Paul’s Column Friday 26th August

31 Aug Paul’s Column Friday 26th August

Hi everyone, Paul here from the Sunshine team, hope your all making the most of the last few weeks of summer and having a blast!

Last Thursday we launched a new group for families we have helped, named “Sunshine Families” with the aim of bringing families together, offer them support, giving them a chance to talk about anything that’s on their mind or just to have a chat in an informal and relaxed atmosphere.

The launch took place at Eldon Leisure, Newcastle, in the soft play area, or to give it its correct name, “Jungle Jack’s Adventure Soft Play”.

Peter Harrison, Duty Manager at Eldon Leisure, very generously made available the area from 6pm until 8pm, arranging for Joanna Hope, a member of the team, to stay and supervise.

Joanne spent time entertaining some of the children, who was excellent and we thank both you for your outstanding support.

The families brought their children along to enjoy the free use of the soft play and they took no encouragement to kick off their shoes and get stuck in.

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The only distractions for the children, a cup of juice and the odd handful of sweets interrupted their fun. It’s a hard life!

They all had a brilliant time while parents could relax and get to know each other.

Heather Turner, who’s daughter Penny has benefited from a manual wheelchair, giving her greater independence said: “Its an opportunity for parents in similar circumstances to meet up and share a common ground.

“Within minutes I was talking to a new mum, sharing hospital stories and discussing our children.

“We just don’t get this normally, it can often be a very lonely place.”

Penny loved her time in the soft play,

Heather added: “Doing this in a relaxed environment knowing my children were safe playing whilst I chatted made all the difference.”

Rachel Kaczmar, mother of Max three, who has also benefited from an ipad to help him with his communication, said: “Everyone has different experiences and sharing those can lead to valuable information like equipment to try, or services that can help.

“We really enjoyed our first Sunshine Families meeting and we are looking forward to more in the future”

Rachel also stated: “To be able to meet with other families in similar situations and talk about things (all kinds of things – not just SEN!) is really positive”.

It was wonderful to bring parents together and listen to them talk, having just met for the first time, sharing their experiences.

This is what the group is aiming for, giving parents much needed support in a very relaxed and informal atmosphere where they feel comfortable to talk.

So, if you would like to know when the next meeting is, we would love to hear from you.

email me at for more information.

Until next week, make the most of the sun!!



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