Tell it Right, Start it Right – coming to Leeds – 3rd April 2014!!

We are delighted that the Down’s Syndrome Association’s training day for health professionals about delivering the news, to expectant and new parents, that their baby has Down Syndrome will be held in Leeds on 3rd April 2014.

More information about the training can be found here:

A number of families and young people who are part of Sunshine and Smiles will be going along on the day to share their experiences and thoughts. We will make sure we share feedback from the event with everyone afterwards.

If you have anything that you would particularly like to share with health professionals but aren’t coming on the day please do email or ring and we will make sure your points are shared at the event.

Tel: 07902 054355 Email:

World Down Syndrome Day 2014 – Wear a Sunshine or a Smile :-)

World Down Syndrome Day 2014  – Wear a Sunshine or a Smile :-)

21st March is World Down Syndrome Day

To raise awareness about Down Syndrome we are asking people to wear a Sunshine or a Smile for the day

The aim is to get people talking about World Down Syndrome Day so you could:
• wear a Smiley or Sunshine badge or sticker
• paint a Sunshine or a Smile on your face
• be a Sunshine by wearing something bright yellow

Just as long as you are Sunshine-y and Smiley all day long to get people talking about Down Syndrome and what it means to them …

We have created a fundraising poster and are hoping to have some smiley stickers (thanks Sharon Townsend for the great idea!!) for the day if anyone is interested in asking their schools, nurseries or workplaces to support the event… just let us know and we will send you some posters and stickers out.

Thank you for your support!!

Scope visit – 17th March – First Steps Booklet



We are pleased to let you know that at our group on 17th March, Emma Rose from Scope will be coming to talk to families about revising the ‘First Steps’ booklet. The booklet was devised for families in Leeds who have a baby or young child with additional needs and has details of a huge range of support and information available in Leeds.

This is the link to the current booklet -

The booklet needs updating now and Scope are in the process of doing this – they would like to come and meet with families to share their progress so far but also to ask for your ideas, opinions and knowledge about what needs to be included.

We will still have our Mini Movers session running but hopefully you will have chance to chat to Emma and if you don’t usually come to the session or have an older child… please don’t worry… come along, you are very welcome and it would be good to get as many people’s opinions and experience as possible.


A very warm welcome to our new volunteer…

… we are delighted that Lily will be joining us as a volunteer at some of our regular groups and activities.

Lily is a student here in Leeds and wanted to give some of her time to Sunshine and Smiles as her Aunt has Down Syndrome and Lily has always helped out with group activities at her local support group back home as well as spending lots of time supporting and being with her Aunt and her friends…

She is really keen to meet everyone and to start her volunteering role.

Thank you Lily…. we very much appreciate your time and support!

Monday 3rd March – Barnardo’s Portage Co-Ordinator visiting

Just to say that on Monday 3rd March at our regular session Kath Harrison-Jennings, the co-ordinator from Barnardo’s Portage Service is coming to visit us to find out more about what we do, talk to families and discuss the possibility of whether we think it would be helpful to consider whether they could offer any portage based support or sessions at the groups – it would be good to hear people’s views and also hear from Kath what their views are about Portage support.
Everyone is welcome to come along regardless of whether they have their child with them or if their child doesn’t usually come to the Monday groups – we will still have our Mini Movers session happening so hopefully parents and carers will have a bit of time to talk to Kath.
Please email us if you have any queries or if you would like to ask Kath anything but you can’t attend the session.
Many Thanks

Enormous Thank You!!!

We would just like to take this opportunity to give a massive thank you to Ouakila Best and the Leeds Masonic Charity – Ouakila wrote to the charity to ask for some funding so that we can make a small welcome pack for new families with a magic bag, a singing hands DVD and other useful resources – on Saturday 8th February Ray Lynas from Leeds Masonic Charity came to our Saturday group and presented us with a cheque for £500.00 which is just fantastic and the first magic bags have gone into production thanks to Lorna Gilbert and Sandeep Assi 🙂

We would also like to say a big thank you to BMB Clothing who raised funds for us in January and sent us a cheque for £132.40 last week – Sandeep’s sister Kul works at BMB clothing and nominated Sunshine and Smiles to receive a donation from their monthly charity collections so thank you to Kul too 🙂

Scope – Free Information Event – Your Rights to Education and Care Support for your Child

Scope – Free Information Event – Your Rights to Education and Care Support for your Child

Free Information Event

For parents and carers of disabled children

Find out more about your rights to education and care support services for your child

This free event will give you a chance to find out about your legal rights and entitlements to education and care support for your child.

Including how to prepare for the up and coming changes and the local offer; challenging decisions and requesting assessments.

Wednesday 19 March 2014

The Heart Centre, Bennett Road, Headingley

Leeds LS6 3HN

10.00am – 2.30pm

Lunch will be provided

Places are limited – to book please contact:

Penny Dickinson: 07834 140 809 or


Opportunities will be available throughout the day to discuss private legal issues with a solicitor from Simpson Millar LLP


Complex Needs Service – Best Start Event 7th May 2014

Complex Needs Service – Best Start Event 7th May 2014

Best Start Event

The complex needs service are holding an event on the 7th May to ask parents, carers and professionals their views about the support and services available to families who have a child with additional needs in Leeds.

Click on the orange Best Start Event link above for more information and also details of how to book a place on the event.

This is our opportunity to bring ideas and views to hopefully agree areas for improvement and shape what happens in the future …. so book a place now 🙂