Joanne goes back to school in Milton Keynes for Down’s Syndrome Awareness Week

Back to school: Joanne Barker
Back to school: Joanne Barker

This year, Down’s Syndrome Awareness Week is focusing on ‘What I bring to my community’.

In Woburn Sands, Joanne Barker, a young lady with Down’s Syndrome, is going back to Swallowfield Lower School where she herself studied – to help pupils with their reading.

Joanne, 32, was the first pupil with Down’s Syndrome at Swallowfield School, and this placement was so successful that Joanne began to read in her first term at the school.

She went on to study at Fulbrook Middle School, also in Woburn Sands, and then Redborne Upper School in Ampthill where she gained two GCSEs.

After three years’ study at Moulton College in Northamptonshire, Joanne gained qualifications in rural skills and cookery.

She has had a permanent part-time job at Frosts Garden Centre for nearly 12 years, and in her spare time enjoys volunteering locally as well as pursuing her hobbies.

She is a member of Woburn Sands Methodist Church and also sings with the community choir Sands Singers.

She is looking forward to helping pupils at Swallowfield Lower School with their reading skills.

“I’ve always enjoyed reading, and I want to help other children enjoy it too,” said Joanne.

Also by the Milton Keynes Citizen newspaper:

Teacher and teaching assistant sentenced for assaulting a pupil at Milton Keynes school