Swindon Down’s Syndrome Group has been named as the Brunel Shopping Centre's charity of year.

Every year staff at the centre select one charity to focus their fundraising efforts on.

Former Brunel employee Kerry Fry championed the work of the group, having been supported by it for her son, Oscar, five, who has Down’s syndrome.

Kerry said: “Swindon Down’s Syndrome Group supports around 100 families in the Swindon and surrounding areas and is a great resource for those who have Down’s syndrome and their families.

“Oscar is benefitting tremendously from speech and language therapy and I go along to the coffee mornings, which gives me an opportunity to talk to other parents who are in the same situation.”

Cailey Whitcher, trustee and secretary of the parent-led volunteer group, said: “We are very grateful to the staff at The Brunel for voting for us as the charity of the year and feel very privileged that they chose us.

“Being a nominated charity will help us to increase awareness of the work we do and money raised will be invaluable in helping us continue projects such as our speech and language therapy, our Salamander Fire Course and the Workfit programme.”

Previous charities chosen by the centre include Oak and Furrows Wildlife Rescue, Wiltshire Air Ambulance and Youth Adventure Trust.

Jane Stewart, centre manager at The Brunel, said: “We have lots of fundraising activities planned, such as a craft fair in December and getting involved with the charity’s awareness campaign #LotsofSocks for World Down’s Syndrome Day in March.

“We’re even going to learn to sing so we can put on a carols performance in the centre at Christmas.”