COMMENT: Time to bask in glory for an honour well-deserved

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It is always fantastic to see someone who has worked hard to help others receive the recognition they deserve.

None more so than Rachael Ross, co-founder of the Portsmouth Down Syndrome Association, who has been made an MBE.

Rachael set up the charity nine years ago, inspired by her son Max, 14, who has Down Syndrome.

Rachael wanted to provide support for other families coping with the genetic disorder which is typically associated with physical growth delays, mild to moderate intellectual disability, and characteristic facial features.

Rachael said: ‘When my son Max was born, it soon became apparent that there were no specialist services available to support children with Down syndrome and their families, and this situation hasn’t really improved over the years.

‘I co-founded Portsmouth Down Syndrome Association to provide the specialist services our children need to thrive and reach their full potential.’

It is a credit to Rachael and her charity’s work that it is now widely recognised that children with Down Syndrome can succed alongside their peers with the right specialist support.

Rachael hopes to raise the profile of the charity and highlight the importance of its work in the community.

She said: ‘As a society we are only just beginning to fully recognise and celebrate the wonderful potential of individuals with Down syndrome and I’m more resolved than ever to raise awareness and promote inclusion, because when individuals with Down syndrome are included and given the opportunity to participate, the whole community benefits.’

There is no finer achievement than to work to help others achieve their potential, and Rachael’s MBE is richly deserved.