Caroll’s Column Thursday 6th April

06 Apr Caroll’s Column Thursday 6th April


So it’s April. We’re a quarter of the way through the year. The leaves are appearing on the trees and the weather’s heating up. I hope all your New Years resolutions are coming to fruition.

At the Sunshine Fund in January our plans were to reach more people who needed our help and make sure they applied for specialist equipment for their children to make their lives better.

I’m delighted to say through spreading the word and asking others to spread the word, it’s working. We have received more applications this month than any other since I joined the charity nearly seven years ago which is fabulous.

We have lots of iPad requests to help with communication and concentration. We also have specialist beds to keep children safe and secure.

Recently we have also received a lot of trampolines for rebound therapy and sensory equipment for calming and stimulation.

That all sounds very nice and not exactly life changing but when we actually meet the Children and the families and hear about their everyday lives of medication, hospital visits and health traumas such as fits, seizures and constant operations, they tell me that our equipment can be a godsend. Or at least a much needed lift and distraction. I hope you will help us to continue to spread the word to anyone in the North east that has a child under nine years old, who is disabled or has a life limiting illness.

The second part of our plan in January was to make sure we received enough money to be able to buy all the equipment that was needed. We are so grateful to all our supporters who fundraise or donate throughout the year as we couldn’t help all our kids without your support.

Not only do we need to look after our current supporters and organise events for everyone to attend we also need to try and get more people to support the Sunshine Fund to buy the additional equipment requests. I’m hoping you can help! If you can just do one thing this week please tell someone you think may be able to help about the Sunshine Fund and what we do.

If they have a business they could put one of our collection boxes on a counter for their customers to put their loose change in. Maybe you know runners that may want to take part in our 5k Sunshine run in June or want a place for the Great North Run or Junior Great North Run. Or maybe someone that has some free time to volunteer placing collection boxes or helping getting raffle prizes, this would be a massive help for us. Or maybe they would just like to donate, it’s simple but very effective and we can let you know what their money actually buys.

If anyone would like to help or discuss further please call the office on 0191 2016289, Rebecca and I would love to hear from you.

Rachel held her first successful family support group this week where the families were able to share their thoughts and experiences. It was great to hear some really lovely positive stories about the kids. Unfortunately it was also very disturbing to also hear of instances where the families had suffered awkward and embarrassing times through people’s thoughtlessness.

Hopefully through raising awareness of disability we can educate people so they don’t stare or ask why a child is being disruptive if they are struggling with their surroundings.

Parenting is hard but looking after a disabled child is much much harder, the parents and carers need support not criticism. Sorry for my rant but I speak to so many lovely families who deserve medals for how they cope. So thank you Rachel for organising this event, I hope this meeting grows so we can support more local families, please call Rachel on 01912016068 if you are interested in getting involved.

Thank you Miss Newcastle contestants who continue to raise money for the Sunshine Fund with Bijoux bar choosing their winner last week. Thanks to all their kind customers for raising money for the Sunshine Children.

Miller Homes are again donating Easter Eggs to the Sunshine fund which I’m sure some of our children and their brothers and sisters will enjoy next week. They donated over 400 Easter eggs last year and are hoping for even more this year.

They will be split between The Sunshine Fund, Action for children and Home Start. If anyone would like to help them beat last year’s total you can drop the eggs at any Miller Homes sales centres in the North East before Sunday night.

I hope you have a lovely week, bring on the Easter holidays.


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