Fab Funding for our Swimming Sessions…

Fab Funding for our Swimming Sessions…

We are delighted that a partnership application with Bramley Baths for Children in Need funding to sustain our family swimming sessions has been successful.

This means that our sessions are now secure for the next 12 months and we can look to increase the frequency but also develop a little bit more structure in the sessions so that specific age groups have an allotted time to spend developing confidence and skills with Sharon, our swimming teacher.

We will let everyone know once we have more detailed plans of how the sessions will work.

Thank you to Bramley Baths and to everyone involved in the funding application.


Thank You Leeds

Thank You Leeds

It’s been a fantastic week for Sunshine and Smiles celebrating World Down Syndrome Day.

And we have felt truly part of, and supported, by our City of Leeds.

A photography project launch and exhibition at Kirkstall Abbey Visitor’s Centre.

The First Direct Arena lit up in blue and yellow for 3 days in recognition of Down syndrome awareness.

Our I Am Me film played on the Big Screen at Millennium Square on a regular basis for a whole week.

Thank you Leeds!

Kirkstall 2      first-direct-arena

big screen 1

World Down Syndrome Day 2016 – My Friends, My Community

World Down Syndrome Day 2016 – My Friends, My Community

It’s here … 21st March … 21/3… 3 strands of chromosome 21 which create the genetic make up of a condition known as Down syndrome…

Here is our film for this year, created from the wonderful I Am Me photographs by Andy Lord and shared by our families, words from the heart… this is just the beginning!

Thank you to our Chair of Trustees, Marc Davies, for creating the film.

#IAmMe #WDSD16 #myfriendsmycommunity #Leeds

I Am Me


Lighting up the First Direct Arena

Lighting up the First Direct Arena

To complement the launch of our ‘I Am Me’ photography exhibition we are delighted that our video of the images and text from the exhibition will be shown daily on a regular basis on the big screen at Millennium Square, Leeds from 19th – 25th March.

Additionally, from 19th to 21st March the First Direct Arena will be lighting up in blue and yellow, the recognised colours for Down Syndrome awareness.

I Am Me Photography Project – 19th March

I Am Me Photography Project – 19th March

We are delighted to be launching our photographic project, I Am Me, at the visitors centre at Kirkstall Abbey in celebration of World Down Syndrome Day 2016 on Saturday 19th March from 10am – 3pm.

The exhibition will show the initial photographs taken for our project .. but this is just the beginning! There will also be a photographic workshop at the launch event, light refreshments and our Sunshine and Smiles gazebo!

I Am Me is a long term project where we hope to capture images and thoughts of as many of our wonderful babies, children, young people and families as possible to make these into a larger exhibition and hopefully a book!

The theme of the project:

Success…. Celebration…. Achievement
What is it? What does it look like? What does it mean? For who?

For many families when they find out that their baby has Down syndrome it is a time of many questions, worries and a journey into the unknown.

In this photographic project we would like to try to capture the journey that our children, young people and families travel from those initial feelings of fear, worry and unanswerable questions to those moments of joy, success and celebration … whatever they may be!

We live in a society where achievement and success are highly prized … even within the para and special Olympics these athletes and successes are outstanding and extra ordinary …

For most babies, children and young people with Down syndrome developmental and learning milestones will take longer to achieve and will need more support and input from parents, carers and others who may work alongside them … so when those milestones are achieved they are hard won and cause for great joy and celebration…

What we would like to show is how individual and unique success and achievement are and why… and the journeys we travel on the way!