AGM & 5th Birthday Celebration

AGM & 5th Birthday Celebration

AGM-LogoSunshine & Smiles’ Annual General Meeting and 5th Birthday celebrations will be happening on 20th November 2018. There will be more information to follow, but the 20th has been confirmed – so save the date!

Date: 20th November 2018
Venue & Time:  To Be Confirmed
Formal papers & invitation to the event will be sent out shortly.
See you there! 🙂

Thank You to Our Rowers

Thank You to Our Rowers
On Friday 14 September Specialist Legal Recruitment Company, Sacco Mann held their annual charity challenge, to raise funds for Sunshine and Smiles and St Gemma’s Hospice.
sacco row
Lots of teams took part throughout the day, even our Service Manager Ailith ended up getting involved!
As well as the rowing event, freshly baked cakes were being sold to increase donations and a raffle also took place. It was a fun packed day full of exercise, cake consuming and of course, smiles.
Thanks to everyone who took part to raise money for both charities, the total amount raised was £1,000 which will be split between the two, which is amazing! 🙂 Congratulations to Sagars who were the winning team!
Keep up to date with our future charities fundraisers here!

EHCP Information Morning at Irwin Mitchell Leeds

EHCP Information Morning at Irwin Mitchell Leeds

Irwin MitchellIrwin Mitchen are delighted to invite you to join them for an information morning.

The solicitors company will be hosting a number of presentations around the following subjects:

  • Educational care and health plan, access to benefits and current topics around financing and particularly transport to schools – Rachael Smurthwaite, Public Law Solicitor
  • Equipment provision and how to access it A talk – Caroline Murphy, Occupational Therapist
  • Focusing on developing plans, getting the best out of education and options after full time school ends – Judith James, Educational Psychologist

Please join us for coffee at 10:00 am with a view to starting the presentations at 10:30am.

The talks will be followed by an opportunity for parents to ask questions and to meet with the professionals to chat informally over a light lunch which will be provided. The event will finish at 1:00pm.

If you would like to attend, please RSVP to Becky Wesley

Email –

Phone 0114 274 4966

We look forward to seeing you there 😊

Last Chance to Row for Dough

Last Chance to Row for Dough
Sacco Mann will be running their annual charity challenge to raise funds for Sunshine and Smiles, and St Gemma’s Hospice.


sacco mann


This years event is rowing, and they are inviting teams of four to enter for £40, which will be split between the two charities. As well as the rowing challenge, a raffle and a bake sale will be taking place throughout the afternoon too.
Sunshine and Smiles will be entering a team, so if you’re up for a row – let us know!


There will be plenty of us joining for the bake sale and raffle too if you don’t fancy taking part in the challenge, just come and say hello for a friendly bite to eat.


Please email if you would like to be in one of our teams – thank you!


Friday 14 September, all day.

Broad Gate

1 Broad Gate
Leeds, LS1 8EQ

We raised £400 bag packing

We raised £400 bag packing

M and S Bag PackWe are very pleased to be Moortown Marks & Spencer’s Charity of the Year for 2018 – 2019 and following on from their support with the book giveaway in July we thought we’d lend a hand and pack some of their customers shopping!

It was an incredibly successful day with the help of volunteers across Leeds getting involved, and not only did we raise awareness for Sunshine & Smiles, but we also collected £400 of donations!

Thank you so much to all the volunteers who spent their Saturday afternoon bagging up shopping, you were all brilliant!

Want to help next time? Follow us on Twitter to find out when the next charity day is!

World Down Syndrome Congress 2018

WDSC Glasgow
Lauren, Ruth, Ailith

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.

The Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge – Done!!!

The Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge – Done!!!

Thank you so much to everyone who took on the Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge on Saturday 2nd June.

17 amazing walkers setting off from Horton in Ribblesdale at 7.30am to tackle the Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge under the guidance of David Wilson from Experience Northumberland, who has led this walk for us for 3 years now!

Yorkshire’s 3 highest peaks – Pen-y-ghent, Whernside & Ingleborough – 25 miles, 3 peaks, all in a target time of 12 hours!

Raising vital funds for Sunshine & Smiles – Leeds Down Syndrome Network.

Despite a damp and cloudy day, everyone completed the walk safely and agreed it was a fantastic, if tough challenge!

Our favourite quotes from the day:

‘I love these walks because I get to know new people’

‘I didn’t think it would be this hard’

‘I feel like I have conquered the world’

So far the 3 Peaks Challenge Fundraisers have raised a combined total of £1837.50 .. could you help us get to £2000!!??


You can donate to this year’s team: Donate To Us Here


Sign up to another one of our fundraising challenges this year – Leeds 10k on 8th July or the Great North Run on 9th September … drop us an email on or ring 07902 054355

Sunshine & Smiles Gorgeous Spring Fair – Saturday 12th May

Sunshine & Smiles Gorgeous Spring Fair – Saturday 12th May

Our gorgeous Spring fair is on 12th May from 1.00pm – 4.00pm at Stainbeck Community Hall.

We will have lots of wonderful stalls including Zany Faces Facepainting & The Body Shop  – plus nearly new toys & clothes, tombolas, raffle and seed planting in our lovely garden!

Shiny the hedgehog might even pop to say hello!

Refreshments will be served by our amazing Cafe 21 team.

If anyone would like a stall or is available to help out on the day or to donate cakes, buns or biscuits we would be extremely grateful – please email

Please share with all your friends & family … everyone is welcome!!

Take part in the Great North Run for Sunshine & Smiles – 9th September 2018

Take part in the Great North Run for Sunshine & Smiles – 9th September 2018

Are you looking for a personal challenge, to do something that makes a difference or just a bit of motivation to get out more!

We are down to our last couple of places for The Great North Run on Sunday 9th September 2018.

A fabulous half marathon starting in Newcastle, heading out over the iconic Tyne bridge and finishing on the sea front in South Shields .. .it’s a great atmosphere with supporters all along the way!

If you would like to run or know anyone who would like a place please contact for more details.

Places cost £60 (cost price) and we can send you sponsor forms and a link to set up your own fundraising page, plus the support of a lovely Sunshine & Smiles team!

Please join us and help us to continue running all of our group & activities plus our much needed individual support to families.

Leeds United Foundation – Football Camps

Leeds United Foundation – Football Camps

We are delighted to announce the Leeds United Foundation have offered us some football holiday camps to be held at the Grammar School at Leeds.

We have secured Wednesday 30 May and the following are in the summer holidays, all on Thursdays: 2 August, 9 August, 16 August, 23 August and 30 August.

The sessions will run from 10am-12.30. The one we ran in February half term was a great success and as the weather was cold we accessed the indoor provision the whole morning.

The session was perfectly pitched for our budding footballers and they all had a wonderful morning.

If you would like to put your name down please contact Joanna Rowlands:

We understand most people will have some holidays booked in August and it is not important to attend every session at all.

If you have never accessed the football sessions please do come along to these holiday camps and try them out.

Parents & carers will need to stay at the session to support their children.

Age range – 4 years to 11 years.