SPICE – National Citizen’s Service

SPICE – National Citizen’s Service

Busking in Leeds City Centre

A couple of weeks ago we had an email from a Youth group leader asking if they could raise funds for Sunshine and Smiles as part of a project they are doing.

The group are called SPICE – SOCIAL PLANNING IMPROVING COMMUNITIES’ ETHICS/ENVIRONMENT and they are all doing National Citizen’s Service.

National Citizen Service (NCS) is open to all 16 and 17-year-olds in England.

It helps build skills for work and life, while taking on new challenges and meeting new friends.

NCS brings together young people from different backgrounds and helps them develop greater confidence, self-awareness and responsibility. It encourages personal and social development by working on skills like leadership, teamwork and communication.

Participants develop a social action project to deal with a local issue they’re passionate about, and spend 30 hours putting the project into action in their community.

The project that SPICE decided on was to arrange a fundraising charity gig but they have also been busking in Leeds, collecting raffle and tombola prizes and asking local businesses for donations.

They came to meet us a Stainbeck Community Hall and then the next day they phoned to say they were so inspired by what we do but realise we are only a very small charity that they wanted to do something practical for us too!

So a few days later they came back armed with paint and lots of garden decorations that they had managed to get donated and painted the garden fence in fabulous rainbow colours and put up all the decorations.

We cannot thank SPICE enough… they were just great… and made such a difference to our garden space!

With the youth group

The garden looking fabulous with some of the SPICE group!


Super Socatots!!

Super Socatots!!

For the last few weeks we have been doing Socatots at our Wednesday 3-5’s group… the sessions were great… if exhausting! And the children all learnt new skills, developed their confidence and co-ordination … and had loads of fun!

If anyone has suggestions for activities or themes for the regular groups please do let us know and will look into organising them.

Thanks to Liam from Socatots for running the sessions… if you want to know mote about other classes that run in Leeds please have a look at: www.socatots.com/leeds

The Smilers do Streetdance!

The Smilers do Streetdance!

What an amazing session … The Smilers group gave it everything and Karen from Meshdance got everyone doing a whole routine in just over one hours teaching… here are some pictures for you… I think everyone had a great time… we will have to do it again!

Streetdance 2

Wonderful people!

Wonderful people!

As with every month we need to say thank you to some amazing people who have given their time, donated or raised funds to support Sunshine and Smiles!

Firstly to everyone who has continued to help out with bits and pieces on the garden: Lorna Gilbert, Debbie, Kaitlan and Keiran Liley and The National Citizen Service Youth Group … planters have been planted, grass has been sown, the fence has been painted and lots of decorations have been put up … it’s still a work in progress but the last 3-5’s group really enjoyed having their packed lunches out there and having a play as you can see!

Thank you and very well done to Jodie and Dave Barrow who both completed Leeds 10k last Sunday in the sweltering heat… you both did really well and we look forward to hearing how much you raised!

Jodie and Dave - Leeds 10K

And a really heartfelt thank you to Class 8JRW from Ilkley Grammar School who emailed us earlier this month to say they would like to fundraise for us … and they emailed yesterday to say they have raised a fabulous £130.00 … we are going to use the money to make some more ‘magic bags’ as we have given almost 20 away to new families now … the bags include some Makaton resources, a Singing Hands DVD and some little starter toys… they really are magic!