First Woman with Down Syndrome to Receive MBE
Actor Sarah Gordy went to Buckingham Palace this week to receive her MBE. Sarah is the first woman with Down’s Syndrome to receive the honour. Her MBE was for services to the arts and people with disabilities including her charity work as an ambassador for Mencap.
Sarah was awarded the title in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in June and this week Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, presented her with the MBE.
Sarah played a part in one of the most moving Call The Midwife stories as Sally Harper, a girl with Down’s Syndrome who falls in love with Jacob Milligan, a lad with cerebral palsy. Due to the era in which the series is set, the couple’s relationship and Sally’s subsequent pregnancy were not understood or supported by their families, the professionals or the local community. It was a heartbreaking story. At the time of filming Sarah commented on how badly people with disabilities were treated in those days and she herself has worked very hard to raise awareness of and respect for people with disabilities.
Sarah also played Lady Pamela Holland in Upstairs, Downstairs.
Sarah described receiving her MBE as ‘fantastic’ and went on to say ‘I’ve worked really hard in what I believe in. I’d like to inspire others and empower others to believe in themselves, especially people with Down’s Syndrome. The world is their oyster.’