What began as a passionate endeavour to support, educate, and advocate for parents and professionals in the field of special educational needs has blossomed into a remarkable journey filled with achievements, resilience, and hope.
Today, as we reflect on the incredible impact we’ve had since our inception in 2017, we invite you to join us in commemorating this milestone.
The Birth of Sunshine Support
Our story began with a determined mother named Chrissa Wadlow. Chrissa’s personal journey was marked by hardship, injustice, and a relentless battle to secure the appropriate education provision for her daughter. Her family received limited help from services they believed they could trust, leaving them with lasting scars. It took two SEND tribunals, a high court case, and one final SEND tribunal for Chrissa to secure the educational placement her daughter needed. This arduous experience highlighted a stark truth: it shouldn’t be this hard for families to access the support and education their children deserve.
Chrissa’s unwavering commitment to preventing other families from enduring similar ordeals led to the birth of Sunshine Support. She recognized the need for trustworthy guidance, expert advice, and a strong support system for parents navigating the complex world of Special Educational Needs (SEN).
Inspiring Thousands, One Story at a Time
Chrissa’s story has inspired thousands of families to seek justice and exercise their legal rights. Over the past six years, Sunshine Support has achieved numerous milestones that have reshaped the landscape of SEN advocacy:
- Influencing Change in Local Authorities: We’ve successfully persuaded local authorities to reverse their unlawful policies, ensuring that children receive the support they’re entitled to.
- Securing Quality EHCPs and Statements: Our relentless efforts have led to thousands of excellent quality EHCPs across England and statements/IDPs in Wales, ensuring children’s educational needs are met effectively.
- Extensive Consultation: We’ve personally consulted with tens of thousands of families all over the country, offering them valuable guidance and support.
- Global Webinars and Teacher Training: Through hundreds of webinars and training sessions, we’ve reached teachers and professionals across the world, equipping them to better serve children with SEN.
- Awards for Community Dedication: Our commitment to the community has been recognized through awards, honouring our unwavering dedication.
- Challenging Discrimination: We’ve fearlessly challenged schools and local authorities when they’ve engaged in discriminatory practices, advocating for the rights of children with SEN.
- Pioneering Awareness Weeks: Sunshine Support launched the world’s first and only Fabricated or Induced Illness (FII) awareness week and School Avoidance Awareness Week, bringing crucial issues to the forefront.
- Social Events and Support: We’ve hosted hundreds of social events, both online and in person, creating a strong support network for parents and professionals.
- Bespoke Free Advice: Over 3,000 hours have been dedicated to providing bespoke free advice to parents and families, ensuring they have the information they need.
- Funding and Advocacy: We’ve funded private assessments for children and young people and offered hundreds of hours of pro bono advocacy and consultancy to families in need.
- Expert Witness Database: Our database of tried and tested independent expert witnesses has been a valuable resource for families navigating the legal system.
- Sunshine Academy: We’ve launched an online low-cost membership-only training platform, Sunshine Academy, providing vital resources for parents and professionals.
- Funding and part-funding Self-Care: We’ve supported parents and carers by providing opportunities for self-care through social events at our hub that we have fully funded and part-funded
- Dad’s Night Off – we launched a monthly event for Dads to take part in to ensure their voices are heard, validated and to support their mental health.
- Raising Awareness on TV, Radio and other press outlets: By featuring on mainstream media outlets like the BBC and Channel 4, we’ve increased awareness of the challenges faced by families with SEN.
Our Dedicated Team
None of these achievements would have been possible without our exceptional team of highly qualified and experienced specialists. Our team includes specialist teachers, legal advisers, social care advocates, early years experts, home educators, and individuals with lived experience – a combination of expertise and empathy that sets us apart.
Meet our remarkable team here.
Our Mission Continues
As we celebrate our 6th birthday, Sunshine Support remains committed to empowering families and advocating for children with special educational needs. Our journey has been a testament to the power of resilience, compassion, and collective effort. We are proud of our growth and proud of how we adapt to meet the needs of the community we are honoured to serve.
Thank you for being a part of our journey. Here’s to another year of making a difference, one family at a time. Happy 6th Birthday to us!
Explore our upcoming webinars here and discover our never-before-seen courses on Sunshine Academy here. Together, we can continue to shine a light on the path toward a brighter future for children with special educational needs.