Caroll’s Column Thursday 7th January 2016

07 Jan Caroll’s Column Thursday 7th January 2016

Happy 2016 everyone.

Now that the festivities are out of the way and everyone is talking about health and fitness, we have been thinking about how our office can become involved.

And a few New Year challenges have been set, with Clare wanting to lose a few pounds ahead of her wedding; Rebecca on a six-week detox and Julieanne and I training for October’s Grand Canyon trek.

We are planning walks so hopefully the weather will improve.

If you are setting yourself a New Year challenge, why not raise money at the same time through sponsorship to help the local children we support?

It could through dieting, stopping smoking or a decision to sign up for the Great North Run (we have guaranteed places for this).

It was through your generosity that we managed to buy equipment for 30 children before Christmas, which was amazing.

December was also the month for The Holly Ball at As You Like It in Newcastle.

The annual sell-out, now in its eighth year, once again supported the Sunshine Fund and guests enjoyed all sorts of Boxing Day entertainment including DJs, live music, casino tables and a magical outdoor winter wonderland.

We came back to work to 20 more requests for help so we still need your help, whether by fund-raising yourself, taking part in our events, encouraging your company to become involved or by volunteering your time.

We desperately need people to place our collection boxes in local shops, restaurants and bars so if you have a spare couple of hours a month then please let me know.

We always have lots of people to thank as we have so many fabulous supporters.

This week’s special thank-you goes to OPR, a creative communications agency which, for its 10-year anniversary, chose to take on 10 challenges throughout 2015 and raised more than £5,000 for the Sunshine Fund.

So, thank-you Kari Owers and the team: this money has already bought specialist equipment for a couple of children and will go towards helping more in January.

I attended the company’s fashion show and beauty evening which were fabulous events.

The staff really got behind the fund-raising efforts by taking part in our Sunshine Run, the Great North Run and even a climbing challenge in Edinburgh.

I know they have a charity trek planned for 2016 so good luck!

Another thank-you goes to the Institute of Mechanical Engineers which has chosen to support our charity at an upcoming event at Hardwick Hall Hotel in Durham.

Sponsored by British Engines and taking place on Friday, May 13, it promises to be a brilliant night and includes a meal and BBC TV and radio presenter Alan Wright as guest speaker.

Get in touch if you would like to attend.

Clare is working hard on our Glass Slipper awards event which will see us honour some fabulous North East ladies at the Hilton NewcastleGateshead at lunch-time on February 26.

Former Emmerdale star Charlie Hardwick, currently approaching the end of her run in pantomime at the Theatre Royal where she’s playing Spirit of the Tyne in Dick Whittington, will be one of our speakers.

She is a lovely and funny lady and I can’t wait to hear her story.

We still have a few tickets – £50 each – if you would like to join us.

We are the chosen charity for another event to be held at the Hilton: an evening with Kevin KeEgan on Thursday, March 17.

I am so excited about what promises to be a fabulous event offering an insight into Kevin’s time at Newcastle United.

So, we have lots going on this year but we are always looking for new ideas and opportunities so if you think you can help us to reach and support more local children then please get in touch.

If you would like to support us please contact me on 0191 201 6289 or at

For more information check out our website or follow us on Twitter @Sunshine_fund and like our Facebook page Evening Chronicle SunshineFund

To donate please send a cheque to the Chronicle Office, Groat Market, Newcastle, NE1 1ED; telephone the number above; donate at or text SUNF15£3 TO 70070

Take care,


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