We’re shining our rays into Derby, by creating a safe space for parents, carers and professionals to socialise, learn and be empowered!

An organisation that provides support to parents and teachers of children with special educational needs has opened a multi-purpose community space for families in the city.

Sunshine Support has moved into a 1200 sq ft unit in Prime Business Park, Spondon which will be used to host some of the events that have previously been run online.

And the organisation is planning to hold workshops, exercise classes and cuppa and chat sessions in the space, which will also house the organisation’s Derby-based staff.

Founding Director, Chrissa Wadlow

Sunshine Support founder and mum of four Chrissa Wadlow said:

“We are so excited to finally have our own place which will be a safe space for families and carers of children with additional needs.

“We have absolutely loads of room to run trauma-responsive movement, health and wellbeing classes which are important as a stress reliever for parents, but also for neurodiverse children who can panic when they feel their heart rate increase.

“And we will run workshops to really empower parents who needs support with the endless paperwork for things such as Education Health Care Plans and Disability Living Allowance.

“I hope it will become a safe space for home educators and we’re also planning pamper treatments for parents, with or without their children present.

“There is no end to the ways we can use our hub and I’m really proud that what started out as ‘a few workshops’ has turned into a lifeline for thousands of families across the country; and I have turned my own negative experience into something that helps others.”

Sunshine Support has a number of activities already lined up for the summer months which include Emotions in Motion classes for families – exploring emotions through movement in a fun way with qualified coaches and psychotherapists to help.

There is an EHCP request workshop where trained staff will help parents with their EHC needs assessment requests. As well as a school refusal workshop and a support group aimed entirely at dads and step dads – run by dads and step-dads.

The new space also has a fully-equipped film studio and many of the events will be recorded so they can be viewed by parents across the UK.

And the organisation has already planned various teacher training activities for September when the schools return after the summer.

Chrissa added:

“Sunshine is an unusual organisation because we don’t just support neurodivergent families, many of our staff have been diagnosed with autism and/or ADHD.

“What that means is that we have first-hand lived experience, so we have been able to design a space which is entirely workable for them.

“This is the next stage on the Sunshine Support journey and we’re so excited that we will be able to reach even more families, carers and teachers.”