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
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.