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Uplifted by our next chances to change lives

Hi Sunshine News Readers

How is it the end of January? I'm still mentally processing last March….

This week, our team have been planning for Spring and Summer so despite the icy weather conditions outside its felt positively tropical for Team Sunshine. We will be purchasing another batch of specialist and adapted equipment for babies and children across the region in February so that always gives us a spring in our step!

We started the year with lots of catch up calls and virtual meetings with our corporate partners such as Sage, Stagecoach and St James Square (We do partner with organizations that don't start with a S too!). Its difficult to plan physical events with so much uncertainty around restrictions so we have loved working with our friends at Cintra and Barclays to create bespoke fundraising activities that they can do safety while still raising vital funds for our charity. There's no doubt, as a small charity, we have a tough year ahead of us but we know with such loyal supporters we will weather this storm!

We have also had some lovely chats with many of our families too and while its been great to check in with them and to hear lots of positive news, we are aware that so many of our families, old and new, are struggling with the new lock down. The effects of lockdown on people with additional needs can be even more profound and can create a whole range of problems as well as emotional and mental stresses that perhaps were not a part of their condition initially. Children living with autism or sensory issues, for example, can feel overwhelmed with sudden changes in routine and often have real difficulty with, or are simply unable to, process new rules and restrictions. One parent spoke recently about how difficult her child has found it being unable to visit Grandma because not only does he miss her cuddles so much, to him grandma’s house is his safe space where he can recover after feeling anxiety and experiencing upset. We can only hope that we will all be back with our loved ones soon and that the families we support can find the routine and reassurances they desperately need.

Finally I just want to say a huge thank you to all our column readers, whether you get your Friday copy of the Chronicle with your weekly shopping, you read about our week on In Your Area or you head over to our website to see what we are up to we really appreciate you taking the time to follow our stories and hear about the work that we are doing locally. If you would like to learn more about our charity or how you can get involved, please head over to our website and meet the team!

Stay safe, stay well.