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We wish you a Merry Christmas

Hi and welcome to our final Sunshine news column of 2021,

What a year its been! Plenty of ups and downs for us as a small charity and for the families we have supported throughout the pandemic.

We’ve all been affected by rising costs this year and none more so than the families of children with additional needs.

We already know it costs three times more to raise a child with disabilities than an able-bodied child and that the equipment we provide is generally out of the financial reach of most families.

For example, a standard child's bike can cost around £80.00 whereas an adapted bike for a child with mobility and dexterity issues can be up to £1,400.

That’s a staggering difference and means many children with disabilities will simply go without this beloved childhood experience, because their parents cannot afford this expense.

When you add the additional rising costs of fuel and food, plus the numerous barriers to work our parents face, many of the families we support are facing poverty, meaning more local families than ever before are relying on charities like ours for help.

We saw an 82% increase in demand for equipment between our summer and winter rounds this year, meaning your donations have been more essential than ever before.

We remain committed to ensuring every child in our region has the things they need to help them live their lives to the fullest.

Thank you to each and every person who has donated to our Christmas Appeal. You have helped us spread some much needed festive sunshine this year.

This week our team had one of our regular Team Planning Sessions and we are honestly so excited to launch a plethora of events in 2022.

There’ll be the return of some old favourites which we haven’t been able to host due to the pandemic, and even a few new events too.

We are looking forward to giving the families and organisations we support lots of opportunities to make special memories together in a safe way.

Don't forget to follow our social media channels to keep up to date with all of our news and be the first to know about our 2022 events.

Regular readers will know we held our annual Christmas Jumper Day last week and we wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who took part.

We loved seeing your photos and videos of your Christmas antics, its definitely made us feel more festive here at Sunshine HQ! Here’s Freya and her brother Heath donning their festive knits!

We wanted to take this opportunity as a team to say a huge thank you to all of our Sunshine News readers, supporters and donors who have supported The Chronicle Sunshine Fund this year.

Your donations have changed the lives of hundreds of babies, children and young adults by providing over 96 pieces of specialist and adapted equipment this year to individuals and organisations.

From beds and wheelchairs, adapted seating and car seats, to sensory and IT equipment, you have helped these children be safe and comfortable.

You have helped them to laugh, learn and play and that’s what we thank you for the most.

We’ll be back in the New Year with more family stories, news from the charity and ways for you, our loyal readers, to make a real difference to the lives of a disabled or terminally ill child here in the North East.

We wish you all a peaceful Christmas.

Stay safe and well. Siobhan x