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Glasgow wins bid to host World Down Syndrome Congress in 2018

Andrew Macintyre, Sam Ross and Stuart Campbell helped lead Glasgow’s bid to bring the World Down’s Syndrome Congress to the city in 2018
Glasgow has been chosen to host the World Down Syndrome Congress in 2018.
Down’s Syndrome Scotland submitted their bid for the Congress in partnership with Glasgow City Marketing Bureau (GCMB), the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), VisitScotland and the Scottish Exhibition + Conference Centre (SECC) in August this year.

The announcement was made yesterday (Thursday, October 31, 2013) by UK-based international Down syndrome charity, Down Syndrome International (DSi).

Glasgow is set to welcome more than 1,200 delegates from around the world to the four-day conference, which will run from August 1-4, 2018 at the SECC.

It will be the first time that the World Down’s Syndrome Congress will have taken place in Scotland, with Glasgow’s bid beating off strong competition from cities in four other countries.

Held every three years, the Congress brings together people with Down’s syndrome, their parents and carers, professionals, practitioners, researchers and organisations. It is expected to generate around 6,000 hotel room nights in Glasgow and boost the city’s economy by almost £1.6 million.

Andrew Boys, Director of Down Syndrome International, said: “Applications were received from organisations in five countries, all of which were comprehensive and impressive and were given due consideration. We would like to say a big thank you to all applicants for taking the time and effort to produce excellent bids.

“Following lengthy scrutiny and discussion, DSi is delighted to announce that Down’s Syndrome Scotland has been successful and we look forward to working with them to hold a Congress which will help to fulfil our mission to improve quality of life for people with Down’s syndrome worldwide and promote their inherent right to be accepted and included as valued and equal members of their communities.”

Glasgow’s bid was the first to utilise the city’s new PEOPLE MAKE GLASGOW brand, which launched in June. It was led by Andrew Macintyre (26), Stuart Campbell (27) and Sam Ross (25), each of whom has Down’s syndrome and are members of Down’s Syndrome Scotland, under the banner PEOPLE MAKE GLASGOW INCLUSIVE.

Sam, from Glasgow, said: “I’m looking forward to meeting other people with Down’s Syndrome from other cultures. I want to hear different languages because I’m learning French. Visitors will love Glasgow as the people here are very friendly and kind.”

Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said: “I am delighted that Down Syndrome International has chosen to host its global Congress in Glasgow when it marks its first visit to Scotland in 2018 – the city is looking forward to warmly welcoming delegates from all over the world for this prestigious meeting.

“It’s also hugely positive news that our first major conference bid reflecting the city’s new brand has been successful, demonstrating that PEOPLE MAKE GLASGOW is a real point of difference, and congratulations to Andrew, Stuart and Sam for leading the city’s bid.”

Pandora Summerfield, Chief Executive of Down’s Syndrome Scotland, said: “We are absolutely delighted and honoured that Down Syndrome International has chosen us to host the 2018 World Down’s Syndrome Congress in Glasgow.

“We look forward to providing a broad spectrum of informative sessions showcasing the latest discoveries in research and best practice as well as fringe events for the general public and Scottish cultural experiences for families that they won’t soon forget. We also look forward to working with Down’s Syndrome International to ensure that the World Down’s Syndrome Congress 2018 will be a memorable and informative event that benefits all who attend.”

Alex Thomson, Events and Training Manager at SCVO, said: “It’s really exciting that the World Down’s Syndrome Congress is coming to Glasgow in 2018. I’m really looking forward to working with Down’s Syndrome Scotland, Down Syndrome International and Glasgow City Marketing Bureau to deliver a world-class event which will bring together thousands of people from across the globe to share their experiences and find out about the latest developments related to Down’s syndrome. I can’t wait to get started on all my plans.”

The World Down’s Syndrome Congress 2012 was held in Cape Town, South Africa and WDSC 2015 will take place in Chennai, India from August 18-21 hosted by the Down’s Syndrome Federation of India.

Pictured: Andrew Macintyre, Sam Ross and Stuart Campbell helped lead Glasgow’s bid to bring the World Down’s Syndrome Congress to the city in 2018

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