Caroll’s Column Friday 4th November

04 Nov Caroll’s Column Friday 4th November

CAN you believe we’re in November! Where is the year going? Its start has brought such lovely, sunny weather and, although the week has been chilly, there have been some incredible sunrises and sunsets. Hope you have enjoyed them.

The Sunshine Fund team has had another week of fund-raising and fun!

It was super to welcome everyone to the Hilton Newcastle Gateshead last Thursday for the launch of our Glass Slipper Awards to celebrate inspirational North East ladies.

The event had a lovely, friendly atmosphere.

Please think of all the fabulous ladies you know from the region and take 10 minutes to look at our website and nominate them in one of our seven award categories.

Most of our previous winners said they had never been nominated for anything before and were amazed that people thought so highly of them.

I would like the judges to have lots of entrants to chose from, including high-profile businesswomen and mothers with a lot to juggle in their lives.

They all deserve an award so do something nice today: just make a nomination on our website or call the office for a nomination form.

The three women short-listed in each of the categories will be invited to attend the event on February 24 at the Hilton for free as our guest – which is has to be great incentive to nominate!


We are already getting ready for Christmas and children from the Northern Counties School in Newcastle are designing our Christmas cards. They were delighted to be asked and are working on them now. I can’t wait to see the results and will share them with you in December.

We also launched our Christmas fund-raising appeal this week. We want to raise £30,000 to buy a much-needed minibus for Northern Counties School’s signed singers choir which is struggling with transport at the moment and has had to turn down some events as the choir doesn’t have its own mini-bus and members can’t travel together safely.

I have met the children on many occasions with Mandy their teacher. They are so passionate about performing and it makes a huge difference to their confidence and ability to mix.

They always get me signing and dancing and can’t fail to put a smile on your face when they perform.

If you would like to do something special this Christmas then please help us to buy this mini-bus for the kids. I am going to donate what I would normally spend on charity Christmas cards to the appeal – apologies to the family but I hope you don’t mind and understand that this is something that will last and not just end up in the recycling bin in January.

It would be great if more people would do this – or why not have a mince pie sale or carol singing concert?

I had a laugh with our Sunshine Families group on Tuesday who, when I suggested Christmas fund-raising, decided to do pub collections dressed Santa and his elves. Nice idea Debbie and Rachel and good luck!

Our charity, dedicated to raising funds to buy specialist equipment for disabled children in the North East, has been chosen for Wallsend, Whitley Bay and Gosforth Nationwide Building Society ‘a Community Match’ programme which is super news. Thank you to whoever nominated us.

It means those receiving a charity token in any one of those branches can vote for us and we could end up receiving £600 in January which would buy a trike for one of our children.

Also, the November deadline is approaching for applications for any needed equipment so please spread the word.

If you know of any children with disabilities or life-limiting illnesses in the region who need our help then please ask them to apply. The process is quite simple and they could

receive their equipment by Christmas.

The equipment we buy is very varied although we do receive lots of requests for communication aids such as iPads. We also supply the likes of sensory equipment to help calm children with autisum; trikes to help with leg muscles, overall fitness and confidence, and beds for safety and comfort – whatever will make a difference to the lives of the children and the familiess.

As word spreads, we are helping more and more children each year which is fabulous but we know there are still many more people who we don’t reach so do pass on this message.

I hope you all have a lovely Bonfire Night. Have fun and be safe,


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