OCTOBER – DOWN SYNDROME AWARENESS MONTH ‘LOTS OF SOCKS’ GALWAY 2021 CAMPAIGN
THE BACKGROUND: Founder Ruta tells her story….The Down Syndrome Association in Lithuania ran an once off awareness campaign in 2018 during which they were handing out little socks that were knitted by locals. Me being from Lithuania wanted to help if I could so I asked my mum to knit some socks and send it to them. She did. And she kept knitting even after the campaign. When she told me she had a bag of little socks for them for the next year I just couldn’t bring myself to say oh, they don’t need them anymore and instead said, you know what, send them to me, to Ireland I’ll do something with them. Since then, many knitters came to help, we’ve had socks sent to us from Dublin, Monaghan, Cork, Wexford, all over Ireland. We also received socks from Slovakia this year and some are coming from Australia.
WHY DIFFERENT COLOURED? We all are different – extra chromosomes or not. To represent that we choose different colours.
WHY GET THEM? It’s one in a million designer pieces, handmade by local people or if you’re lucky – your socks will be from overseas! You will be also supporting Galway’s Down Syndrome Community by wearing them, sharing pictures and donating to the campaign.
2021 CAMPAIGN: This year we have added a poster campaign to Lots of Socks Galway, pairing a well known Galway person with a member of Down Syndrome Galway, both wearing a pair of the little hand knitted socks pinned to their clothing. Minister Anne Rabbitte and Minister Hildegarde Naughton, along with Padraic Mannion Galway Hurling Team Captain, Orlaith McGrath Galway Camogie Team and Laura Ahearne Galway Football Team got involved in our campaign. which we are very excited about. The posters will form part of a month-long visual campaign at a selection of bus stop shelters around Galway city and suburb, across social media and GBFM.