Hi Sunshine News readers,
We hope everybody is well and making the most of this week of unexpected sunshine and what seems to be a mini heatwave! We kicked this week off with an action-packed day of filming with the wonderful Ange and Jason at The Bigger Picture, as we worked with them and one of our lovely Sunshine Families to film our annual charity video.
The sun truly came out and it was a perfect day for lots of garden footage, and everything went seamlessly. We’re really proud of this one and can’t wait to see what they captured – we always know we can rely on The Bigger Picture to produce the most heartfelt videos.
This video will be premiered at our black-tie Question of Sport quiz and dinner on Thursday 16th November at the Grand Hotel, Gosforth Park. We’re down to our last few tables but if you want to put your sporting knowledge to the test and join the biggest, original and dare we say the best(!) sports quiz in the North East, presented by Sky Sports’ Pete Graves, please contact Siobhan.Sargeant@thesunshinefund.org to book a table.
In more topical news, and like many in the region I’m sure, this week is full of anticipation as we await one of our biggest fundraisers, and one of the city’s biggest events this weekend: The Great North Run. We have a fantastic team of runners representing us in this year’s race, and we wish them the best of luck in their final week of training and fundraising. We have runners from various avenues and organisations racing for Team Sunshine this year, though most of these are from True Potential.
True Potential have been supporting us in many ways for years, and we have been delighted to have them as our GNR sponsors for the 5th year running this year! They’ve got a great team together and we can’t wait to see them spreading some yellow across Newcastle this weekend!
One of True Potential’s runners, Grahame Herbert, is returning for his second year running for The Sunshine Fund, and this is what he had to say, “This will be the second year I’ve pulled on the Team Sunshine yellow vest and taken part the Great North Run and I can’t wait. I really enjoyed training for it last year, so much so that I’ve really got into running.
"Recently I completed a marathon in Sweden and I’ve been stepping up my training for this year’s Great North Run. The atmosphere is always brilliant and having met some of the families who benefit from the money raised by The Chronicle Sunshine Fund, it’s a real motivator to keep going on the day.”.
As part of our Great North Run campaign with our sponsors, we were invited to present to 500 staff at True Potential. Our Charity Director, Siobhan Sargeant, and our Family Coordinator, Bev Wright, both attended the attend where they gave a presentation thanking the organisation for their continued support over the last 5 years, as we wish the runners luck for this weekend’s big race.
However, the talking point of the event was undoubtedly our very special surprise guest… we invited one of our Sunshine Children, 13-year-old Freya, to do a Q&A with the audience. Having to speak in front of 500 people may be daunting at the very least for most people, but it’s safe to say that it didn’t phase our Freya, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the room!
Freya has charge syndrome which means she has both sight and hearing impairments. This has never stopped her speaking up about her diagnosis and being vocal about her needs, and last Friday she stood up and spoke from the heart about the equipment she has received from The Sunshine Fund such as a CCTV system and a Reveal, explaining how they have helped her continue her education and read independently as well as progressing and embracing one of her passions of creating her own artwork.
We’re passionate advocates for promoting youth voice, and while Freya made it look easy, we know how much impact her words have, and we hope she inspired the team ahead of the run to put absolutely everything into their final fundraising push, so that they can help us fund more equipment for other children like Freya.
Our waiting list contains around £30,000 worth of equipment that other Sunshine Children are waiting patiently but desperately for, and it’s campaigns like The Great North Run, and corporate support from organisations like True Potential, that allow us to tick off these items so children in our region living with disabilities, additional needs and terminal illness don’t have to wait too long for life-changing equipment that enriches their daily lives and wellbeing.
If you’re watching The Great North Run this Sunday, be sure to look out for our runners in their bright yellow tops, and keep your eyes peeled for a couple of Sunshine Fund unicorns!
There’s still time to make a difference to the lives of local babies, children and adults with complex needs – you can donate to our 2023 GNR campaign here: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/teamsunshinegnr2023.
Thanks for reading!