A really grand day out … at Disability Rocks!!

A really grand day out … at Disability Rocks!!

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Well what a brilliant day we had at Disability Rocks last Saturday … the sun shone, there was music, there was singing … there was signing with the Roundhay and Otley Ukulele bands …

There were stalls and activities¬†for everyone to enjoy … crafts, facepainting, storytelling, drumming… a wonderful play area … delicious food and cakes …

And not a drop of rain this year!!

It was great to see so many Sunshine and Smiles families there .. catching up or making new friends ūüôā

 

 

Raising Awareness …

Raising Awareness …

Sometimes it seems that our newsletter is full of busy-ness about what groups and activities are happening and all the fab fundraising that is going on.

While these are clearly very important parts of Sunshine and Smiles … we have also been working hard over the last 3 years to create good links with healthcare professionals, in particular, to raise awareness about having a child with Down syndrome, to share up to date, balanced information and sharing personal experiences & thoughts to try to ensure families get the best support and advice possible from professionals supporting them.

We know that there is still a lot of work to be done but we have been very pleased to have been invited to the paediatric training unit over the last few months to deliver short workshops to nursing staff from both Leeds General Infirmary and St¬†James’s Hospitals. We also delivered an hour long presentation to midwives at St James’s hospital and showed them our ‘Proud’ – World Down Syndrome Day video¬†and we were also invited to co-deliver another half-day Tell it Right, Start it Right training day with the Down’s Syndrome Association for midwifery students at the University of Leeds.

These workshops are supported by the Yorkshire Venture Philanthropy Fund, Leeds Community Foundation and the European Regional Development fund.

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We hope that by sharing knowledge and experience that this will challenge preconceptions that people may have and that they will in turn share balanced and sensitive information with new families to support them in the best way possible.

If you would like to get involved in this kind of awareness raising or training please get in touch with us by emailing ailith@sunshineandsmiles.org.uk … as everyone’s experiences and stories are so unique and so important.

Thank you.

Our super Spring fair!! :-)

Our super Spring fair!! :-)

What a wonderful Spring fair we had¬†on the 23rd May…. in partnership with Phoenix Health and Wellbeing…

It was so lovely to see so many people there enjoying the garden, sampling all the wonderful stalls and therapies¬†… eating cake … there were lots of Sunshine and Smiles!!!

It really struck us after the day that events like that don’t happen without so much kindness and goodwill … the number of people who worked so hard, who gave up their time, baked cakes, donated beautiful things they had made or donated well loved things that they were ready to hand on … and of course everyone who came to support the day … friends and new friends … it was just lovely… so thank you to everyone who made our Spring fair what it was!!

And on top of all the loveliness we raised ¬£704 throughout the day plus Marc Butterworth¬†from Haighmoor Honey / Tingley Bees has raised ¬£471.25 via Local Giving¬†which included¬†¬£140 that he made on the day that he has kindly donated¬† to Sunshine and Smiles, and his employers¬† Legal and General will hopefully match fund his donations meaning that we have raised a¬†total of over ¬£1646.00¬† … thank you everyone for your generosity in so many ways!!

Some of these funds will go towards creating a partnership with Phoenix Health and Wellbeing so that our families can access any of their wonderful therapies and support, anytime, free of charge.

Volunteer Gardening Day :-)

More thank you’s … this time to a team of brilliant volunteers from International Personal Finance and Financial Force 4 Good who came and spent a whole day with us on the 21st May to get the garden tidied, spruced up and ready for our Spring fair on 23rd May.

Everyone worked tirelessly and with such good humour and fun … and with Lorna’s vision and perseverance we even managed to move the Willow shelter from the front of the hall into the back garden so we can all enjoy it a bit more!

The garden is now looking wonderful and we feel so lucky to have this space to be able to use on a regular basis … thank you to all you fabulous people!!

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Arena Group Leeds Mini and Junior Fun Runs – Saturday 11th July!

Arena Group Leeds Mini and Junior Fun Runs – Saturday 11th July!

We are delighted to have been chosen as the official partner charity for this year’s Arena Group Junior and Mini Runs in Leeds on July 11th .. starting at 10am from Leeds Dock near the Royal Armouries.

We will have a gazebo at the start and finish to say hello and well done to all our runners and let people know about what we do. There will also be a cheer point out on the run so we can give everyone lots of support and encouragement!!

Sadly we have just found out that children under 3 can’t run due to UK Athletics Rules but we would love any of our families who want to be involved to come and join us at the start or at the cheer point to support everyone.

We are so looking forward to seeing all our Sunshine-y and Smiley people on the day.

You can sign up for the run via this link: http://www.runforall.com/junior/leeds/

If anyone would like two people to run with their child please just register both adults individually with the same child’s details .. this will mean you all get a race number. And if you will be bringing a walker, wheelchair, pushchair or any other walking aid for your child please drop us an email at sunshineandsmiles@virginmedia.com and we will let the organisers know. For health and safety reasons people with walking aids, wheelchairs and pushchairs will start towards the rear of the start line.

In terms of fundraising we have a Local Giving site, very similar to Just Giving but set up for smaller, local charities. You can either use our team fundraising page and send the following link out to all your family and friends: https://localgiving.com/fundraising/teamsunshineandsmiles and people can then make donations on-line.
Or you can set up your own individual¬† fundraising page here: https://localgiving.com/charity/sunshineandsmiles … if you scroll down you
will find a ‚ÄėFundraise for us!‚Äô button on the right hand side of the page. If you have any problems getting a page set up just drop us an email or give us
a call. Again you can then share the link to your page with all your friends and family for them to donate.

It’s going to be fabulous day and we are super excited about a sea of Sunshine and Smiles t-shirts running through Leeds on 11th July…. we hope to see you there!

Fabulous Fundraisers!!

Fabulous Fundraisers!!

This month we have had some wonderful people doing amazing personal fundraising challenges for us so we want to say a huge thank you to:

Paul Digby who completed Leeds Half Marathon.

Mags Cook who completed Leeds Half Marathon.

Chris Paylor who completed Leeds Half Marathon.

Ailith Harley-Roberts who completed the Long Triathlon at Keswick Mountain Festival.

Between them all they have raised a phenomenal ¬£3526.25 … thank you all so much!!

Paul Leeds Half