If our girls turn out like him we will be extremely proud. There was a small amount of “discussion” but we felt like we got the opportunity to say what was needed and expressed the friendliness and reassurance we wanted to.
The morning had been a huge success and we left MediaCity feeling on top of the world.
It was important to touch base with an independent person who would be objective and one of our trustees – Chris – who has worked in the media all his life was very happy with what he’s heard.
The kids went to nursery and the day continued. Matt went to visit Liberty SIPP, who were doing an eight- hour skipathon and also had the pleasure of meeting Hannah who has DS. She featured during the Olympics in 2012. She loved life!!
The next appointment was back at MediaCity for television on North West Tonight. To say it was mayhem was an understatement. Abigail did a dirty nappy just prior to going down to the studio then was sick 30 seconds before we went on air.
Anyway we were rushed into the studio. The presenters Roger Johnson and Annabel Tiffin were great. They smiled, welcomed us in and were great with our eldest child Fin. He was loving the experience but was getting increasingly nervous.
The girls had been funny all day but then chose the couple of minutes in live television to become a nightmare. Abigail kicked off but then decided she wanted to explore the studio and off she went. Isobel wasn’t happy at Abigail’s freedom so she wanted down to but grabbed the keyboard and started banging it on the glass coffee table. We were mortified.
Roger and Annabel were great and seemed to thrive off the girls freedom and cheekiness. The time flew by and our time was over before it began.
We left completely drained, exhausted but full of pride and fulfillment at was an amazing day in the latest stage of our journey.”