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Thank you to everyone who joined our Halloween Sensory Day

Hi Sunshine News readers,

Following the success of last week’s scarefest challenge at Chillingham Castle, the spooky shenanigans continued well into this week, right up to Halloween. On Monday, we kicked off the week at The Metrocentre, where we hosted a Halloween Sensory Day.

The day was divided into two sessions; one in the morning and one in the afternoon, with plenty of activities for children to get involved in, and with space for those needing a quieter area as well, with a ‘sensory tent’ filled with toys. We had a craft area where children could colour in or make their own bat or ghost puppet, with lots of spooky decorations and glitter to get stuck into.

We also had a cake and biscuit decorating station, which was perhaps the most popular (no idea why…), as well as an inflatable backdrop making for excellent photo opportunities. We also had a carved pumpkin so kids could scoop out its innards, and a ‘grave digging’ activity where they could dig out bones from soil.

SPOOKY SEASON: The inflatable backdrop made for excellent photo opportunities

Don’t worry, the ‘bones’ were made from plastic and the ‘soil’ was a concoction of cocoa, flour and oil! Other activities included moulding and cutting seasonal shapes out of playdough, a ‘witches cauldron’ corner with different coloured Gelli Baff to make it shimmer and crackle, and spooky spaghetti, which consisted of food-dyed Halloween-themed pasta, making for a great sensory experience.

These sensory sessions, like all our family events, give our Sunshine Families the opportunity to create and cherish valuable memories in a comfortable environment where accessibility and price aren’t a barrier. We welcome families old and new, and encourage them to join us and participate in activities at their own pace, and whether they stay for two minutes or two hours, or dip in and out, we want parents/carers and their children to feel welcome to do what makes them feel comfortable, and be themselves in a completely non-judgmental environment.

HALLOWEEN SENSORY DAY: There were plenty of activities for children to get involved in

We keep our family events free as we know first-hand the pressure parents can face when they’ve paid for an activity that their child perhaps finds overwhelming, or finds difficult to engage with, or can only deal with for a short period of time. Our family events also allow families to form friendships, meet likeminded people and build a community.

MAKING MEMORIES: The event gave Sunshine Families the opportunity to create and cherish valuable memories

It also allows parents/carers to talk to our team for advice, guidance, or sometimes just a friendly chat. We can talk through equipment applications, or signpost when it’s something we can’t support directly, or simply lend an ear and listen.

Thank you to everyone who joined us on Monday, we had such a fun day and hope everyone else did, too! In other Halloween-y news, our fang-tastic friends at Stagecoach spent a full 10 days collecting donations in buckets on certain bus routes right up until Halloween.

FUN DAY: There were plenty of activities for children to get involved in

This was part of their Chillingham Castle fundraising, and we’re THRILLED to announce that they beat last year’s total, raising a whopping £2,211.31! This is an incredible amount and we feel so touched that so many passengers donated, especially in fairly cashless time, and where we appreciate that for money is tight for everybody, and we’re all feeling the impact of the cost of living crisis.

The drivers pulled out all the stops (!) with their costumes this year, and the effort put into the collections never go unmissed. We can’t thank the team at Stagecoach and everyone who donated enough, and this just goes to show how even the smallest donations all add up to have a huge impact on the lives of babies, children and young adults living with complex needs in our region.

FANG-TASTIC FRIENDS: Stagecoach spent a full 10 days collecting donations in buckets on certain bus routes right up until Halloween

Stagecoach are one of our biggest supporters, from organising multiple collections for us throughout the year, to sponsoring our Sunshine Run 5K for three consecutive years, and so much more. We’re thrilled to be working closely with them again this Christmas for the fifth year running as we collaborate with them on the return of our accessible Santa Bus, which will be back in toon and on the road in December!

Our Santa Grotto Bus will be stationed on Northumberland Street, near TK Maxx, all day everyday from Thursday, December 14 - Sunday, December 17. All visits to Santa are completely free and no booking is required - just turn up on the day and make sure you sign our nice list!

We will also be paying special visits, including the RVI and to a couple of local schools, and we’ll have so much more to announce over the coming weeks. Now that Halloween has wrapped up, we have our highly anticipated Question of Sport quiz and dinner in just two weeks, and then we will be in full Christmas mode! So, keep your eyes peeled for all our festive announcements...

Thanks for reading!

Sophie X



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