Thank You Team Sunshine & Smiles

Thank You Team Sunshine & Smiles

On Saturday 7th July & Sunday 8th July a wonderful number of people took part in the Mini & Junior Fun Runs & Leeds 10K to raise funds for Sunshine & Smiles!

Both days were very hot and everyone did so well to run their races & to finish safely …. a total of 42 runners!!!

We are so grateful for everyone’s support and what a fabulous team atmosphere with all the people cheering us on both days too!

So far these all these amazing people have raised £3,619 …. wow… thank you!!!

Cafe 21 … Keep Popping Up!

Cafe 21 … Keep Popping Up!

The Cafe 21 team continue to pop up at a variety of events in & around Leeds!

On 24th June were serving drinks & refreshments for a fundraising Wine Walk in Far Headingley with the proceeds from the event being donated to Sunshine & Smiles.

Then on Friday 29th June we were invited to serve drinks & refreshments for the inaugural event of Sikh Alliance Yorkshire, Love Thy Neighbour,, raising awareness of mental health issues.

Both events were a huge success for everyone involved and Team Cafe 21 worked incredibly hard as always and did us proud!

Marks & Spencer Moortown choose Sunshine & Smiles as Charity of the Year

Marks & Spencer Moortown choose Sunshine & Smiles as Charity of the Year

We are thrilled to announce that colleagues at Marks & Spencer Moortown store have voted Sunshine & Smiles as their Charity of the Year for the next 12 months.

Clare Healey, Charity Co-Ordinator, said

“The store staff were given a selection of local charities and voted for their favourite for this year.  Sunshine and Smiles was a particular favourite because it is a small local charity and it was felt we could help raise awareness as well as making a difference to many local children and young people.”

We are looking forward to working alongside Marks & Spencer and will be doing regular bag packs and collections at the store, as well as getting the team there involved in our activities and events!

Ailith Harley-Roberts, Service Manager from Sunshine & Smiles says “We are so pleased to be offered this opportunity with Marks & Spencer and to be working as a team to raise funds & awareness for Sunshine & Smiles. We hope this partnership will be of great benefit to both organisations.”

Education, Health & Care Plans – Survey regarding changes to Multi Agency Panel (MAP) meetings

The Special Educational Needs Statutory Assessment & Planning team – otherwise known as SENSAP have contacted us about some proposed changes to the Multi Agency Panel (MAP) meeting which make the decision about whether to proceed with an assessment for an Education, Health & Care plan once a request for an assessment has been submitted by a family or an educational setting.

The reason for the proposed changes is that there are a large number of assessments being requested but only a limited number of spaces allocated for families to attend the MAP meetings, SENSAP have advised that they would like to increase the number of spaces available for families to attend but they have had to make some recommendations to how they would change the current processes to create more spaces for families.

They have come up with 3 options which we have added into a survey so that you can read through and then click for your preferred option – we will then feedback responses from our group to SENSAP.

It will only take a few minutes to read and complete and I am sure everyone will agree it is very important that families have their voices heard in this process and how it can best represent them & their child or young person.

If anyone has any questions please feel free to email me:

The link to the survey is here:  SENSAP MAP Meeting Survey

Nominate Sunshine & Smiles for Ison Harrison’s Big 40

Nominate Sunshine & Smiles for Ison Harrison’s Big 40

To celebrate their 40th Anniversary Ison Harrison Solicitors will be supporting 40 local charities to receive a special gift … this could be anything from a cash donation to a gift experience for the charity and it’s members.

But they need the help of the local community to choose those 40 charities!

We would love for Sunshine & Smiles to be chosen to receive support from Ison Harrison as there are so many ways in which a gift from them could help!

So we are asking everyone to take a couple of minutes to nominate Sunshine & Smiles to them to be in with a chance of being one of the 40 chosen charities!

If you could make a nomination we would be very grateful … and the link to read more and make a nomination is here: Read More & Nominate – The Big 40

Thank You Dman & friends!

Thank You Dman & friends!

Thank you to Dman & friends (AKA Lyall’s brother Dan) who arranged an inclusive and accessible club night on Saturday 16th June at Hyde Park Book Club.

It was a very relaxed & friendly atmosphere with family focused fun & activities for the early part of the evening which many of our Sunshine & Smiles families enjoyed.

The rest of the night also proved to be a huge success with people partying until 4am!

What a fantastic idea and hopefully something Dman & friends can build on for future events that promote inclusion and accessibility for all at club nights!

Not only was the evening fantastic the event has raised £1100.00 for Sunshine & Smiles … a huge thank you from all of us Dan!!


Sunshine & Smiles – Speech & Language Sessions Review

Sunshine & Smiles – Speech & Language Sessions Review

As many people know our Speech & Language groups are a vital & core part of the support Sunshine & Smiles offers – when we first started up, this is what people told us that they really needed and wanted and it was the first thing that we fund raised for! We were able to set up 4 Speech & Language groups per month.

5 years later and we are now offering 17 Speech and Language groups each month – at a cost of £60 per group. This is our single biggest financial outgoing each year.

The reason for the long post is that over the last few months we have really seen a drop in attendance at the sessions meaning sometimes we only have 1 or 2 children or young people in each group – we understand that people have many other appointments and commitments and that sometimes it is just not possible to attend.

As we approach the Summer break we feel it is a good time to review the current groups ready for September.

We really don’t want to stop running any of the groups but we also need to think about how we are spending our hard raised money (by so many different people) to ensure we are using it for everyone’s benefit.

Our current Speech & Language offer is:

6-12 months – 6 week baby sign course

12 months – 4/5 years – pre-school Speech & Language Sessions on a Monday or Saturday – small groups of 4/5 children plus a parent or carer (Teaching assistants are also welcome if your child is at nursery)

4/5 years and upwards (our oldest member is 23!) – Speech & Language groups on a Wednesday or Saturday small groups of 4/5 children or young people – (again teaching assistants or Personal Assistants welcome)

Whether you currently access a group or not … please could we ask that if you would like your child or young person to be included in a Speech & Language group from September 2018 to complete the attached survey – it will only take a few minutes to complete but will enable us to create the most suitable groups for people and to ensure that we have full attendance at as many groups as possible so that we can continue offer this essential support for all of our families who want it.

Speech & Language Review Survey

Thank you for reading.

Cafe 21 Pops Up Again

Cafe 21 Pops Up Again

On Sunday June 10th we were delighted to be invited to run a pop up Cafe 21 cake stall at an open gardens event near Bingley, with our friend & supporter Dr Shiela Puri.

Louise, Roisin, Lorna, Jenn & Celine set up an amazing Cafe 21 stall with delicious home made cakes and served hot & cold drinks.

It was a very successful day with takings of just over £300 including donations, which will go directly back into running Cafe 21 & Sunshine and Smiles.

As you can see Cafe 21 has been developing since our Carousel pop up in March and we are very grateful for the support of Phoenix & Wolfe Accountancy for helping us to purchase our Cafe 21 gazebo and banners. Thank you too to Ark display who did us proud with the artwork and for making them for us in super quick time!

We are very pleased to say we have a number of other pop Cafe 21 opportunities coming up in July & August … watch this space!


The Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge – Done!!!

The Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge – Done!!!

Thank you so much to everyone who took on the Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge on Saturday 2nd June.

17 amazing walkers setting off from Horton in Ribblesdale at 7.30am to tackle the Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge under the guidance of David Wilson from Experience Northumberland, who has led this walk for us for 3 years now!

Yorkshire’s 3 highest peaks – Pen-y-ghent, Whernside & Ingleborough – 25 miles, 3 peaks, all in a target time of 12 hours!

Raising vital funds for Sunshine & Smiles – Leeds Down Syndrome Network.

Despite a damp and cloudy day, everyone completed the walk safely and agreed it was a fantastic, if tough challenge!

Our favourite quotes from the day:

‘I love these walks because I get to know new people’

‘I didn’t think it would be this hard’

‘I feel like I have conquered the world’

So far the 3 Peaks Challenge Fundraisers have raised a combined total of £1837.50 .. could you help us get to £2000!!??


You can donate to this year’s team: Donate To Us Here


Sign up to another one of our fundraising challenges this year – Leeds 10k on 8th July or the Great North Run on 9th September … drop us an email on or ring 07902 054355

Ailith Harley-Roberts is Awarded Yorkshire Woman of Achievement 2018 for Community Impact

Ailith Harley-Roberts is Awarded Yorkshire Woman of Achievement 2018 for Community Impact

On 18 May, our Service Manager, Ailith  Harley-Roberts was awarded Yorkshire Woman of Achievement 2018 for Community Impact in recognition of her amazing contribution to Sunshine & Smiles, her tireless fundraising efforts and her determination to make a difference.

Ailith said: ‘Sunshine & Smiles is borne out of so many people supporting each other, sharing their stories & experiences and striving to make things different.
The award that I received for Community Impact belongs to everyone who is, has been & will be part of Sunshine & Smiles. The hard work, dedication & commitment of all our staff, volunteers & trustees, the people who run sessions for us & work in partnership with us, our friends & families who enable us to do all the things we do and offer time, love, support & cake in abundance. The people who champion our cause & believe in what we do.We know there is so much more work to do & many more families & young people we need to support better!’

The Sue Ryder Women of Achievement Awards celebrates the achievements of incredible women from across Yorkshire.


The moment Ailith won the Community Award today at the Yorkshire Women of Achievement Awards! Congratulations again lady!

Posted by Kerry Maule on Friday, 18 May 2018

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