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Time to reflect and move forward

Hi Sunshine News Readers

This week we all too time to reflect upon the last 12 months, with many of us taking part in The National day of Remembrance on Tuesday. The day was a chance for us all to remember those lost to Covid, whether they were people we knew and loved or strangers we have never met. Many of us observed the one minutes silence at noon while others chose to light a candle and come join neighbours on their doorsteps at 8pm to reflect upon the last 12 months and recognise the anniversary of the first lockdown. Local landmarks and monuments such as St Marys lighthouse, Penshaw Monument and the Civic Centre in Newcastle shone yellow in respect and as beacons of hope. So many lives have been lost as a result of Covid 19 and so much has changed over the last 12 months. There's no doubt we will be feeling the effects of the pandemic for many years to come. Tuesday gave us a welcome opportunity to come together in our collective loss and reflect upon a year we will never forget.

The Chronicle Sunshine Fund have long spoken about the direct link between disability and poverty. We know that it can cost more than four times more to raise and care for a child with additional needs and disabilities than their able bodied peers. That's why we are proud to announce that this week, we became a partner of the Voices Project. The project is led by Newcastle University, the Economic Social and Research Council and our good friends at Childrens North East and aims to represent families living in poverty and with disadvantage in our region. The research has a particular focus on the impact of the pandemic and what the effects have been on school aged children. Myself and our Families coordinator Rachel have now had several meetings with the team outlining our involvement and how our charity, and in particular, our own outreach programme, can add value to the research by ensuring that children with additional and complex needs are represented too. The project will be conducted at a regional level but have national implications as we seek to give a voice to children in our region by working with schools and other organisations to speak to children and their families to get their experiences first hand. These accounts will then help to shape policy and aim to bring about real changed for children living in poverty or experiencing disadvantage by addressing their social, emotional and educational needs. Its a really exciting and worthwhile initiative and we look forward to sharing more details with our readers from the events and sessions we attend throughout 2021.

You can find out more here about the project

Finally, for those of you who already play our weekly lottery, you will know how exciting it is to look out for or even receive that all important email on a Saturday night telling you you're a winner! Our lottery is weekly, costs just £1 per ticket and every single ticket you purchase helps us to support local children who need equipment like specialist seats, hoist systems and wheelchairs. Its so easy to sign up, there are cash prizes to be won each week with a jackpot of £25,000 and you can cancel at any time. This week we want to say a huge thank you to all of our Lottery players and an extra special thank you to those players who have won, and chose to donate their winnings back to us! We are always blown away when this happens! Its such a kind gesture and one that is extremely appreciated by the team, trustees and the families we support. Head over to our website for full details.

Stay safe and well.