A special meeting for son’s birthday

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A Nuthall man who created a piece of history by becoming the first and only serving British councillor with Down’s Syndrome has met up with one of the world’s oldest people with the condition.

Stephen Green, of Cedarland Crescent, who was elected onto Nuthall Parish Council in 2012, met Micky Neal as part of a birthday surprise, organised by his father, Grenville.

Grenville made contact with Mr Neal’s family through the local newspaper in Darlington where the Neals live.

“I wanted to do something special to mark Stephen’s 49th birthday and I read about Micky and thought that was a nice idea,” he said.

“Stephen and I were given a very warm welcome and it was very obvious to me that Micky’s family, very much like my own, have devoted their lives to him and his well being. It was a very emotional meeting and one that Stephen and Micky really enjoyed.”

Micky, 70, is one of the few people with Down’s Syndrome to have enjoyed a long and active life.

His sister Rosetta Forster said it was a ‘pleasure’ to meet Stephen.

“It has been a real privilege to hear about his many achievements, his interests and his busy lifestyle.

Micky is not half as active as Stephen but always manages to have a lovely smile on his face.”

Stephen in comparison is always busy and as well as being a local councillor he is a teaching assistant at Oakwood School where he mentors children with learning difficulties in music sessions.

In times past he has taken part in sponsored swims raising money for various charities, and was a competitor and winner at the Midlands Region Special Olympics.

An accomplished pianist, Stephen recently gave a recital at Holy Trinity Church in Kimberley where he worships.

Speaking about his visit he said: “When we first met we embraced and there was an obvious connection. My dad is my rock and I owe him so much. Meeting Micky was a great birthday present.”

Grenville is currently working on a power point presentation project to raise awareness of Down’s Syndrome.

When completed this will be introduced into local schools and to local group’s and organisations and Stephen and Micky will feature in the project.