14 Jul You all happily went bananas – and the kids love you for it
The future is looking brighter for disadvantaged children across the North East – and it’s all thanks to you.
The Chronicle’s Sunshine Fund smashed its £60,000 fundraising target for June – so thanks for going bananas!
We launched our annual month-long campaign to raise funds for needy kids at the beginning of June and asked for your help.
We invited members of the public to organise their own events, take part in one organised by the charity, or simply make a donation to help us reach our target.
And thanks to your generosity, we reached our £60,000 goal.
The cash will be used to provide life-changing specialist equipment for 10 disabled children.
Caroll Pattison, Sunshine Fund director, said: “Thank you so much to everyone who has contributed to the Go Bananas appeal this year, every penny counts.
“Chronicle readers can be very proud knowing that they have raised an incredible £60,000 in one month. This means all 10 of the children from the appeal and the organisation will be getting their equipment now, which will be amazing for the families this summer.
“I would also like to thank intu Eldon Square and intu Metrocentre for sponsoring the campaign and to their staff for their support in organising events and fundraising.
“I am truly overwhelmed by people’s generosity and the community spirit of North East people and can’t wait for you to see all the children’s pictures in paper throughout July so you can see that your money went to very deserving children.”
Cheeky Charlie Atkinson is one of the youngsters who will benefit from your kindness.
The nine-year-old, who lives with his mum Kristie Marsh and younger brother Frankie, in North Shields, has autism and a learning disability which means he needs to be stimulated with sensory equipment.
Thanks to you, the Sunshine Fund’s Go Bananas appeal will now be able to help the family with a £820 ground trampoline with night lights, developed to hold Charlie’s attention span and give him some independence.
Smiling tot Penny Turner will also benefit from your kindness.
Penny is 22 months old and has spina bifida.
Within 24 hours of her birth she underwent her first operation to tackle a condition which doctors warned could have serious knock-on effects on her mobility.
We will now be able to buy Penny a wheelchair, costing just over £2,200. Clare Savory, community manager for intu, said: “We were delighted to sponsor this year’s Go Bananas campaign for the second year running.
“The staff thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the fundraising activities from the Sunshine Run to the wheelchair basketball.
“I’m overjoyed that the target has been achieved, between both centres together raised just over £10,000, it really was a great team effort by all departments.
“It was my pleasure to meet all the families the campaign has supported and I can’t wait to see all their new equipment at the celebration party.”
As part of our month-long fundraising efforts, six teams battled it out in a wheelchair basketball tournament to help raise cash for children with disabilities.
The event was hosted by the Metrocentre as part of the company’s sponsorship of the Go Bananas appeal.
And hundreds of happy fundraisers wore yellow items of clothing to show their support.
Schools, workplaces and community groups got colourful in aid of the charity, paying £2 each to help disabled children across the North East.
Runners also did their bit by taking part in the Sunshine Fund fun run along the Quayside.