Thank You to Our Trustees!

Thank You to Our Trustees!

This week marks Trustees week (12 – 16 November); an annual event that showcases the fantastic work that trustees do for their charities, communities and the sector. Events all around the country will celebrate the achievements of trustees, as well as highlight opportunities for you to get involved with a local charity or voluntary organisation at board level.

In this week we would like to thank our Trustees; Marc, Jonathan, and Katie, as well as all our previous Trustees from the past 5 years. We would like to thank you for your time, as well as your invaluable expertise, knowledge and governance. Your guidance and support has been a huge part of the growth of Sunshine and Smiles and from all the staff and our families we want you to know how much we appreciate you, not only in this week, but every day. Thank you.

Another Day to Make a Difference for Lloyds Bank

Another Day to Make a Difference for Lloyds Bank

Thank you so much to the volunteers at Lloyds Bank for clearing and cutting back our front and back gardens, not forgetting mending the fences!

Every year Lloyds Banking Group give an opportunity to their colleagues to spend at least one day volunteering for a charity or community project of their choice. This year, two of Lloyds departments chose Sunshine and Smiles, and this was their second day fixing up Stainbeck Community Hall.

This volunteering programme is hoping to deliver 2.3 million hours by 2020 and have already reached 1 million, and we are so unbelievably grateful that they chose us as one of their charities.

Big thanks to every volunteer from the Lloyds Banking Group!


How Children in Need Help Us

How Children in Need Help Us

Richard Stead from BBC Radio Leeds was talking all things Children in Need on the Breakfast Show on Tuesday 13 November, including throwing live to Oly Woodcock who joined our Service Manager Ailith Harley-Roberts at Bramley Baths.

The Community led Bramley Baths, who have recently secured a £500,000 eco-hub investment have been working closely with Sunshine and Smiles since 2015 when we began running our regular swimming sessions.

The Edwardian Grade II Listed building makes for a lovely atmosphere for our sessions, where families who have children with Down Syndrome can swim for as long or a short as they like.

Following on from popular demand in 2015 we decided, along with Bramley Baths, to advance our classes and include one-to-one swimming lessons. In 2016 we submitted a Children in Need funding application and have now been able to secure swimming facilities and lessons up until 2020.

bbc radio leedsAilith spoke to reporter Oly Woodcock about how the Children in Need funding has helped Sunshine and Smiles, ahead of the charity’s 39th Appeal show on Friday 16 November on BBC1.

Thank you to Children in Need for your support and enabling our swimming sessions, and thank you BBC Radio Leeds for inviting us on your show.

If you would like to find out more about the sessions or to book a 1:1 teaching lesson please email:


Mears Foundation Donate £1,000

A BIG thank you to Jill Lund, Mum to Pippa, and the Mears Foundation for an amazing £1000 donation to go towards running our groups & activities.

mearsWho are the Mears Foundation?

  • The Mears Foundation is the independent charitable arm of Mears Group.
  • The Foundation is a grant-making trust that seeks to harness the goodwill, talents and skills within Mears Group to beneft charities that provide practical help and support to vulnerable people.
  • The Mears Foundation exists to help improve the lives of vulnerable or disadvantaged people in the UK and abroad through practical help, support and intervention.


AGM Postponed

AGM Postponed

Sunshine & Smiles’ Annual General Meeting and 5th Birthday celebrations have been postponed. We will be able to confirm the new date in the next week or so; while we await some exciting news that we look forward to sharing with you.


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

Feeding Research Project – Can You Help?

Feeding Research Project – Can You Help?
Ríon O’Farrell-Walsh, a trainee clinical psychologist at the University of Leeds, is completing her doctoral thesis on the infant feeding experiences of mums with children with Down syndrome. She is interested in exploring mums’  feeding experiences and their reflections on their well-being during this period.  At present, there is not much research that explores maternal feeding experiences.


Ríon is hoping that her study will bridge this gap, and facilitate a greater general understanding of this area. She would like to invite any mums who have a child with Down syndrome between 0-3 years to take part in the study.


Taking part involves participating in an interview with Ríon, in a location that best works for you. The interviews usually last around 50-60 minutes. As infants with Down syndrome can be fed in lots of different ways,  she is interested in hearing about any feeding method. 


Anyone interested is welcome to contact Ríon at or on 07561099156 for further information.


Thank you 😊

Well Done to Our Abbey Dash Runners!

Well Done to Our Abbey Dash Runners!

Thank you to our Service Manager, Ailith Harley-Roberts who ran the Leeds Abbey Dash on Sunday along with 23 runners from Walker Morris to raise funds for Sunshine and Smiles.

Abbey_1 Abbey_2










It makes a huge difference when volunteers take on challenges to raise funds for us, and we are incredibly thankful to all our runners.

It’s not too late to support Ailith by donating to her Local Giving page. This year Ailith has pledged to run, cycle & swim 2130 miles for Sunshine & Smiles aiming to raise funds to buy equipment for Sunshine & Smiles! She also posted on Facebook earlier this week that for her Birthday (16 November) this year, she would rather her friends and family donated to Sunshine and Smiles rather than buying her gifts. What a lovely gesture.

Thanks again to all our runners, you all did amazingly! 🙂



Dashing For Cash To Raise Money For Sunshine and Smiles

Dashing For Cash To Raise Money For Sunshine and Smiles

Our Service Manager, Ailith Harley-Roberts will be running the Leeds Abbey Dash this November to raise funds for Sunshine and Smiles. She will be joining 23 runners from Walker Morris who have chosen Sunshine & Smiles as their charity of the year!

The Age UK Leeds Abbey Dash will be taking place on 4th November and you can support Ailith & the Walker Morris team by cheering them on along the way! The runners will be starting in Leeds City Centre and making their way along Kirkstall Road to Kirkstall Abbey before returning to finish outside the Town Hall.

Alternatively you can support Ailith by donating to her Local Giving page. This year Ailith has pledged to run, cycle & swim 2130 miles for Sunshine & Smiles aiming to raise funds to buy equipment such as a full size changing bed for Sunshine & Smiles!

Good luck Ailith from all of us at Sunshine and Smiles! 🙂