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Working life looks a little different for Team Sunshine.

Hello readers! My name is Ashleigh and I am the new Fundraiser at The

Chronicle Sunshine Fund.

I started my role at the charity a month ago. Fast forward to this week I

never envisaged I would be working from home full time, especially with a

6-year-old asking me to go outside to play football every 15 minutes.

Although my son is aware that I have a job, he thinks I colour in bananas

every day as he overheard me discussing our upcoming Go Bananas

appeal which happens annually in June. I think he will be truly

heartbroken when he realises that isn’t what Mummy does for a job, but

given the current circumstances, I don’t want to burst that bubble just


Before self-isolation I was busy every day in the office, leading on this

years Sunshine Run. Working with our lovely new intern, Amy, we were

planning every aspect of this event, from exciting new elements that

would be included in this year’s run to the logistics of the course and the

event security.

The news of Covid - 19 was circulating and we knew it would be

disruptive, but I don’t think any of us realised the magnitude of what was

coming! Emails started to circulate, and we all knew we were going to

have to be incredibly adaptable and versatile within our roles at the


The day came where we had to make the decision to postpone this year’s

event which wasn’t an easy day for any of us. This was also the day we

discovered we would all be working remotely from home.

I am lucky that I have the opportunity to work from home and in a

position to do so! I thought I would be one of those people but my

washing pile keeps staring at me and I never realised how wonky some of

my skirting boards are. As the charities fundraiser I would normally be

meeting local businesses, community groups, schools and the families

who we support. Coming up with new fundraising initiatives, recruiting for

the Sunshine Run and getting everyone involved in our Go Bananas


Now, however, my day starts at 7am when I am dragged out of bed by

my adorable little boy who seems completely unaffected by the pandemic

and just likes the fact he gets to hang out with his Mam all day. We have

breakfast as a family, and I set him away with something he enjoys doing

but is slightly educational. I make my to do list, reply to my emails then

have my daily catch up with the Sunshine Girls. We chat about how we

are feeling, our workload and any support we need from each other. Our

video chats keep us all focused but are also a daily reminder that we are

in this together and will get through it.

This is a troubling time for any business and as a charity that receives no

statutory funding, we rely on the goodwill of individuals to help us

enhance the lives of children with disabilities right here in our region.

Income generation is a huge concern for the charity, the cancellation or

postponement of a number of our fundraising events and appeals is likely

to have a detrimental impact unless we can source funds from elsewhere.

This is where I come in, whilst working at home I am now approaching

trusts and foundations to try and secure grant funding so we can continue

supporting our families. There is a huge amount of online support for

fundraisers who find themselves in a similar situation to me. I have joined

an online support group and a number of fundraising databases who have

waived their subscription fees to support people through these troubling


I remain confident our Sunshine Run will take place later in the year.

Heading into its 19th year, we're hoping to make the 2020 Sunshine Run

5K bigger and better than ever so please start to rally the troops, keep an

eye out for the new date to be announced and help us support disabled

children right here in our North East!

Stay safe out there.

Ashleigh x