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Never too early to spread cheer!

Hi Sunshine News reader,

It’s been another busy week for us with Christmas being the word of the week! As a team who adores the festive season and all the fun it brings, we can’t wait to see what 2021 has in store…

Our Charity Director, Siobhan, had a very exciting meeting with Community Champion, Karen Colley from Tesco at Kingston Park. Tesco recently granted us £1,000, with Groundwork, through their ‘Bags of Hope’, now known as ‘Tesco Community Grants’ in-store token scheme which will go a huge way in supporting us help more North East families. We’ve loved this project for many years as it’s done wonders in helping thousands local charities, schools and organisations to fund amazing projects. Next time you’re in a participating Tesco store, remember to nominate a good cause with your tokens before you leave, it means the world to us all.

Siobhan and Karen discussed some top-secret fundraising plans for Christmas and confirmed that we will be one of their nominated charities over the festive season and will welcome our carol singers into their stores to fundraise.

Siobhan said, “This news just filled me with pure joy, after a deflating 2020 Christmas, we can’t wait to bring back community carol singing as it brings so much happiness and is a huge symbol of Christmas spirit for many. I can’t disclose some of the other plans we discussed but I promise, we will be bringing you as much magic, sparkle and wonder as we can. Even having a face-to-face meeting and a coffee with Karen this week was magical after so long doing virtual calls. She was so enthusiastic and passionate about supporting our cause, sharing many of our charity values that we are really looking forward to working with Karen and her colleagues at Tesco in the coming months. Watch this space!”

For those of you who are still enjoying the spells of North East sunshine too much to even acknowledge the dark nights cutting in let alone the prospect of Christmas, we wanted to share another Sunshine Family update.

Meet 11 year old Rio. Rio has a genetic syndrome called ARID1b which affects his development and his vision meaning he is partially sighted. He has poor focus and attention and can need a lot of supervision when out and about to support him and keep him safe as he can be very impulsive. Rio’s Mum Ali applied to The Chronicle Sunshine Fund earlier this year for an iPad Pro which would enable him to do schoolwork through Google Classroom and talk to family and friends more during isolation. His existing iPad mini was difficult for him to see and read and so the iPad Pro software designed specifically for children with disabilities and additional needs was perfect for him.

Ali said “Rio is so proud of his new iPad and is taking good care of it developing responsibility and ownership over something so beneficial to him. He is able to access apps independently as he can now see them. The KNFB software installed also helps him to be able to take a photograph of print in the home or environment and it will read the text to him.”

And what better review than that of Rio himself, “My iPad has helped me with my school work. I can log on Google Classroom and even do Google Docs to send my teacher my work. I have had to this a lot because I have had to isolate. I can take photographs of things I can’t see and it reads it out to me. I have taken pictures of my Pokemon books and it has read it out loud to me.

I can do my Times Table Rockstars maths and I like watching Netflix and face timing my Grandad who lives in Spain.”

Thank you again if you’ve supported us in recent months as your donation would have supported Rio and many others who applied to us. Visit our website to get involved and find out how to donate:

Have a wonderful weekend,

Lauren x

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