Hello, may we introduce ourselves?

Who are we?

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.

Who is Chrissa?

Incredibly focused and extraordinarily passionate about justice, Chrissa 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 proudly neurodivergent and is an outspoken ambassador for the Inflammatory Bowel Disease community, having lived with Crohn’s Colitis sine the age of 9. 

Chrissa has 4 daughters who keep her feeling alive every day and an incredibly empowering husband, Tom. As a family they can often be found deep in discussion about equity, kindness and how to make a difference. When she’s not working, Chrissa (in true ADHD fashion) can be found changing her hair – so don’t be alarmed if you see several ‘versions’ of her throughout this website!

When not working, Chrissa can be found fundraising for our SEND community, singing (with her own little Wadlow choir, of course), indulging in all important self-care and studying her MA in Autism and SEN at the University of South Wales (where she originates from!).

Meet our Team

Reena

Reena

Services Manager

Reena is the glue that keeps our teams together, she oversees the services we provide to our community to ensure they’re valuable and effective.  

Having worked within the support sector for almost 20 years, Reena has enviable knowledge and experience in delivering and managing support for people in areas such as Sexual Violence, Domestic Violence, Employment & Education, Supported Housing, Advocacy & Advice and Complex needs.  

Reena is passionate about providing information, advice, and guidance for people to make informed and empowered life choices. Dedicated to ensuring that client welfare is identified and well supported by individuals and organisations.

She is committed to making a difference and influencing positive change.

When not working, Reena spends time with her young son, partner and their big, close family.

Sarah

SEN Advocate

Sarah is an Advocate with over 5 years experience both lived and professionally.

After going through the process of securing an EHCP for her son, Sarah realised that she wanted to support other parents in navigating the complex legal system surrounding SEND support and help those parents in securing the correct educational support for their children.

Sarah has worked with IPSEA across their call-in service and tribunal support service, and is also currently completing a history and law degree alongside her advocacy work. Sarah will eventually work as an Education and Public Law Solicitor.

Sarah is known as our legislation queen, she is hot on case law and is incredible at retaining information. Sarah works with parents and schools to ensure provision is suitable and lawful, she is incredible passionate about justice.

When not working Sarah likes to spend time with her husband, two children and her houseplants. 

Kelly BA

Kelly BA (Hons) English, PGCE Secondary English

Senior Advocate & Educational Consultant

Kelly has a real passion for working with children with SEN.

Her interest in SEN and associated complexities inspired her to join the Cambian Group where she was Head of a highly specialist residential school for Autistic children.

This allowed Kelly to gain valuable experience in fulfilling EHCPs in order to ensure the best possible outcome. In addition, she has experience creating and designing innovative SEN specialist curriculums that are tailored to the individual and their needs.

Highly accomplished and motivated, Kelly has experience training school leaders and advocates in representing their educational establishments at SENDIST tribunals.

Kelly has been powerfully advocating for families at Sunshine since 2021, and her impact is far reaching; the success she has seen is absolutely incredible.

In her spare time Kelly enjoys playing guitar, hiking in the countryside and writing with the dream of one day publishing a book.

Charlotte

Senior Advocate and Educational Consultant

Charlotte has worked with children for over 20 years and is passionate about each child meeting their full potential and has been a Sunshine Advocate since 2021. She believes that SEN should not be a barrier to progress and that with the right provision and understanding, every individual can thrive. 

As a qualified specialist teacher, Charlotte has worked with a wide range of age groups and has spent a large part of her career as a an Educational SEN Advisor to schools and early years settings; she has a wealth of experience in early identification, intervention and support.

Charlotte feels passionately that we achieve the best outcomes for our children though coproduction. She is experienced in bringing parents, professionals, and settings together to support the needs of the child and is outstanding at mediating.

Along with her advocacy work, Charlotte is responsible for delivering bespoke training to professionals at Sunshine on a very wide range of topics, and she is an authorised trainer by the Autism Education Trust (AET).

Charlotte is our Education Queen; if there’s a creative reasonable adjustment that can be made to improve inclusion then Charlotte will know what it is! She’s great at getting them implemented successfully, too!

In her spare time, Charlotte is studying for a Masters in Psychology and hopes to one day retrain as an Educational Psychologist. To relax, Charlotte enjoys spending time in her garden and baking.

Nikki 2

Nikki

Executive Assistant 

Psychology BSc (Hons)

With lived experience of being a SEND parent, Nikki brings focus, stability and humour to our very busy team. 

Based at our Derby Hub, Nikki undertakes a range of work from our enquiry calls, to advocacy, coordinating community events and providing support for our team.

Personally going through the EHCP process and successfully securing EOTAS for her son, Nikki worked with IPSEA as an advice line volunteer alongside completing her degree in Psychology. She is currently studying Forensic Psychology MSc alongside working for Sunshine Support. 

In her spare time she enjoys reading, spreading her message of self-care, and curling up on the sofa with a True Crime documentary. Nikki also provides expert services as a coiffeuse to the greater community.

Ashley

Accounts & Finance

Ashley is AAT qualified and has many years experience within the Accounts & Finance sector, previously working for Nestle.

Ashley has tremendous experience in big and small companies as a bookkeeper, and her expertise has been very welcome here at Sunshine since she joined in 2021. Ashley organises the accounts for us, provides support to clients relating to their payments and is a fantastic member of the team who we all rely on heavily.

Ashley has worked with families that home educate, where school hasn’t always been the most suitable place for children, helping families connect and also find work and training around home education. She is a huge ambassador of quality home education and trauma responsive approaches to parenting and teaching children. 

When taking a break from all the numbers, Ashley can be found enjoying a walk with her two dogs and three children.

George

George

Media & Events Co-Ordinator

George has lived experience with SEN, having gone through the education system and eventually diagnosed with ADHD as a young adult. It’s the combination of personal experience and intuitive nature that allows him to write from a personal and relatable perspective. George has been providing amazing content, ideas and events at Sunshine since 2020.

Although originally from west Wales, George currently resides in south-east London where he is studying a BA in Journalism at Goldsmiths University of London. Once completed, he intends to go on to do a master’s degree.

George comes from a “neurodivergent” family. Having grown up with an older Autistic brother and a mother who has Autism and ADHD, he has gained a valuable insight into the day-to-day challenges that neurodivergent people and their families face. George produces fabulously well researched and empathetic content for families and professionals to benefit from and he organises our events to ensure they’re informative and empowering.

When not working or studying, George can be found attempting to master one of the many instruments he has taken up over the years or reading a good book with a glass of merlot in hand!

“A huge thank you to Sunshine Support for showing us we are not alone and giving us knowledge, understanding and hope. Chrissa has turned her awful journey into something so positive. You are truly amazing.”

Parent | East Mids | 2022

“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

“WOW. People say the EHCP process is stressful. Marguerite supported us from start to finish and I didn’t experience any stress at all! She handled it all meaning I could be a parent! And we won our case with no tribunal!”

Parent | Manchester | 2020