Our Mission

“To gain equity within education, health and care for children and young people with special educational needs – and their families – through accessible education, support and advocacy for parents, carers and professionals”.

OUR CORE VALUES

We believe our core values all lead to empowerment. They exist at the forefront of everything we do.

EQUITY

JUSTICE

SAFETY

ACCESSIBILITY

INTEGRITY

OUR STORY

We were founded in 2017 by Chrissa Wadlow after her own gruelling battle to gain her daughter a suitable education provision.

Her journey, littered with injustice, was filled with a catalogue of errors and the family received very limited help from services they thought they could trust, creating irreparable damage for the entire family.

It took 2 SEND tribunals, a high court case and one final SEND tribunal for Chrissa to gain the educational placement her daughter needed. It shouldn’t be this hard.

Chrissa could not allow this to continue to happen, and so formed Sunshine Support to help other families navigate their way through the process of Special Educational Needs to ensure they received the RIGHT advice and guidance from trustworthy experts.

Her story has inspired thousands of families to seek justice and exercise their right to the law.

We offer a range of free, low cost and premium services to ensure information and empowerment is available for all.

Who is Chrissa?

Incredibly focused and extraordinarily passionate about justice, mum of 4 Chrissa (who originates from South Wales) has extensive experience in business management and has a special interest in psychology, which has led to her winning awards for her commitment to the SEND community. Chrissa is a seasoned SEND parent (over 20 years!) and proudly neurodivergent, she is an ambassador for the Inflammatory Bowel Disease community, having lived with Crohn’s Colitis since the age of 9. Here’s a little more you may not know about Chrissa.

What are the top 5 things that make you happy and full of lovely dopamine?

1) Nice smells – perfume, candles, mist diffusers, toiletries, cleaning products – it’s an ongoing joke here at Sunshine “when Chrissa comes to the office, get the oil diffuser on!”
2) Connection with trusted people – my family and friends are everything
3) Good food – everyone who knows me knows I’m a foodie, I am committed to travelling for good restaurants!
4) Singing and music 
5) Working – I won’t admit how many hours I put in each week, you wouldn’t believe it!

What’s your favourite music genre?

Soul, Hip Hop (noughties!), R&B, musical theatre and anything with a Welsh connection!
 

Tell us a random fact about yourself…

I got through a few rounds of The Voice, but chickened out of going further… Maybe one day!

Meet our Team

The Advocacy Team

Meet our dedicated advocates and legal advisers

Kelly Jarvis

Kelly Jarvis BA (Hons) English, PGCE Secondary English

Head of Advocacy & Consultancy

Kelly, what do you do here at Sunshine Support?

I manage the Advocacy team, alongside supporting parents, families and schools with all things SEND. PDA Education is my specialism!

What are you most proud of achieving in your role?

Securing multiple placements at outstanding specialist provisions via complex tribunal processes, ending years of fighting for highly deserving families.
 

What are the top 5 things that make you happy and full of lovely dopamine?

1) Anything “hygge”: candles/low lighting, baths and bath products, my weighted blanket, lavender smells and cosiness
2) A daily walk outside
3) A meal in my favourite restaurant
4) Seeing things live: music, comedy, theatre
5) Writing something satisfying: I love words!

What’s your favourite music genre?

Eclectic. My top three are 2000s nu-metal, 90s cheesy pop, and anything with a beautiful acoustic guitar.
 

Tell us a random fact about yourself…

I have a webbed toe, which my husband affectionately refers to as my “raptor claw”.
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Jess Ward LLB (Hons) - Lancaster University

Legal Adviser

Jess, what do you do here at Sunshine Support?

I undertake work on all SEND matters. My specialism is drafting Pre-Action Protocol letters in preparation for Judicial Reviews.
 

What’s been your proudest moment?

Working with a solicitor on a Judicial Review relating to Isolation Booths which made the news, highlighting the problems these cause.
 

What are the top 5 things that make you happy and full of lovely dopamine?

1. Spending time with my family
2. Organising something that had been an absolute mess
3. Chocolate
4. Watching Harry Potter
5. Sleep (although I don’t get much of it!)

What’s your favourite music genre?

Pop

Tell us a random fact about yourself…

I like watching NFL and support the Arizona Cardinals.

Rachel Parry

Rachel Parry Montessori Teaching Diploma birth - 9 years, Level 3 Social Care, Level 4 Advice, University of South Wales -Step up to Management

ALN / SEN Advocate

Rachel, what do you do here at Sunshine Support?

I have been in advocacy for over 12 years; I have a lot of experience in Social Care cases, IDPs (Welsh law) and I love tribunal work (particularly PIP/DLA!).

What are you most proud of in your career?

Advocating for a family who had their children removed from their care, they struggled to engage with Social Services. I provided support and a voice,  which meant the children returned home and over time Social Services closed with no concerns.

What are the top 5 things that make you happy and full of lovely dopamine?

  1. Family time
  2. Holidays (if I can find anyone brave enough to look after my ‘not so calm’ dog )
  3. Walking (with my ‘not so calm’ dog )
  4. Pink Gin – filled with fruit so I get my five a day!
  5. A good challenge!

What’s your favourite music genre?

Definitely 70s and 80s old school pop!
 

Tell us a random fact about yourself…

I have lived in or visited 32 Countries.

More information coming soon!

Nicole Wright LLB (Hons), NNEB (Level 3 Diploma in Childcare)

SEND Advocate

Nicole, what do you do here at Sunshine Support?

I advocate for families from EHC support to social care proceedings. I have a degree in Law which I apply to my particular areas of interest, which are FII, Child Protection and School Transport.
 

What are you most proud of in your career?

I am most proud of my adaptability, being able to apply my law knowledge and my natural thirst for information to highly complex social care cases, where neurodivergent families have come off Child Protection as a direct result of my support.
 

What are the top 5 things that make you happy and full of lovely dopamine?

1. My amazing nuerodiverse children – without them I would never be doing the role I am today or have learnt all the things I have, including discovering my love of law.
2. Long walks with my Cockapoos
3. A project, often involving a lot of craft supplies and learning a new skill
4. Baking, ideally with a glass of Pino Grigio
5. A super hot bubble bath
 

What’s your favourite music genre?

One genre is too tricky so, everything from Sea Six Steve, The Bettles and The Eagles to St. Lundi and Vance Joy!
 

Tell us a random fact about yourself…

I walked 100km in under 22 hours.
 

Gabby BAHons Early Childhood & Education, MA Language & Communication for children, NASENCo

SEND Advocate & Educational Consultant

Gabby, what do you do here at Sunshine Support?

I advocate for families and provide consultancy to schools and other professionals. I specialise in Language and Communication, PANS PANDAS and attendance.

What’s your proudest achievement?

Running an outstanding Language Provision for 15 yrs and securing support for families who have been threatened with attendance warnings.

What are the top 5 things that make you happy and full of lovely dopamine?

1. Cats
2. Crystals
3. Vegan food
4. My lovely daughter and family
5. The beach
 

What’s your favourite music genre?

Goth! Heavy metal/rock/punk!
 

Tell us a random fact about yourself…

I once electrocuted Prince Philip. I have published a children’s novel (part of an anthology). I sew for collector dolls under the name ‘Candy Pants Couture’

Nicola Darby LLB (hons), MSc Psychology, Qualified Solicitor (since 2004)

SEND Advocate

Nicola, what do you do here at Sunshine Support?

I advise and advocate for parents and carers of children and young people with SEND and help them navigate the process. My specialism is supporting parents through mediation and the Tribunal process.
 

What are you most proud of in your career?

Securing a special school placement via Tribunal and having my written submissions commended by the Judge in their decision.
 

What are the top 5 things that make you happy and full of lovely dopamine?

1. Spending time with my family and friends
2. Being taken for a walk by my dog
3. Feeding the hedgehogs in my garden
4. Having a bath filled with bubbles
5. Finding a bargain!

What’s your favourite music genre?

80s and 90s pop.
 

Tell us a random fact about yourself…

In a previous job I won the firm’s Strictly Come Dancing competition and can do a mean cha cha cha!

The Operations Team

Meet the team that make it all possible

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Jess Gould NVQ 3 Childcare, NVQ3 Children & Young People's Workforce, Dip. PA

PA to Managing Director

Jess, what do you do here at Sunshine Support?

I do a lot of organising! I generally run Chrissa’s life; supporting, admin, diary management. Help with the social media, meetings, recruitment and forging relationships.
 

What are you most proud of?

My daughter Bella, because without her I wouldn’t have this job or know these wonderfully amazing people I am lucky enough to work with!
 

What are the top 5 things that make you happy and full of lovely dopamine?

1. Food
2. Chocolate
3. Seeing the things I’ve organised come together and see success
4. Coffee
5. Reading a good book
 

What’s your favourite music genre?

RnB, dancehall, Hiphop

Tell us a random fact about yourself…

I will always choose chocolate!

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Emma

Support Co-ordinator

Emma describes herself as fun, friendly, and everybody’s cheerleader! Using her array of a admin skills she manages our enquires and keeps are busy team on top everything to ensure we provide everyone with the best possible experience. 

Emma has quite the career in working with children. Having worked in nurseries and actually owned and ran her own nursery, she’s very familiar in early years education and child development. She also has an NVQ 4 in Child Development in addition to a plethora of qualifications that relate to Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. 

In her spare time Emma loves getting back to nature and taking her two dogs for long walks in the great outdoors. She’s also a big fan of crafting and learn all sort of fun new skills.

 

Jessica Mead BA (Hons) in Events Management - First Class

Events Co-ordinator

Jess, what do you do here at Sunshine Support?

Creating webinars and in-person events that inspire, inform and support parents and professionals of SEND children and young people.
 

What’s been your biggest professional achievement?

Booking Dr. Ross Greene, New York Times bestselling author of the influential books The Explosive Child and Raising Human Beings. It was such a hugely beneficial webinar for the families we support.
 

What are the top 5 things that make you happy and full of lovely dopamine?

1. Cows
2. My cat, Jonny
3. The colour teal
4. Quotes and songs from The Muppets
5. Sunflowers
 

What’s your favourite music genre?

Rock / Metal
 

Tell us a random fact about yourself…

Rachel Riley presented me with the “Never taken a day off school” 100% attendance award at secondary school.

 

Ashley AAT Qualified

Accounts & Finance

Ash, what do you do here at Sunshine Support?

I deal with Accounts Payable & Receivables, client invoice queries, lots of figures and I get involved in general admin support and the contracts we have with other companies.
 

What are you most proud of?

I home educate my children and I have been building up our home ed community Tribe, supporting parents who are looking into home ed or have recently made the jump.
 

What are the top 5 things that make you happy and full of lovely dopamine?

1. Our home education Journey
2. Being outside at the beach (on warm days) or in the woods with the ‘wildlings’
3. COFFEE
4. My puppy rotties (age 3 and huge!)
5. Alexa blaring music from the younger days
 

What’s your favourite music genre?

Anything from 80s to R&B, Garage, House, and Motown bangers.
 

Tell us a random fact about yourself…

I bungee jumped into a pub car park for charity!

Kat Allen BA (hons) Film and Television Studies with Broadcast Media

Media Producer

Kat, what do you here at Sunshine Support?

I produce SEND focused content for our Social Media platforms and our learning platform the Sunshine Academy. I also host our podcast!
 

What are you most proud of?

Partnering with the NHS to produce a highly informative training video for GPs on Autism in Elders.
 

What are the top 5 things that make you happy and full of lovely dopamine?

1. My large family (5 children and one husband)
2. Live Music
3. The summer
4. My brood of pets
5. Sunshine Team days!
 

What’s your favourite music genre?

I’m so eclectic in terms of music. Anything from Slipknot, Sleep Token to Taylor Swift.
 

Tell us a random fact about yourself…

I love professional wrestling and wrestle under the name Cherry Skye.

Katie Hodgkins BA (Hons) International Relations & Global Development

Marketing & Communications Assistant

Katie, what do you do here at Sunshine Support?

Marketing the fabulous events & services, website organisation, PR opportunities & more!
 

What are you most proud of?

Supporting a number of friends & signposting with outcomes being positive – autism diagnosis after being fobbed off, EHCP etc.
 

What are the top 5 things that make you happy and full of lovely dopamine?

1. My husband & son
2. Maximalist clothing and home decor (dopamine dressing)
3. Spicy food
4. Exploring beautiful outdoor scenery
5. Swimming
 

What’s your favourite music genre?

All sorts but predominantly techno, trance, anything fast and dancey!
 

Tell us a random fact about yourself…

I can ‘mirror write’ backwards in cursive almost as easily as writing normally!

Testimonials & Reviews

“Support from sunshine is amazing! From paid advocacy The Sunshine Acadamy, live webinars, and Cuppa and Chats; The validation and support helps so much.”

Parent/Carer | 2024

“There were so many light bulb moments attending my first Sunshine Support training workshop. Excellent trainer, and the option to have the advice clinic is just what parents need. Thank you!”

Parent | Midlands | 2018

“I was about to fork out for private assessments, not really knowing if they would be accepted or make a difference. Then I spoke to Marguerite, she gave me focus and saved me a fortune. My son is thriving now!”

Parent | London | 2020

Our Accreditations & Awards

Here is just a small selection of our awards and accredititions

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