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Hello Sunshine News Readers

It’s Rachel writing to you this week. I am the Family Coordinator for The Sunshine Fund and I am so delighted to be back (after what feels like forever!) and getting stuck into supporting our local families.

I’ve been super busy during October reaching out to families and professionals around the region to let them know they can apply to us for specialist equipment. I’ve also launched our Outreach service, including a new Outreach Hotline (and yes, Siobhan is referring to it as the Bat Phone but sadly I wasn’t given a nifty costume to go with it!). This number is a direct way to reach me and get advice and support about our service – either via call or text. We know that we all have different preferences about how we want get in touch with each other so hopefully this new service will help parents and carers of children with special needs to reach out in a way that is comfortable for them. You can contact me on: 07593 298 541 – if I don’t pick up, feel free to leave me a voicemail with contact details and the best time to call you back. I usually work Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. As always, my email inbox is always open so you can alternatively drop me an email to rachel.kaczmar@reachplc.com. We are here to support families in applying to us in any way we can, from a quick query to a full 1:1 telephone or zoom appointment.




Looking ahead to November and things are not slowing down at all! Our equipment assessment panel meeting is taking place next week; thanks to the commitment and dedication of our lovely volunteer therapists, an essential part of our wider Team Sunshine. We have seen a huge increase in demand for equipment in the last few months, particularly for IT and Communication aids to support children and young people with their education; and many, many requests for essential living aids like specialist beds, chairs and feeding equipment. We’ve had requests for mobility items like trikes, adapted bicycles, off road wheelchairs; and therapeutic play equipment such as outdoor activity play sets and sensory dens. Living with a disability creates many different challenges for families and then with the effects of everything around covid-19 on top has had a huge impact on families in many different ways. Many families need specialist equipment to allow them to continue therapy with their children whilst their usual service is paused, or to be able to care for them at home with safe and suitable equipment. Children who have continued shielding or homeschooling need access to safe and appropriate play and education experiences if they are unable to go to public venues. There are so many more examples I could list that highlights the ever increasing importance of the work we do. We’re determined to get our sunshine families the support and equipment they need. If you can get involved with any of our upcoming Christmas Appeal activities, or want to make a donation; you will be directly helping to enhance the lives of local children with disabilities. You can Text To Give: SUNSHINE3 to 70085 to make a one off donation of £3 today. If you’d like to support us on a more regular basis, you can sign up to our fantastic new lottery. Head over to our website: www.sunshinefund.org/donate to find out more!

Take care

Rachel

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