Last year we have had the privilege of working in partnership with the Taylor’s of Harrogate team at Pagoda House … and they really have worked so hard fundraising for us… special thanks go particularly to Mo Burn, John Hennighan, Tom Dobson, Dominika and Bartlomiej Praga who have gone the extra mile to support us all year.
John Hennighan, the charity co-ordinator from Taylor’s said:
Supporting Sunshine and Smiles as our chosen charity for the year has meant a lot to the staff here at Taylors. The staff choose our charity and several members of our staff have a direct connection to Sunshine and Smiles. We have held plenty of fun events such as a Bingo Night, Quiz, Easter Bake Off and Christmas Auction, as well as regular favourites such as raffles, fantasy football, car wash and golden ball draw. Ailith and the Sunshine and Smiles team have supported us with information about the charity, visits and attending some of our events. Supporting the community is a big part of our daily life here at Taylors and this year, with staff connections and great interaction, has made this year very special.
Oliver receiving our certificate
We were absolutely thrilled to receive a cheque for £8,922.71 at the charity handover on Tuesday. Sunshine and Smiles have been delighted to work in partnership with Taylor’s of Harrogate over the last year. The whole team at Taylor’s have put their heart and soul into fundraising for us and we are extremely grateful for their support. The funds raised will make a huge difference to all of the families who are part of Sunshine and Smiles; it will enable us to develop our individual support to families, maintain our Speech and Language therapy sessions, which are critical for the development of communication for children who have Down syndrome, it will also mean that we can continue to provide fun, social activities where children, young people and their families can come together and enjoy different experiences in a safe, supportive environment. We just want to say a massive thank you to everyone at Taylor’s for commitment and generosity.
Many thanks also to Mandy from WYG who took the fantastic photographs.
Saying thank you to John Hennighan, Mo Burn and Melanie Richardson from the Taylor’s Team
Online Resourcing is delighted to be partnering with the charity Sunshine & Smiles, a support network for children and families who have Down Syndrome.
On Friday 23rd October they welcomed Ailith Harley-Roberts, Co-Founder of Sunshine & Smiles, and George Webster, a 15 year old from Rawdon who has benefited from the support of the charity to their offices at Bowcliffe Hall.
George giving his presentation
The purpose of the visit was for them to meet our whole team and to present to us about the fantastic work they do for Sunshine & Smiles.
Ailith Harley-Roberts said, “It is fantastic that we have the backing of Online Resourcing and we are thrilled by the enthusiasm of the company and its staff for supporting our group for families with a child or young person with Down Syndrome in Leeds. ‘‘We can’t wait to work alongside their team and I am sure there will be benefits and opportunities for everyone involved.’’
We chose to work with Sunshine & Smiles as it is an opportunity to help a local charity grow. The company is also aiming to help teenagers with Down Syndrome to step into the world of work. We will be raising money and awareness about the charity and the issues it tackles through a variety of activities including donations and staff fundraising projects.
The first of these activities will be on Halloween when all staff are attending work in fancy dress, taking part in a Halloween themed bake off and bringing treats to work, donating to the charity in the process.
Oliver Adderley our Managing Director explains, “We’re absolutely delighted to be working with the charity and raising funds for their vital projects. ‘‘Sunshine & Smiles is a natural fit for Online Resourcing and we’re looking forward to the partnership. Many of us were already aware of the brilliant work they do organising groups and events to improve the lives and opportunities of children and families living with Down Syndrome in our local area. ‘‘We can’t wait to get involved and raise money, helping to promote their phenomenal work to an even wider audience.’’
A couple of weeks ago there were a number of information sessions regarding changes to the NHS Speech and Language therapy service.
We managed to go along to one of the sessions and there is currently an open consultation for people to feedback on the planned changes.
The basic premise of the service review is to offer different levels of Speech and Language therapy depending on the Speech, Language and Communication needs of a child and any other associated condition such as autism, cerebral palsy or Down syndrome that may have an effect on Speech and Language development.
Children with Down syndrome will be on what will be known as the Associated Speech, Language and Communication Needs pathway … in summary this means:
Speech and Language therapy will be focussed on training others who work with the child and adapting the environment to support the child’s communication development.
Parents, carers and staff working with the child or young person will be offered advice. This may focus on communication and/or feeding/swallowing difficulties.
Parents and carers will be offered free training; e.g Makaton
Training will also be recommended for staff working with the child or young person in a setting, such as a nursery or school; this is accessed via the NHS Speech and Language therapy service training brochure.
Children on this pathway who show potential for progress and need a specific piece of intervention will enter the ‘associated plus pathway’ and in addition to the above will be offered a set number of sessions (episode of intervention) to work on specific targets.
Once an episode of intervention has been completed there would need to be a referral back into the Speech and Language service to trigger another episode of specific intervention… but there will be a ‘fast track’ process to do this.
There should still be ongoing support at a nursery or school setting even if there is no specific episode of intervention happening.
We know that all our public services are facing huge financial constraints and that cuts have to be made but we did voice our concerns that it feels as though there is a further reduction in Speech and Language support for our children and families and that people may well get ‘lost’ in this system which will further impact on the quality of Speech and Language support children are receiving.
There is a consultation open regarding these proposals which closes at 12pm on Thursday 5th November … please do consider sharing your views if you value Speech and Language therapy.. link to the consultation below.
Just as a footnote – this change in service plan will not affect the Speech and Language sessions that we run at Sunshine and Smiles.