Wigan mum and son's World Book Day celebrations in sign language

Victoria Morrisey and son Oscar Rimmer
Victoria Morrisey and son Oscar Rimmer

A Wigan mother and her son celebrated World Book Day by continuing their efforts to change perceptions.

Victoria Morrisey and seven-year-old Oscar Rimmer, from Pemberton, appeared in a video using Makaton sign language to tell the story of The Snail And The Whale, written by former children’s laureate and The Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson.

It was created by a group of organisations, led by disabled children’s charity Family Fund, and featured more than 30 families, along with children’s TV stars Justin Fletcher and Dave Benson Phillips, charity ambassadors and staff.

The pair got involved as Oscar has Down’s syndrome and they are members of Wouldn’t Change A Thing, a group campaigning to change perceptions of the genetic condition.

They were chosen to take part by a random draw using an online number generator.

Miss Morrisey said: “It was all very last-minute. We were told about it on the Thursday and had to have the video done by Sunday.

“It took us a lot of attempts to get it right. Oscar wasn’t up for it at first and I sang the wrong words. We had a bit of a break and went inside and managed it.”

Their short video was put together with clips from other parents and children to tell the story in a video for World Book Day.

Miss Morrisey said: “I love it. I think it has been done really well. Considering we had such short notice, it came together really smoothly.”

As well as being posted online, it has been shown to youngsters in assemblies at various schools.

Miss Morrisey hopes it will make a difference in tackling negative perceptions of Down’s syndrome.

She said: “We are showing that we wouldn’t change a thing and it’s not as bad as it’s made out to be. It’s about changing perceptions.”

It is the second time Oscar and Miss Morrisey have appeared in a Wouldn’t Change A Thing video. Last year they travelled to London and were filmed singing and using Makaton sign language to Michael Buble’s All I Want For Christmas for a video launched on ITV’s This Morning.

Westfield Community School pupil Oscar also appears in a 2019 calendar for Wouldn’t Change A Thing.

The video for World Book Day can be seen at www.wigantoday.net.