Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month – March 2019

21 March is World Down Syndrome Day and with that in mind we have chosen Sarah Gordy as our Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month.

Sarah is an actress who has Down syndrome. She gained her first professional acting job on the ITV television series, Peak Practice, and subsequently landed many other TV and theatre roles.

She is best known for her roles as Orlando Quine in Strike: The Silkworm and Lady Pamela Holland in the BBC TV series Upstairs Downstairs. She has also acted in episodes of Call the MidwifeHolby City and Doctors. As well as these BBC shows, she has acted in short films, radio dramas, commercials and many theatre productions.

In 2014 she appeared in an episode of Call the Midwife, in which the episode highlighted the treatment of people with physical and intellectual disabilities in British society in the late 1950s.

She also appeared in the BBC Radio 4 play, Resurrection, has read four “Bedtime Stories” for CBeebies and in 2014 she broke new ground by playing a central character without a disability in the play Crocodiles at Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre.

Sarah is also one of the principal dancers for Culture Device Dance Project, an experimental dance company for professional dancers with Down syndrome. She has performed in Germany, Macedonia, UK and Ireland. She performed a series of dance pieces at the My Perspective International Photography Competition Awards Ceremony in June 2016 which is held each year by the Down Syndrome Association (DSA).

In 2013 when she was nominated for the BBC Sussex and Surrey Community Heroes Award which she won. She was given the Arts Award in Lewes Town Council’s Civic Awards in 2014 for service to the people of Lewes and her work in the Arts, especially for disabled people living and working in Lewes.

In November 2018 she was presented with an MBE for services to the arts and people with disabilities becoming the first woman with Down syndrome to receive the award. The following month she received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Nottingham, becoming the first person with Down syndrome to be awarded an honorary degree by a British university.

Sarah is a celebrity ambassador for Mencap and Patron of Circus Starr.

To find out more about World Down Syndrome Day see here


To find out more about Sarah see here