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Sunflowers Children’s Action Group

Sunflowers Children’s Action Group

We are a small volunteer group who create activities & events for local life-limited children.

“Honey-Rose has been a Sunflower for around 4 years, she has a very complex congenital heart disease. Honey-Rose is palliative and was born without a spleen so is also immunocompromised,” her mum, Kayley tells us.“Honey-rose is a happy 7-year-old girl who just loves life, being a part of Sunflowers and being able to access these events has given Honey-Rose so much confidence, she loves just getting involved with all her Sunflowers friends and it’s so nice to watch.Honey-Rose absolutely loves the Bounceback at Eclipse sessions, in her words "they are so much fun” and she'd “like to stay for hours if she could". This is why accessing funding for these sessions is essential for children like Honey-Rose. ... See MoreSee Less
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“Bounceback with Becky is a great event for Arthur. All of the staff have made an effort to get to know him, they are accepting of his quirky little ways, and they welcome him to the club with open arms! Even down to the playlist! He has his own "Arthur" playlist on the club’s Spotify! He loves the trampoline, sitting on the balance beams and playing with the cones! Thrown in all different directions, for safety purposes (of course) as directed by Chase from Paw Patrol!”Kara, Arthur’s mum, goes on to tell us, “Arthur is twin brother to Martha, they were born at only 26 weeks gestation weighing under 2lb each. Unfortunately, Arthur suffered a grade IV brain bleed. This has left him with a lifelong condition called Hydrocephalus and he has a shunt to manage the fluid on his brain. Due to the damage from his brain bleed Arthur also suffers with quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy and learning difficulties. Whilst Arthur is defying the odds and far exceeding any expectations the doctors ever had for him, life is a challenge. During the first two years of life Arthur battled back from serious life-threatening illnesses, Necrotising Enterocolitis (NEC), Sepsis and Meningitis. Arthur struggles socially at times and becomes easily frustrated. Accessing public events is always difficult for Arthur. He doesn't cope with crowded areas, and it can take time to adjust to things out of his control, such as loud environments. We struggle to find activities that Arthur will accept and enjoy. He loves these sessions, and we are grateful to everyone who supports Sunflowers to enable children like Arthur to take part in them.” ... See MoreSee Less
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Rio joined our Sunflowers group when we first started in 2019. He has Downs Syndrome and as well as other health problems. He has Tracheobronchial Malasia meaning his windpipe isn’t strong enough for food to go down, resulting in an unsafe swallow so he is peg-fed. Rio has hyper mobility. Rio has had multiple surgeries in the past.As Nicola. Rio’s mum confirms, “Rio has made many friends with the other sunflower children. With Rio having so many medical needs (and for safety) Rio can’t just go out to play as he doesn’t understand the dangers out there. Going to these events makes Rio so happy, he loves to take part in them. There’s plenty of space for Rio for to run around and with him having hyper mobility, he can show off his gymnastics skills and even does the splits!”Please help us to keep up our work for children like Rio. With your support, we can continue to make a difference. ... See MoreSee Less
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"Daisy -Jean has a heart condition called Patent Ductus Arteriosus. When this event was announced with @sunflowerslocal she was counting down the days telling everyone where she was going & how excited she was." This is why our Duffy’s sessions are so important to our children.

Mum Laura says, “We have always struggled with activities for Louie as getsoverwhelmed but the older he gets,he has more accessibility needs.
@sunflowerslocal & Bounceback can keep my daughter entertained as well as Louie which means we can enjoy this together as a family.”

“Bounceback with @sunflowerslocal & Becky is a great event for Arthur. He has his own "Arthur" playlist on the club’s Spotify! He loves the trampoline, sitting on the balance beams and playing with the cones. Arthur is just accepted for the wonderful child he is.” Kara, mum.

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British Citizen Awards

Joanne Wright, the Founder of Sunflowers Children’s Action Group

We are delighted to be able to bring you some news that we have had to keep under our hats for a while, but today we can finally tell you that Joanne Wright, the founder of Sunflowers Children’s Action Group, has been selected to receive the BCAh for Healthcare in the forthcoming ‘British Citizen Awards on 18th January 2024.

The Worshipful, The Mayor of the Borough of Grimsby, Cllr Ian Lindley will present Joanne with a certificate and Medal on that date.

Joanne was nominated by Melanie Batty, whose son, Jax has benefitted from the charity’s work in the past.

The BCA, often dubbed ‘The People’s Honours’, is now in its 10th year and recognises exceptional selfless individuals who may often be overlooked. Presentations are made twice annually at a Ceremony at the Palace of Westminster and are limited to a maximum of 30 per ceremony. However, Joanne has chosen to have her award presented locally.

The insertion in the 2024 Roll of Honour will state:

“Joanne Wright BCAh

Lincolnshire

In 2019, Joanne set up the charity ‘Sunflowers Children’s Action Group’ based in Grimsby after spotting a gap in the provision of support across areas of Lincolnshire and Yorkshire for children with life-limiting illnesses. The group creates special, inclusive events and activities to create lasting memories for these children and their families.

Many children with life-limiting illnesses face social exclusion, missing out on parties and special events, whilst enduring hospitalisations, harsh treatments and forced school absences. Joanne created Sunflowers to ensure children with these conditions do not miss out. Shortly after the group was created, the pandemic hit, and Joanne and a handful of unpaid volunteers continued to make a difference during lockdown. They delivered hundreds of gift parcels and online events to children that were shielding and as they couldn’t get together as a group.

Joanne works with local hospitals, hospices, and outreach services to help make a difference to these children. Sunflowers now comprises of over 125 families and activities are planned throughout the year to improve mental and physical health, which also offer family-to-family opportunities of support. Whilst running the Sunflowers charity, Joanne also offers full-time support to her own inspirational daughter.”

Joanne says, “I am so honoured to be considered worthy of this Honour, and am particularly touched that the nomination came from one of our parents. However, the Sunflowers story isn’t really about me and where it started. It’s about teamwork, community and support and where we are now. No one individual is more passionate or dedicated than another or worthy of individual recognition – the trustees of this charity all work so hard in the background as do the supporters, volunteers and families, to make Sunflowers what it is. In accepting this Honour, I share it with everyone involved.”

Summer Events

Fairy Sleepover

Baking with The Cake Lady

Duffy’s Chocolate Making

Eclipse Gymnasium

The Trin Holiday Club

Mayor’s Charity of the year

Cllr Ian Lindley, Mayor of North East Lincolnshire in 2023-2024

Congratulations to Councillor Ian Lindley who has this evening been declared the new Mayor of North East Lincolnshire. We are proud beyond measure to have been chosen as one of the Mayor’s chosen charities for the year and thank him for the difference his support will make to our families.

Photo: Mr Mayor, Cllr Ian Lindley (left) and Sunflowers CAG trustee, Derek McAndrew at Grimsby Town Hall this evening.

Superhero Sleepover

Some of our children and their families had the opportunity to experience a Superhero Sleepover with Luxx Events at the Hampton by Hilton, Humberside Airport.

At the Superhero Academy, the children had the opportunity to learn poses plus web-shooting and web bombs with Spidey, superhero landing and circuits with Widow and target practice with The Captain and The Iron Legend. Over a delicious buffet breakfast on the Saturday morning, the children received Superhero Academy certificates and team photographs from Luxx Events.

The families have sent us amazing feedback about the even. With all you can eat buffet, overnight stay with breakfast and fabulous entertainment, what’s not to love! Here are some wonderful photos from the event.

Councillor Peter Clark

Cllr Peter Clark, Mayor of North Lincolnshire in 2021-2022

Sunflowers Children’s Action Group is entirely reliant on support from the local community to help make a difference to our registered children who suffer from life limiting and/or life threatening conditions. We are all volunteers, so aside from minimal operating overheads, all monies raised are used to make a difference. So, we have to give our huge thanks to Cllr Peter Clark, Mayor of North Lincolnshire in 2021-2022 for his outstanding efforts on our behalf. We are now in receipt of all the funds he raised for us during his mayoral year, which add up to a fantastic…..drum roll…… £20495.18. Absolutely incredible! Cllr Clark has been the mayor a record three times, and also previously supported the children’s charity Joanne was involved with, then raising £76057.61 over the two previous terms. That’s almost £100,000! Some people may question the role of a mayor in a community, but this is by far the greatest gift that anyone can give – their time, energy and efforts being given to help those who need it most. We simply can’t thank Cllr Clark enough for this incredible donation. Cllr Clark commented, ““I’ve had the privilege of seeing the difference that this fundraising has made to our local families. Clearly, it has been a very difficult time for charities in general, so I am very proud to have been able to support them in some small way.”

Santa’s Special Christmas Parties 2021

We held our second Christmas party in December 2021 alongside, a week later a virtual event for the families that couldn’t attend in person. Santa took time out of his busy schedule to visit our children and whether it was in person or via the computer special memories were created.

Past Events

As lockdowns continued during 2020 and 2021 we carried on supporting our families with activity boxes and virtual entertainment events to

When the first lockdown struck in 2020, we realised there was a need to support our families more than ever, not go to ground.

Gift boxes with suitable toys and sweets were sent to every registered child whose family requested one. Sunflower growing packs were sent a few weeks later and Think2Speak crayons and colouring books were sent out another couple of weeks after that. A final round of lock-down gifts were kindly and very generously sponsored by an organisation called ‘We Are All Making a Difference’ who donated £5000!

Thanks to sponsorship, we have sent out over 80 wonderful gift boxes to deserving, brave and shielded children.

Despite the many obstacles we have faced this year, we still managed to provide our children with special parcels to help put smiles on their faces.

Click the button below to read the full article on Grimsby Live:
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Santa’s Special Christmas Party 2019

Santa’s Special Christmas Party 2019 took place at Forest Pines Hotel – with around 200 guests and Santa joining us specially from Lapland! Lots of photos are available to view on our Facebook page and here is a short video of the party.

Although this year will be quite different, Santa’s Virtual Christmas Party is going to be incredibly special.

Fundraising

Even through the difficult last few months, there has been some fantastic fund raising going on in aid of Sunflowers. Chris Sheasby, Nathaniel’s triple Challenge, Shaun Ellis 10k run and Emily’s sponsored haircut donation.

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