Hartlepool is the latest town in the north east playing host to an exhibition aimed at challenging stereotypes about people with Down’s Syndrome. ‘Look At Me’ is a year-long photographic project which has already drawn attention in Durham, Sunderland and Gosforth in Newcastle.
It is the brainchild of the Down’s Syndrome North East (DSNE) charity which wants to highlight the work it does to support families, encourage them to take pride in their achievements, and raise awareness.
Featuring thirty-six models aged from a few weeks old to forty it is now on display at Hartlepool College. Michelle Roberts said: “The College are proud to support the community and are involved in raising awareness to staff, students, stakeholders about this and many other issues. This is evident in our internal Respect campaign and our British Values standards that we set for our students.”
One of the first to view the display was the local MP Mike Hill who then signed the comments book; “An amazing exhibition and wonderful expression of individuality as well as being a great vehicle for raising awareness of Down’s Syndrome, the work of DSNE and bringing a smile to everyone’s faces.”
Caroline Turner is involved in DSNE and played a leading role in organising the exhibition: “It is really important for us to project positive images and show what people with the condition can achieve,” she said. “And if it raises a bit of money so we can continue to support affected families, so much the better,” she added.
The display is open to the public for them to study the photographs, read about the campaign and leave feedback in the visitor’s book. It is on the first floor outside Learning Core 1. The exhibition closes on Friday, 27th April.