Cornish sisters, Mia aged 13 and Natty aged 11 were two of 24 children recently honoured at this year’s British Citizen youth Awards, in association with Specsavers, at the Palace of Westminster by Diversity dance troupe leader, Ashley Banjo.
Mia and Natty Goleniowska are a powerful combination of sisters. Natty has Down’s syndrome and as a family they have created a blog called ‘Downs Side Up’ to promote inclusion and equality.
Mia and Natty work as ambassadors and advocates to help educate others about Down’s syndrome through working with the NHS and with charities including Mencap and the Down’s Syndrome Association.
The girls also support other families and young people and share their experiences via a book, vlogs and a blog. Natty even hosts a live broadcast nightly, ‘Chatty Natty’.
Mum Hayley said: ‘In many ways our family is so ordinary, but when I remember how afraid I was when I heard the words Down’s syndrome, we can never underestimate how important it is to share our story with new families.
'I get very emotional to think that our children have been considered in this way, alongside so many others who have done courageous or charitable acts.'
A word from Specsavers
Steven Morris, store director of Specsavers Newquay, commented: ‘It’s always so inspiring to hear about the amazing and selfless acts performed by youngsters, particularly here in Cornwall. Natty and Mia are very deserving of this medal and we hope their story inspires others.’