The North East charity making a difference

7 Dec 2020 01:23 PM

We think it’s important to highlight the work of fellow charities who are doing amazing things to enhance the lives of others. We believe that the more diverse we can make spaces, the more we can learn and the richer our experiences will be for it.

The Chronicle Sunshine Fund is a local charity which has a special place in the hearts of the North East’s residents, including NCFE. The charity enhances the lives of local children with disabilities by funding equipment to meet their specialist needs. They support babies, children and young adults by funding equipment such as specialist beds, wheelchairs, trikes, IT and sensory equipment that is not available through the NHS, local authorities or any other sources.

We spoke to Siobhan Sargeant, Charity Director at The Chronicle Sunshine Fund, about the great work they are doing to support local children with disabilities in the North East and what the team got up to over lockdown.

Siobhan recently commented:

“Working for The Chronicle Sunshine Fund is very rewarding. It’s great to work with the small but incredibly dedicated and enthusiastic team of staff, trustees, and medical professionals. We work hard to provide specialist life changing equipment for babies, children and young adults living with disabilities here in our region.

“Each day of my job is different; one day I could be pitching to a room full of business professionals, the next I could be meeting beneficiaries and their families at soft play. I could be speaking on stage to over 400 people at one of our annual events or listening to the parent of a child with complex needs on a 1-2-1 call. One thing that is certain in my role, is that it’s a privilege to be part of this organisation and lead the charity.”

Supporting a diverse workplace through education

During lockdown, the team at The Chronicle Sunshine Fund decided to dedicate their extra free time to learning and looked for qualifications that would support them in their job roles. Siobhan studied the Level 2 Certificate in Equality and Diversity.

This qualification in equality and diversity is suitable for both young and adult learners, including those in or seeking employment. It is also ideal for those who need to develop an awareness of issues surrounding equality and diversity, for example as part of an induction programme or personal development.

Siobhan recently said:

“I really enjoyed the qualification content and the scenario-based learning, which really makes you think about relatable situations in your own life. I completed the qualification within three weeks, and it was great to be able to study online in my own time, fitting it around my full-time job and two football crazy kids! I loved that I could access the workbook via my phone so I could do required reading on the go, even in the football club carpark while the boys trained.

“The Level 2 Certificate in Equality and Diversity prompted me to review our own processes, guidelines and tone as an organisation. We pride ourselves on being a diverse and inclusive charity, but there’s always room for improvement and as a team, we are constantly looking for opportunities to learn. The course helped to clarify for me what we do well, and what we can do better in future.”

Upon completing the qualification, Siobhan recommended it to several of her colleagues at The Chronicle Sunshine Fund, who have now also completed the course. Siobhan added: “Two more members of our team completed the qualification together and we have another team member looking to enrol in due course. We’re really excited to see how this knowledge can help us to improve our organisation. I’m now looking for my next NCFE course!”

NCFE is supporting The Chronicle Sunshine Fund with its Christmas Jumper Day next week. We all need a little extra festive cheer this year and nothing cheers us up like a Christmas Jumper! Whether you're at work, home or school, join us on Friday 11 December for the Christmas Jumper Day. This year anything goes so grab your festive jumper, PJ's, hat and socks and get involved.

To find out more about The Chronicle Sunshine Fund and the excellent work that they do to support local children with disabilities, visit their website.