Hi Sunshine News readers,
We’re feeling a mixture of emotions here at Team Sunshine this week. On one hand, we’re all extremely busy and excited as we’re getting everything ready for our 20th anniversary Sunshine Run 5K which takes place in less than a week!
With over 230 runners registered and a strong crew of volunteers signed up, the event is set to be a success and we’re sure it will be one to remember. We’re also excited to reveal this year’s medals which arrived last week! All runners will receive a medal upon completion of the race.
In sadder news, we’re all very sorry to see our Events Co-ordinator, Erin, leave us for the beaches of Bali (we’re definitely not jealous!). Erin’s been with The Sunshine Fund for 18 months and in that time has been an asset to the team, from organising and managing events such as last year’s Sunshine Run (which returned after 2 years off due to Covid restrictions), our Mamma Mia Ball and Question of Sport quiz and dinner, to leading on two treks and running for Team Sunshine in last year’s Great North Run.
She’s also responsible for the success of our Seeds of Hope project, a schools initiative dedicated to opening conversations around equity, diversity and inclusion in a safe and accepting environment from nursery age. The project focuses on normalising these topics to future generations through newsletters, assemblies and workshops.
This is so important as they’re growing up in a society which is far more integrated, so when they have children, we see a generational shift. Using a sunflower as a parallel, the Seeds of Hope initiative encourages children to explore how our differences make us unique, and while we may all require different support and conditions to grow, everybody is beautiful.
We provide the schools with sunflower seeds so they can grow them, which also gives them the opportunity to get outside and start a gardening project of their own. In two years, 50 schools and over 8,000 children have signed up to be part of our Seeds of Hope campaign, and it’s our mission to grow the project over the next few years in Erin’s absence.
Erin is leaving us to explore Indonesia for 5 weeks, before heading back to Newcastle University in September to study psychology. She had some final words before jetting off: “I will always look back on my time at The Sunshine Fund with great happiness and pride.
"I am very grateful for all of the lessons learnt and connections made with families, supporters and staff alike. I am looking forward to supporting the charity in the future through volunteering (and maybe future treks!).
"A personal highlight for me was our 2022 trek, the Yorkshire 3 Peaks. Reaching the summit of Pen-y-Ghent after a gruelling day of trekking was an achievement I will never forget.
"Knowing that our efforts were going to benefit local children and their families made it all the more sweet.”
While Team Sunshine are sad to be saying goodbye to Erin, we’re excited to welcome somebody new to our team to lead on events in the near future.
Speaking of events, we’re thrilled to officially announce the launch of our 2023 Question of Sport quiz and dinner! This event is back by popular demand and will return to The Grand Hotel in Gosforth Park on Thursday 16th November 2023, and will be hosted by Sky Sports’ Pete Graves.
Please visit www.thesunshinefund.org/QOS for more information, and contact Siobhan.Sargeant@thesunshinefund.org to book a table.
Thanks for reading!