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Christmas Jumper Day 2022


Well that came round fast didn’t it! Quite possibly one of my favourite days of the year, those who read last weeks column will remember that I disclosed my love of Christmas Jumpers!

We’ve been thrilled to see how many people have taken part this year and donated to our cause. Many of our Christmas Jumper Day supporters take part year after year, but this year we’ve also had lots of new supporters and it truly means the world to us that you’ve decided to support local this Christmas.

Please know, that your donations will make a direct difference to children right here in the North East who need equipment that allows them to live safely, comfortably and independently. Three very basic rights that we all deserve, right?

The equipment we are funding this Christmas is not, I repeat, IS NOT funded by the NHS or social services. Our NHS is under immense financial pressure and sadly many essential items of equipment that our children need, have been cut from their funding list. Our families have no option but to apply to us for support to receive this essential life-changing equipment.

We want to give thanks to Tier One Capital, Urban Base, Hay & Kilner, Irwin Mitchell, Barclays, Kingston Property and The Gym Group, to name but a few, for taking part in our Christmas Jumper Day. If you’re still to decide which charity to support or haven’t yet planned a Christmas Jumper day for your workplace, school or even household, you still have time to donate!

Simply text SUNSHINE 2 to 70085 to make your £2 donation for taking part and remember to tag us on social media with your festive snaps (@sunshinefund).

Christmas Jumper Day is just the start of our festive activities as on Sunday, Erin and Lauren are heading over to the Slatyford Stagecoach depot to sprinkle some magic fairy dust and transform a one of their buses into the most Christmassy Santa’s Grotto you ever did see! Our team can’t wait to see their handywork when the bus arrives on Northumberland Street on Monday morning!

The bus, of course, will host Santa and his cheeky elf for a whole week as well as special guests True Colours Theatre Foundation as well 99th Garrison on certain dates. We are thrilled to have an army of volunteers supporting us throughout the week who will be bucket collecting and chatting with little ones whilst they wait to see Santa.

We are immensely proud that our Santa’s Grotto Bus will be free again this year, meaning that it is accessible to every single child in the North East. We will however be welcoming donations should people be able to make a contribution to support our Christmas fundraising.

The cherry on top for us is being able to offer a fully accessible and inclusive grotto for children, and adults, who might usually find visits to Santa difficult or challenging as their individual needs are not accommodated well enough. Being accessible doesn’t simply mean having wheelchair access, it means so much more.

Being accessible and inclusive means having no strict time slots so that children can experience a visit to Santa in a way that’s best for them, it means having dedicated team members available who can Makaton sign so that every child feels heard when telling Santa what is on their Christmas list, and it means our staff taking the time to listen to parents and carers so that we can make suitable accommodations to our grotto experience to make it personal for every child.

This all wouldn’t be possible without the support from our amazing friends at Stagecoach who have worked tirelessly to pull this together with us. Many of their drivers are also fundraising on their buses in fancy dress to fundraise for us in the lead up to Christmas.

It’s not every day that you see a Christmas pudding driving the number 40 into town, but I am pleased to say that I have and it really made my day. Thanks also to NE1 who have be superstars in supporting us with this event too.

Please visit our Facebook and Instagram pages to see up to date information about our Santa’s Grotto Bus (@sunshinefund). We’re all big kids at heart so even if you don’t have a child to bring along, we’d love for you to still come over and say hi as a loyal Sunshine News reader!

We’ll see you on Northumberland Street!

Siobhan x