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A spring day on the farm

Hi Sunshine News readers,

We hope you’ve all had a lovely Easter break and are ready for the school run chaos on Monday!

We had a fabulous end to our Easter as yesterday we visited the Whitehouse Farm Centre in Northumberland, with some of our families and children who are currently waiting for their equipment to be funded through our urgent appeal.

What a wonderful day we all had, the sun had his hat on for us and the team at the farm looked after us so well, showing us all the animals, from the teeny tiny mice to the huge emu!

Children with disabilities and additional needs find great comfort in spending time with animals, especially ones they can feed, hold, and stroke as it offers a great sensory experience that is calming and brings so much joy.

Even though we’re heading into summer, our children also loved feeding the reindeer at the farm who were on their holidays from the North Pole!

We loved that there were so many accessible activities for children of all abilities to do with the tractor ride being a firm favourite, as well as the bouncing pillows and trampolines which mimics rebound therapy.

Lauren and I pulled the lucky straws and got to go along with our families while the rest of our team just had to enjoy the ton of pictures and videos we shared with them throughout the day.

It doesn’t matter whether it's in person or in a photo, seeing the smiles on the faces of our Sunshine children is priceless and we hope this trip has created some very special memories for their families.

We’re always on the look out for new places to visit that are inclusive and accessible for our families and so we welcome all suggestions, just drop us a message on social media (@sunshinefund). We’re excited to start planning our next Sunshine Families outing!

Whilst our children had a blast at the farm, the hard-hitting truth is that they’re all still waiting for specialist, life-changing equipment to support them in their everyday lives.

Without The Chronicle Sunshine Fund, our families are unable to access this equipment as it is not funded through the NHS or local authorities.

For example, it is a common misconception that every child in need of a wheelchair will automatically receive one through NHS Wheelchair Services, unfortunately due to local government cuts, our NHS has been forced to limit the funding available for equipment such as wheelchairs and other specialist pieces such as walking frames and specialist seating.

We are proud to support our NHS through our charity and by providing the equipment our children desperately need, but we are finding it increasingly difficult to keep up with the demand for equipment the pandemic and rapid rise in cost of living has caused.

If you are passionate about our region and the future of the children most in need, we are urging you to donate if you can.

You can visit our website to find out how to donate online or you can send a cheque addressed and made out to The Chronicle Sunshine Fund, 2nd Floor, NCJ media, Eldon Court, Eldon Square, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7JB.

If you are interested in making a donation to fund a specific piece of equipment that you’ve spotted through our children’s stories in Chronicle, please contact our Charity Director Siobhan by calling 0191 201 6289 or emailing Siobhan.

As always, thank you for you ongoing support, we couldn’t do this without you.

Bev x



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