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Santa meets children with additional needs

Hi Sunshine News Readers,

The snow and cold weather that Storm Arwen brought certainly made it feel a lot like Christmas this week!

Regular readers will know that we hosted our first Stagecoach Santa Grotto event at Tesco Extra Kingston Park last Friday where we welcomed schools, families, and

supporters of The Sunshine Fund to meet the main man himself, SANTA (we know him)!

If you joined us on the day, you may have heard the wonderful Sage Accountancy Choir (Reigning Office Choir of the year don’t you know?) who blew us all away (no pun intended) with their festive renditions and kept us all dancing!

A huge thank you to them for being such amazing Sunshine Fund supporters.

On Saturday we joined forces with our friends at Sunderland Carers Centre in Silksworth where we were able to spread some Christmas Sunshine to over 50 children, young adults and adults with additional needs from all over Sunderland.

It was here we met Ben, who had possibly the longest Christmas list Santa had ever seen!

Due to Ben’s additional needs a visit to see Santa in a mainstream shopping centre, or pop up grotto would be a stressful and worrying experience for him and his parents.

However with the help of The best Father Christmas ever (officially) and The Sunshine Fund, Ben was able to visit Santa in a safe and welcoming environment, which made himself and his parents feel comfortable.

Ben spent over 30 minutes with Santa who patiently listened to him chatting away about the toys on his list with remarkable precision. Santa will have his work cut out getting all that lot together Ben.

The storm scuppered our Sunday event at Killingworth Shopping Centre with the treacherous conditions making it unsafe for our guests, staff and our wonderful Stagecoach team to attend this outdoor event, and we are sorry to any of our supporters who were planning to turn out to meet us.

The good news though is that by Monday Arwen had bogged off, meaning Santa was back on the road and we had a fantastic day visiting the additional needs school, Gibside in Gateshead and Hadrian School in Newcastle.

It is vital that we are able to provide experiences like this to children and adults with disabilities and additional needs and we cannot do this without your support. Visit our website to see how you can support us.

Our next event is Christmas Jumper Day on Friday, December 10. Can Sage hold on to their current Biggest Team title, or will a newcomer steal their crown…..?

You can take part by digging out those Christmas jumpers and making a one off donation by texting SUNSHINE 2 to donate £2. Each donation contributes to our vital work with children all over our region.

Now, do you fancy winning a cash prize of up to £25,000 just in time for Christmas?

It's just £1 per ticket to play our weekly lottery and there are cash prizes to be won, every single week.

And that’s not even the best part, your ticket enables us to provide specialist and adapted equipment to local children who need it and additional support to their families and carers.

You can even sign up on our website today and be included in tomorrow nights draw! Head over to our lottery page, to be in with a chance of winning.

Stay safe and well. Siobhan




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