We are very pleased to be Moortown Marks & Spencer’s Charity of the Year for 2018 – 2019 and following on from their help with the book giveaway in July, it’s time for us to pack some bags!
This Saturday (25 August) we have a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness for Sunshine & Smiles and collect donations in return for bag packing at the Moortown store, from 10 am until 2 pm.
We already have people signed up but there’s still room for more if you’d like to be involved!
Please let us know if you could help for part or all of the day by either emailing email@example.com with the duration of time you’ll be helping for, or you can turn up on the day if you’re feeling spontaneous!
We are very pleased to be able to start offering Early Development groups starting from September 2018.
Initially we will have two groups running on a Friday morning, on a fortnightly basis, there will be one group for children aged 12 – 18 months and one group for children aged 18 – 24 months.
We will be using tools, resources & techniques from See & Learn, the Early Years Developmental Journal, The Portage Model and linking with our Speech & Language therapists to ensure consistency & continuity.
The groups will be 1 hour of structured support & learning followed by 30 minutes of social time with snacks.
Our aim will be to develop more groups to include all pre-school age children in the longer term.
Please let us know if you would like a place for your child in either of these groups by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or ringing 07902 054355.
On Friday 27th July our Speech & Language therapists, Ruth Mercer & Lauren Drake, and our Service Manager, Ailith Harley-Roberts, travelled to Glasgow for the final day of the 2018 World Down Syndrome Congress.
They were presenting at the congress to share the Sunshine & Smiles model of Speech & Language groups, one of our core pillars and a vital support to children & young people with Down syndrome. The presentation was very well received with many groups & professionals attending and asking questions.
It was also a day with so much to pack in – presentations & seminars on so many different subjects from people all over the world.
Highlights of the day were two talks by young women with Down syndrome, Kylie Scott & Olivia Hargroder, sharing their personal experiences and their determination for inclusion & accessibility across the world.
Our favourite quotes:
“Don’t make decisions about me, without me” – Kylie Scott
“All children are born optimistic” – Olivia Hargroder
We also saw talks on inclusion in school for children & young people with Down syndrome, sexual health & relationships and apps that are helping with cognitive assessments for children.
Ruth picked out a quote from the Inclusion talk that really stood out: “the support & adaptations we make for our children &young people with Down Syndrome have benefit for all students’
The day was overwhelmingly positive & affirming with so many people from around the world coming together to share expertise and experience.
We saw so much potential & energy and as Lauren said ‘an example of how society should be functioning’.
The closing speech by Brian Skotko summed up so well; we are a community and we are are all working & fighting for the same things, we need to continue to do this together to be as strong a force as possible to create & be the change we want to see in the world.
The next World Down Syndrome Congress will be held in Dubai in 2020.
A huge thank you to one of our parents from the group, Jill Lund, Mum to Pippa. Jill nominated Sunshine & Smiles for the Persimmon Homes Community Champions campaign.
Jill was delighted to be told that she had been awarded £1,000 to help support Speech and Language therapy sessions for Sunshine & Smiles.
Jill has recently completed Leeds 10K to raise funds and is always looking for potential funding opportunities.
She said: “I am delighted to have been selected by Persimmon Homes and very grateful for their donation. Sunshine and Smiles has been a life line for me. As Pippa’s sole carer and working full time their support and expertise has not only helped me understand who I can best support my daughter, but it is also benefiting Pippa’s development.
Simon Whalley, sales director at Persimmon Homes West Yorkshire, said: “We are delighted to support Jill’s fundraising efforts as her hard work will not only benefit her daughter but also the wider community.”
We are thrilled to announce that colleagues at Marks & Spencer Moortown store have voted Sunshine & Smiles as their Charity of the Year for the next 12 months.
Clare Healey, Charity Co-Ordinator, said
“The store staff were given a selection of local charities and voted for their favourite for this year. Sunshine and Smiles was a particular favourite because it is a small local charity and it was felt we could help raise awareness as well as making a difference to many local children and young people.”
We are looking forward to working alongside Marks & Spencer and will be doing regular bag packs and collections at the store, as well as getting the team there involved in our activities and events!
Ailith Harley-Roberts, Service Manager from Sunshine & Smiles says “We are so pleased to be offered this opportunity with Marks & Spencer and to be working as a team to raise funds & awareness for Sunshine & Smiles. We hope this partnership will be of great benefit to both organisations.”
The Special Educational Needs Statutory Assessment & Planning team – otherwise known as SENSAP have contacted us about some proposed changes to the Multi Agency Panel (MAP) meeting which make the decision about whether to proceed with an assessment for an Education, Health & Care plan once a request for an assessment has been submitted by a family or an educational setting.
The reason for the proposed changes is that there are a large number of assessments being requested but only a limited number of spaces allocated for families to attend the MAP meetings, SENSAP have advised that they would like to increase the number of spaces available for families to attend but they have had to make some recommendations to how they would change the current processes to create more spaces for families.
They have come up with 3 options which we have added into a survey so that you can read through and then click for your preferred option – we will then feedback responses from our group to SENSAP.
It will only take a few minutes to read and complete and I am sure everyone will agree it is very important that families have their voices heard in this process and how it can best represent them & their child or young person.
If anyone has any questions please feel free to email me: email@example.com