Paul’s Column Thursday 11th August

11 Aug Paul’s Column Thursday 11th August

Hi, hope you are all well and making the most of the fine weather.

It’s Paul Bulmer here; I’m on a three-month secondment from John Lewis and having a fabulous time at the Sunshine Fund.

Everyone on the team is lovely and I’ve been working closely with Rebecca in the office who’s brilliant.

Next week will see the launch of our “Sunshine Families” group.

This is something I’ve set up to so that families we have helped can talk to other families who also children with disabilities.

Nothing is off limits for discussion. Parents might want a question answered, to seek advice, share experiences or just take time out for a chat.

On Friday, July 29 I visited the Riverside home of Durham County Cricket Club, where families we’ve helped turned out and we held a bucket collection before the match against Derbyshire Falcons – a match which Durham won.


The evening was sunny with more spectators turning up than we expected and the supportive crowd gave generously, raising just over £120 for the charity.

England and Durham cricketer Phil Mustard has chosen to support the Sunshine Fund so we thank him for that.

Every penny is appreciated so thanks too to the fans, who continued to add to the bucket during the match even after our official collection, as well as to my mam Ann who I took along and who really got behind the event.

And thanks to the Riverside itself for creating the fund-raising opportunity. We look forward to working with you again.

Last Thursday, August 4, Julieanne, from the Sunshine team, and I visited Ashington Children’s Centre for a presentation to the Little Miracles group.

Staffed by a parent participation worker and community and nursery nurse Susan Dickinson, the group helps families with children with additional needs to make new friends.

A very informal atmosphere quickly put us at ease and we scrapped our presentation plan and chatted one-to-one with parents instead.

At first they told us there was nothing they needed from the Sunshine Fund but, having realised the range of help the charity offers, they soon saw the benefits of applying for help.

The hour spent with these families really opened their minds as to what they could apply for to help improve the lives of their children.

We handed out application forms and these can also be downloaded from our website – but don’t miss the September 9 deadline if you are planning to get in touch.

One of the things I brought away from the visit was the idea that the Sunshine Fund could do more of these informal sessions.

They’re a lovely way to meet the children and their parents and make them aware of what we can do for them.

So, on that note, if you would like us to come along and chat to a group which you think could benefit from more information then drop us an email or give us a call.

The Sunshine Fund can be contacted on 0191 201 6090. Or else pop in to The Chronicle reception in the Groat Market, Newcastle, NE1 1ED, or visit

You can also follow us on Facebook: Evening Chronicle Sunshine Fund and Twitter at @Sunshine_Fund.

Until next week, enjoy whatever you have planned and take care.



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