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World Down Syndrome Day with Eloise May, Welcome Host at 20 Fenchurch Street

This World Down Syndrome Day, we are embracing the theme #EndTheStereoTypes, raising awareness of the #AssumeICan campaign by championing the Down syndrome community across our Portico teams. We had the absolute pleasure of speaking with the brilliant Eloise May, Welcome Host at 20 Fenchurch Street, about what World Down Syndrome Day means to her, how others can support those with intellectual disabilities at work and her advice for anyone with Down syndrome.

Please can you introduce yourself and your role at 20 Fenchurch Street.

Hi, my name is Eloise and I am a Welcome host at 20 Fenchurch Street. I have been working here since last August and I have grown a lot since I started my job, I would say that I have grown most in my confidence. Adriana and Workfit supported me to get the job, as well as Down syndrome Association, by prepping me for my interview and being there for me if I had any questions or needed help with anything along the way.

What is your favourite thing about working at 20 Fenchurch Street?

I would say that my favourite thing about working at 20 Fenchurch Street is definitely the people I have met. I love meeting new people and I am very sociable, that has been a highlight for me. I absolutely love my team!

What does Down Syndrome Day mean to you? 

Down Syndrome Day is very important to me because it is a chance to raise awareness about Down syndrome, educate people and change negative stereotypes.

How can stereotypes harm people who have Down syndrome? 

People might say mean things that hurt people’s feelings but also I think another negative stereotype is that people with Down syndrome can’t do anything by themselves, but I am proving them wrong! I live a very independent and fun life - I live on my own, I have a boyfriend and lots of amazing friends, I go out and have fun and I have a great job in the city.

How can people support you and other people who have Down syndrome or learning differences at work? 

I think the best way to support me and others that have learning differences in the work place is to give them a chance to try new things.

I think a lot of the time people assume that people with learning differences won't be able to manage things but often they just need to be shown with patience and support and if it’s not the right task for them then help them to find something else they will enjoy so they can feel capable.

Do you have any advice for anyone with Down syndrome?

My advice would be don’t be afraid to try new things, you never know what the World has in store for you!