Every person should have the chance of happiness no matter what their background.

For many, that means a job, a house and a loving relationship.

But if you happen to be born with special needs, it must feel like mission impossible at times.

I recently met youngsters with Down’s syndrome taking part in fun activities at Petty Pool Vocational College & Outdoor Centre in Sandiway.

There I talked to Julie Duff and Lawrence Caygill, chair and chief executive, respectively, of Down Syndrome Cheshire, which aims to empower people with Down’s syndrome to live the life they choose.

It’s shocking to learn children with Down’s syndrome were not always entitled to an education in the past.

Fortunately, times have changed. But early-stage Government proposals have arisen because parents still struggle to get the right support for a child with special educational needs.

And the sadness is youngsters with Down’s syndrome who do develop skills, passions and dreams at school and college often find themselves retiring before they’ve even got started.

At a national level 96.1 per cent of people with Down’s syndrome are unemployed and dependent on social care.  Yet massively more than four per cent could become tax-paying employees, earning their own money and feeling valued.

With training and support, many adults with Down’s syndrome are capable of bringing huge benefits to the workplace.

Some local businesses have offered people with special needs the opportunity to join them and been delighted with the outcome.

As a former careers adviser, I’m laying down a challenge for other companies to step up, perhaps by offering an initial work experience opportunity.

I have worked with Down Syndrome Cheshire for five years, most recently in support of a private member’s bill by Dr Liam Fox MP to ensure lifelong access to care for those with Down’s syndrome.

Trust me, they will be there to hold your hand through the process.

Of course, not everyone wants to be on staff. Some of us have an entrepreneurial spirit, like one young man who loves gin and, with a little expert advice, would love to set up a distillery and sell his produce at local artisan markets. Imagine where that could lead.

If you think you might be able to help someone with Down’s syndrome enter the world of work then the charity would love to hear from you.

Please email: admin@dscheshire.org.uk