Cornish sisters, Mia aged 13 and Natty aged 11 were two of 24 children 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.
They work together as ambassadors and advocates, educating others about Down’s syndrome through working with the NHS and charities such as Mencap, Makaton and the Down’s Syndrome Association.
They 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: ‘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. In many ways our family is so ordinary, but when I remember how afraid I was when I heard the words Down’s syndrome.
‘They change hearts and minds every day, by just being who they are and I nominated them because I want them to know how many lives they have affected.’
A word from Specsavers Penzance
David Johnson, store director of Specsavers Penzance, said: ‘It’s always uplifting to hear about the amazing and selfless acts performed by youngsters in Cornwall. Natty and Mia are very deserving of this medal and we hope their story inspires others.’