THE PARENTS of a young boy with Down’s syndrome are holding a dinner to raise cash for the home teaching service that helped him.
Ary and Rupi Gill, of Firs Drive, Cranford, say they don’t know what they would have done without the support of Hounslow Portage for their son Arjen, who is now five.
The council-run service helps families of children with learning difficulties across the borough by teaching the youngsters new skills and showing parents how to encourage their development.
It provides help to about 50 families and is supported by the charity Friends of Hounslow Portage, which raises money for annual events and specialist equipment used by the service’s professional home visitors.
Arjen no longer benefits from the portage service, which helps children until they begin school, but his parents are determined to ensure it can continue to help other families.
They have organised the fundraising dinner at the restaurant Ashoka, in Bath Road, Hounslow West, on Friday, September 6, from 7pm.
“Hounslow Portage is an invaluable service and we wanted to do our bit to support it,” said Mr Gill, a 40-year-old engineer working at Heathrow’s Terminal 5.
“When Arjen was diagnosed with Down’s syndrome we were shocked and a bit lost for the first few months.
“But the home visitors from Hounslow Portage were so helpful and friendly, coming to play with Arjen for an hour every week and showing us how to play with him and to help him learn.
“They made a huge difference to our lives and we want to help them continue to provide a similar service to other families across Hounslow.”
* Tickets for the fundraising dinner, including a three-course meal, DJ and raffle, are £25 for an adult, with reduced rates for children. They are available in advance by calling Ary Gill on 0797 3575 715 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.