Downs syndrome batmitzvah girl hits the heights

Ruby Robinson has Downs syndrome. But the 12-year-old from East Finchley was determined to not only celebrate her batmitzvah but help others along the way.


Although Ruby collected for a local food bank and had her hair cut for the Little Princess Trust, her most adventurous fundraiser was involvement in a display on behalf of the Richmond Gymnastics Association disability programme, where she trains, and Hearts Milk Bank, which provides milk for babies from disadvantaged backgrounds.

“She started doing gymnastics when she was five and has gone on to compete regionally and nationally with the acrobatic gymnastics squad,” her mother, Yeva, said. “She wanted other children like her to have the same opportunities to excel in gymnastics.

“When her aunt Naomi told her about Hearts Milk Bank and what they do, she decided this was the cause she wanted to take on.”

Ruby performed alongside the RGA display team and, as a finale, was lifted above the other participants. The event raised more than £1,000 and was “a dream come true” for Ruby, whose family belong to Richmond Synagogue.

“It was fun because I really liked balancing on someone’s shoulders,” she said. “I made a speech to everyone about the Hearts Milk Bank and RGA. My friends were there and they liked it and I feel happy that I can help children and babies.”

She celebrated her batmitzvah at the end of December at the Langdon Down Centre in Teddington, reciting a prayer drafted especially for her by the Chief Rabbi.

“He composed a prayer based on some of the things Ruby finds important,” Mrs Robinson said.

“When Ruby read it, it was such a good fit. She was able to understand what she read and how it was relevant to her.

“Her speech isn’t always clear and she struggles to articulate her thoughts and feelings.

“But none of these challenges stop her from achieving her goals as long as she has the support she needs. She continues to surprise and amaze us.”

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