"Its a unique idea that we hope will make a genuine difference and raise a smile for the families, and children, the charity supports when they thought they had lost every glimmer of hope."
Lucy Craig, Managing Director, Craig Healthcare
Business owners and a Newcastle United footballer have come together to help raise funds for a North East children’s charity that is struggling during the pandemic crisis.
The Sunshine Fund works to support some of the most vulnerable children and families in the North East by raising money to buy disabled children in the region specialist equipment that they are unable to get from the NHS.
Lucy Craig, owner of Kinder Castle nursery and Craig Healthcare, who runs two residential and dementia care homes in Longbenton and Cramlington, has partnered with Rob Elliot, who plays in goal for Newcastle United, professional singer and actor Alfie Dobson and leading community group of film makers supporting organisations in the region, North East Films to raise much needed funds for the charity.
Rob didn’t want to stop paying nursery fees for his children who usually attend Kinder Castle and suggested they were put to good use elsewhere. Lucy suggested the fees should be donated to the Sunshine Fund and has matched the monthly fees for three months to ensure the charity gets as much money as possible during this desperate time.
This will see the charity receive £2,100 a month for the next three months and the overwhelming response to the donation has led to an even greater act of kindness to create a charity song and video, called The Rainbow Song, which is a nod to the rainbow symbol being a beacon of hope during this time of crisis.
Alfie is a well-known North East performer who regularly entertains residents at Craig Healthcare’s homes and he sings on the song that’s been produced by North East Films. Alfie and the guys behind North East Films, director Ferson and cameraman Gaz Davies, have offered their creative services and production resources to support the Rainbow Song project. All proceeds of this song will be donated to The Sunshine Fund, with everyone involved offering their services for free.
Alfie, Ferson and Lucy said: “As three local business owners, we have come together and used our own difficult journeys through life to show how passion and commitment to want to make a difference, however small, and take a selfless act of kindness to support someone during this incredibly difficult time is possible.
“We are all experiencing pain right now in very different ways and it’s such an important time to prioritise kindness over profit and business. It’s a unique idea that we hope will make a genuine difference and raise a smile for the families, and children, the charity supports when they thought they had lost every glimmer of hope. Right now, we all need to care.”
The donation couldn’t have come at a more important time for the charity who has issued an urgent appeal for donations in light of the coronavirus pandemic impact on fundraising activities. The lockdown has also seen a rise in demand from families in great need for specialised equipment to help and enable their children.
Siobhan Sargeant, Charity Director at The Sunshine Fund, said: "We are thrilled to receive this extremely generous donation from such wonderfully kind people who have come together to do something brilliant.
“The nursery fee and charity song donations will help us continue to provide specialist and adapted equipment like wheelchairs, beds and baths to babies, children and young adults living with disabilities here in the North East region.
“It’s a really tough time to be a small charity right now and we are proud to have the support of local businesses and local footballing legends too! The families and organisations we support are caring for some of society's most vulnerable children and they need us now more than ever.
“The COVID-19 crisis has meant that many of our fundraising events and campaigns have been cancelled or postponed so we are relying on the generosity of our supporters to ensure we can continue with our charitable work and reach as many children in need as possible."
Listen to the Rainbow Song here and make a donation too: www.rainbowsong.org
For more information about the Sunshine Fund, please visit: https://www.thesunshinefund.org/