Hi Sunshine News Readers,
Firstly, we’d like to wish you all a very Happy New Year from all of us at Team Sunshine! And with a new year comes lots of new events, some of which have been launched, and some of which are still in the pipeline, waiting to be announced…
We’ve kicked off 2024 by announcing our annual trek, and what better time to launch it than in January, where many of us are looking at setting ourselves fresh challenges and personal goals and targets. Myself included (eek!), as I will be representing Team Sunshine as we take on a 13-mile hike along one of the North East’s most iconic landmarks.
That’s right, we’ll be taking a team of challengers across Hadrian’s Wall, home to some of the region’s historic sites such as Thirlwell Castle, the Housesteads Roman fort, Steel Rigg, Walltown Crags, Crag Lough and, of course, the recently felled Sycamore Gap. We will be guided by the trusty team at Challenge Northumberland, who assure us that the 13 mile walk will push trekkers to their limit as they aim to conquer steep inclines, including its highest point at 1,000ft, and complete the challenge in under eight hours.
Neville Duncan, director, says: "Challenge Northumberland are delighted to be supporting the Sunshine Fund on this amazing trek challenge in 2024. The route we are supporting is both stunning and very challenging, the climbs to the highest points on Hadrian's Wall are truly breath-taking in many ways.
"Your efforts will be rewarded with panoramic views towards the borders, Cumbrian Coast and the Tyne Valley, in our opinion the toughest and best 13 miles of Hadrian's Wall. We look forward to seeing everybody in May 2024.”
We are also looking forward for the return of our Evening of Spiritual Mediumship night which will take place next month! We’ll be joined by local spiritualist medium and friend-of-the-charity, Stephen Crawford, at Shearer’s Bar on Wednesday, February 7 for an evening of live readings and a charity raffle. Tickets are available here and include a welcome drink on arrival.
In more imminent news, our first fundraiser of the year will take place next week, as we collaborate with the Newcastle Falcons. We paid the team a visit this week and we can’t wait to grow our relationship with them as we will be collecting at Newcastle Falcons’ game against Benetton on Friday, January 12 at Kingston Park Stadium. The European rugby clash, which kicks off at 8pm, sees the Falcons continuing their partnership with our charity, which provides specialist and adapted equipment to children aged 0-19 living with disabilities, additional needs, chronic and terminal illness in the North East region.
Newcastle Falcons players have enthusiastically engaged with the Sunshine Fund in recent weeks, helping with our Christmas grotto during the festive season, and supporters will now have the chance to get behind our local charity. As a small charity we receive zero statutory funding, and it’s fundraisers like this that we thrive on, that allow us to continue our work and support young people in our region, when demand for life-changing equipment is growing.
And speaking of fundraising and support from organisations, we have a few others we’d like to thank. Firstly, we want to shine a spotlight on the team at Irwin Mitchell, who not only provided volunteer support at our Santa Grotto Bus, but also held their very own fundraising festive quiz in the week before the Christmas break.
The team managed to raise at least £150 in just one afternoon, which is an amazing Christmas gift to us. It sounds like the quiz was a success and was a lovely way for employees to get involved in festive activities, whilst also providing essential support to our charity.
We’ve also been pleased to provide some of our families with tickets to local shows over the festive period, courtesy of several organisations and trusts who kindly donated us the tickets. We’d like to thank the Barrie Wells Trust who donated tickets to Disney on Ice at the Utilita Arena. All our families had a fantastic time seeing their favourite characters and we even had our very own princess who dressed up for the show!
Also at the Utilita Arena was Elf the Musical, where Kids Out gifted tickets for 5 of our families on New Years Eve and they had a great time (they even had a snowball fight!) - what a fun way to end the year! We then started the year at Northern Stage who supported us through their Pay It Forward Scheme; so far they’ve helped 2000 kids access the theatre for free.
We attended two shows, Cinderella – The Fairytale and The Three Bears, and were gifted 20 tickets for each shows. Our older Sunshine Kids had a great time at the modern take on an old story and our younger families enjoyed a winter adventure in the woods!
What a fabulous way to kick off what we anticipate to be an incredible year. Find out more about all our events here.
Thanks for reading,