We are a whopping 4 years old today! So, we are reflecting on what we have achieved in those 1,460 days!
Ensuring our trauma wasn’t in vain…
Following our high court win in September 2017 (which followed years of battles for equity for our child) I knew I could never return to my life as I once knew it… My career as a head hunter just wasn’t fulfilling enough but I was filled with the motivation to not allow our traumatising struggles to have been in vain. I needed to help others who were attempting to navigate the world of SEND parenting, like I had been.
You see, we went through 3 SEND tribunals, child protection proceedings (following an accusation of FII) and a high course case to achieve the provision our child needed. It was traumatising and expensive. We learned everything the hard way; we were so utterly let down and damaged by the harm and neglect caused by our local authority and CAMHS.
There was no support. No accessible advice. No guidance. We felt alone; as if we were the only ones in the world experiencing this suffering.
It was so incredibly isolating.
So, one autumnal day in 2017, I set about creating an organisation that provided everything we could have needed on our journey. Sunshine Support was born… BUT! I could have never dreamed or imagined what we now know as Sunshine Support, never in a million years!
From humble Derby beginnings… To all of England and Wales!
Whilst I originally set up Sunshine Support for Derby and Derbyshire families, it became apparent really quickly that our services were needed all over England and Wales. So it wasn’t long before we were nationwide.
What do we actually do?
Research shows that in order to effectively parent children with SEND parents need three things…
- Expert advice and knowledge
- Expert hand-holding and advocacy
- Peer to Peer support
So we set about meeting these needs, and are proud to offer:
All of our staff have the all-important lived experience – we understand exactly what you’re going through and there is plenty of empathy on offer with zero judgment.
In 2021 we have also expanded our training, consultancy and support services to professionals too, after all, children can only benefit when parents and professionals are on the same page!
What have we achieved since October 2017?
- Every single EHCP or Statement application we have made has been successful for another consecutive year
- We’ve welcomed over 14,000 parents & professionals into our workshops or webinars
- We’ve referred over 11,000 parents to experts who’ve helped them within 48 hours
- We’ve personally consulted with over 10,000 parents or teachers to help & support them
- We’ve held over 130 social events for parents & teachers to support them
- We’ve presented over 320 expert webinars and workshops
- We have donated over £30,000 to support families through our community fund in the past 18 months
- We have donated over 16,000 hours of voluntary support
- We have gone from 1 member of staff (me!) to 14 members of staff (with some additional vacancies!)
No wonder we are all so exhausted!
We have also been nominated for several awards this year (we have won some and are finalists in others, wish us luck!), which has been utterly overwhelming!
We aim to continue doing what we do… But we have some additional bits and bobs that we will be adding to our offering this year. Including Sunshine Support merchandise in our new online shop which will launch in the next few weeks!
Join us on our social channels and feel free to get in touch if you need some help. We’re a friendly bunch!