Charity says ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ on World Down Syndrome Day

On World Down Syndrome Day, Thursday March 21, the #wouldntchangeathing hashtag is destined to be all over our screens again!

Thursday, 21st March 2019, 7:35 am
Updated Thursday, 21st March 2019, 8:46 am
A screenshot from Wouldn't Change A Thing's Don't Stop Me Now video with Jack Lawlor at The Base skatepark
A screenshot from Wouldn't Change A Thing's Don't Stop Me Now video with Jack Lawlor at The Base skatepark

The hashtag was popularised back in March 2018 by the viral video 50 Mums | 50 Kids | 1 Extra Chromosome - now regarded to be one of the most popular viral videos in history after racking up over 350 million views on social media and becoming headline news in over 30 countries.

This World Down Syndrome Day, the world can prepare to have their misconceptions smashed even further because the parents are at it again with their new campaign: Don’t Stop Me Now! which seeks to highlight the ways which people with Down Syndrome of all ages achieve and enjoy life.

With Freddie Mercury being on-trend after the Oscars, this campaign uses the upbeat Queen track Don’t Stop Me Now, and shifts the focus away from parents towards the individuals with Down Syndrome and their capabilities.

One of the stars of the video is Jack Lawlor from Chichester. Jack, 16, is shown enjoying The Base skatepark in Bognor Regis where he knows all of the staff due to his brother, Charlie, being a professional scooter rider.

Mairi Watkins, the creator and project leader of the Don’t Stop Me Now concept, said: “With the parental relationship being the focus of previous projects, I felt that it was time to build on this message by putting individuals with Down Syndrome front and centre. Don’t Stop Me Now lets their fulfilling lives do the talking. It holds up a mirror to society and dares the viewer to challenge everything they thought they knew about Down Syndrome, and to think again.”

Last year’s 50 Mums initiative gave birth to the charitable organisation Wouldn’t Change a Thing (#wcat if you’re in the know!) whose stated aim is “To create a world where negative, outdated perceptions of Down’s Syndrome become a thing of the past.”

Since then, Wouldn’t Change a Thing has gone from strength to strength having launched a further three viral campaigns, each with national media exposure and celebrity endorsement from the likes of music super-star Michael Bublé.

After only a year, the fledgling Down Syndrome organisation is working with schools, hospitals, universities and other external agencies such as the World Health Organisation to improve international human rights standards for those with learning disabilities. Who knows what the next year will bring?

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