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New wheels for family picnic fun

Hi Sunshine News Readers,

We’ve all had an incredibly busy week and have been preparing for some exciting things taking place in Autumn. We’re still sharing stories of our incredible families this June and we hope you loved hearing about Bailey last week. If you head over to our Facebook page (@sunshinefund) you can see a video of Bailey and his specialist Baffin Chair!

This week it’s the turn of 6-year-old Penny and if you’re a long-term supporter of ours, you will probably recognise her. Our team knows Penny and her family very well and its fair to say she radiates sunshine and happiness wherever she goes.

Penny was born with Spina Bifada and in her 6 years, has had over 10 operations including several spinal surgeries. Despite this, Penny can walk short distances but becomes tired very quickly and will often prefer to use her wheelchair when out and about. When Penny was just 3, we funded her very first wheelchair which was unavailable through the NHS due to Penny’s age and wow did she do us proud when in 2019 she won the wheelchair race at the Mini Great North Run with Team Mini Sunshine.

During lockdowns, Penny and her family, including Mum, Dad and her two big sisters, loved going on bike rides together. To enable Penny to take part, Mum Heather attached a trailer onto her bike so that Penny could happily go out with the family. Penny quickly outgrew the trailer and taking into account medical supplies, picnic items and bags for day trips, the family were sadly unable to have any more bike rides. Given the challenges we’ve all faced during lockdown, not being able to share a simple family day out was a huge disappointment, something I’m sure we’ve all appreciated a little more this past year.

Not one to be defeated, Heather scoured the internet for a solution and discovered an E-cargo bike, worth £8,500. The E-cargo bike, an electric bike already fitted with a seat belted seating container, was the perfect solution to enable Penny to participate in family trips again whilst being transported safely and comfortably. Heather applied to the charity earlier this year for funding for the bike and was over the moon upon hearing it was approved at our equipment meeting.

Heather told us, “The bike will allow us to take Penny and all her medical supplies and of course a picnic for many years to come with a very generous maximum weight capacity and plenty of growing space. But the bike will not only allow us to go on family bike rides, it will allow me to ditch the car for the school runs, and also allow my husband who is also disabled with cerebral palsy to transport his daughter. We’re all really excited to get back on our bikes this summer and this equipment means we can and also at the same time do a little something to help the planet. This bike makes a massive difference not just to Penny but our whole family’s lives.”

Penny is patiently waiting for her bike to arrive in time for Summer and we can’t wait to see some pictures of her enjoying it.

As always, we still desperately need donations to enable us to continue funding life changing equipment for our families. Please consider making a donation this month, no matter how large or small. Visit our website to find out how to donate ( or you can post a cheque made out to The Chronicle Sunshine Fund and post to: The Chronicle Sunshine Fund, 2nd Floor, ncj Media, Eldon Court, Eldon Square, Percy Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7JB.

Lauren x



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