DONATION: Simone Behal with her daughter Emilie accepting a cheque from the Pavers Foundation on behalf of Down Syndrome Kerry (DSK) with Store Manager Denise Smyth and Supervisor Sarah Doherty. 


Down Syndrome Kerry has been awarded £1,000 by the Pavers Foundation, the employee led charitable trust created by family-owned shoe retailer Pavers Shoes. Denise Smyth, Store Manager of Pavers in Killarney, applied through the Foundation’s employee grant initiative to help Down Syndrome Kerry, a charity very close to her heart.

Each staff member can put forward causes close to their heart which relate to health, education, or community. Since launching, the Pavers Foundation has awarded a total of £541,353 to charity.

Down Syndrome Kerry is a parent led organisation that helps families to deal with the diagnosis of their child having Down Syndrome. The organisation is passionate about ensuring that children with special education needs have access to an inclusive learning environment, providing a wide range of support, including occupational therapy, physiotherapy and speech and language therapy services for younger persons and employment and education opportunities. The charity also offers recreational services to their members, such as swimming lessons, Zumba, basketball, cookery, cycling lessons and horse riding.

“Down Syndrome is very close to my heart being in my own family and seeing the daily challenges that families face, that have not been funded by the Government, I wanted to try to help in any way possible,” Denise Smyth said.

“While I was pregnant with my own little boy, a friend of mine was also pregnant and gave birth to a beautiful little girl Emilie who was born with Down Syndrome. Seeing first-hand the challenges that Simone faces with her little girl, I wanted to reach out to the Pavers Foundation and see if they would help with these challenges, such as occupational therapy and speech therapy along with social and educational activities. I know that the £1,000 will be put to great use.”

Shirley Morris, Admin Secretary at Down Syndrome Kerry added that their goal is to help people with Down Syndrome make their own futures as bright and as independent as possible by providing them with education, support and friendship every step of the way.

“Thank you to the Pavers Foundation for helping us to achieve our goal.”