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Nadea Burac, 27, from Cimislia, Moldova has used her time at home during the COVID-19 pandemic to create bunnies with her mother for Cheshire Down’s Syndrome Support Group (CDSSG).

After moving to the area last year to study MSc Medical Genetics at the University, Nadea wanted to give something back to the community and met staff from CDSSG at a volunteering event.

As COVID-19 has made her original plans to sell the bunnies and raise funds for CDSSG more difficult, Nadea decided to donate them to the Group instead so they can be given to people with Down’s syndrome.

She said: “I’ve always wanted to help people with genetic conditions.

“We did a cake sale on campus with the support of the University’s Volunteering Team before COVID-19 to raise funds and it was a great success. It was a lot of fun and a great opportunity to meet new people and make friends. We did plan to hold an Easter party, but we haven’t been able to do that because of lockdown.

“It has been tough during lockdown as you’re inside so much of the time. I’ve also had to juggle motherhood and my studies. Knitting the bunnies has kept me busy in my spare time and helped me keep mentally healthy. I just hope these bunnies have made people happy. It’s great to have the opportunity to help others.”

Julie Duff, Chair of Cheshire Down’s Syndrome Support Group, added: “This is a wonderful, thoughtful gesture.

“We feel so touched that Nadea and others have been supporting and thinking of Cheshire Down’s Syndrome Support Group during this difficult time. Having such dedicated volunteers makes a huge difference to our charity.

“We still rely on the goodwill of the community to help us deliver our services. We are so proud we have been able to continue to support our families during lockdown.”

Shaunagh Smith, Volunteer Co-ordinator at the University of Chester, said: “Throughout this pandemic we have been cheered by learning of others in the University community giving their time to help others. We’re so proud of Nadea and the lovely gesture she has made.”

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