Hi Sunshine News readers,
It’s a busy week here at Sunshine HQ as make our final preparations for our black-tie Question of Sport quiz and dinner, which is now less than a week away! We are all very excited and everything is falling nicely into place. In addition to the sports quiz, we have some fantastic games and activities planned, with a plethora of unmissable prizes and experiences up for grabs!
After much persuasion, the team at NatWest, who won the quiz last year, have returned the coveted Question of Sport trophy, and while it was difficult for them to part ways, the trophy is all ready for this year’s winning team.
Only one team can win; will it only be a short break from NatWest, or will a new team of competitors take the winning spot? We can’t wait to find out – all we know is that there will be some fierce competition in the room next Thursday.
This week though, we’re celebrating Trustees’ Week, which runs from the 6th – 10th November. This is a chance for charities like ours to celebrate those who commit their time and skills to help us thrive, and to make us the best that we can be.
We’re very lucky to have a diverse board of trustees from a variety of different backgrounds. We have individuals from local businesses, from a medical background, a legal background, as well as those with lived experience, which is so important for a charity like ours.
Our trustees attend quarterly meetings with our Charity Director, where they discuss what has been done, what needs to be done, and how they can help to achieve the charity’s goals. This may be through suggesting ideas, by donating time to volunteer, by providing networking opportunities and linking to key contacts, and by skill sharing and allowing use of their resources.
Our board of trustees currently consists of 12 individuals, all of whom can contribute different skills. Our board has grown in the last year with several new faces, and we spoke to one of our newest members, Reece Jensen, Head of Public Sector Procurement & Strategy at Northern Gas & Power, whose lived experience makes him an asset to our board.
“As a trustee, I am proud to be part of a charity that embodies the spirit of positive change. Personally, I have a diagnosis of autism, I became involved because I believe in its mission to create a more inclusive world and I wanted to give something back to our local community.
"It's inspiring to see the impact it has on people's lives, especially those who, like me, once felt the separation from mainstream activities. I'm most proud of our unwavering commitment to breaking down these barriers and fostering inclusivity.”
“Moreover, our charity plays a crucial role in supporting families who often have nowhere else to turn for the equipment their children need. We provide a lifeline, offering hope and assistance where it's desperately needed.
"My hope for the future is that we continue to grow, touch more lives, and drive meaningful change in our community, ensuring that no one feels left behind and every family can access the support they require.”
As a small charity that receives zero statutory funding, we rely solely on the generosity of our supporters to help us continue our work, and its thanks to our growing community of supporters that we can progress and grow.
We are approaching our 100th anniversary and have survived difficult challenges, most notably the pandemic. However, as demand for specialist and adapted equipment grows, we rely on the support from organisations and individuals now more than ever to allow us to fund these items for local babies, children and young adults living with disabilities, additional needs and terminal illness.
At the moment, each equipment round costs upwards of around £30,000, and we have children waiting patiently, but desperately, for their equipment to be funded. This equipment can significantly change the lives kids and their families, whether it’s larger items like specialist seating or adapted wheelchairs, or smaller items such as sensory tools that help children self-regulate safely and independently, or IT equipment that helps children with complex needs progress their learning away from school and develop communicative skills, every piece of equipment is just as important as each other.
As we approach Christmas, we’d like to remind readers that there are many ways to support our small, local charity, no matter your budget. We’ve set up an Amazon Wishlist which contains several outstanding items from our waiting list, and we will be updating this regularly.
If you would like to purchase a piece of equipment that will go straight to a child that is waiting for it, or if you would like to purchase an item that will support our events, please visit https://amzn.to/3SApPsy, or scan the QR code below.
You can make a monetary donation using the options at the end of this column, through our website, on your phone or by cheque. You can also play our weekly lottery for just £1 per ticket, and have the chance to win something back, whilst generating regular, sustainable funding for us.
As well as the national prize of £25,000, you can win monthly bonus prizes plus a local prize pot. This month, players can win a £1,000 gift card for John Lewis & Waitrose! Simply visit https://bit.ly/3WYQkbm to sign up today.
We understand that many people no longer have the budget to make charitable donations, but there are ways you can support us without spending a penny. Follow our social media and engage with our posts, share news of our upcoming events and spread our name.
Growing our audience via social media has so much impact, as it helps families find us, and can get our message to those who can support us financially. You can find us on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok (@sunshinefund), and on LinkedIn and YouTube.
You can also volunteer for us at one of our events, whether it’s helping out a family event or enjoying a night of glitz and glamour at one of our black-tie events; we always appreciate an extra pair of hands, so donating your time and skills helps us massively.
Thanks for reading!