CORONAVIRUS: Spreading a little sunshine

Published Thursday, 9th April 2020

A project led by Hartlepool Carers and supported by a range of partners is bringing some happiness into the lives of local children during the Coronavirus outbreak.

Spread a Little Sunshine involves the delivery of special activity packs to over 100 children.

Christine Fewster, Chief Executive Officer with Hartlepool Carers, said: “Since the outbreak began, we have been working hard to ensure all unpaid carers across the town have access to the right support and information during lockdown.

“Working with young carers and families of children with additional needs and disabilities, it has become very apparent that some families are finding it challenging to occupy their children and maintain positive family relationships.

“Also, many carers across the town have been self-isolating for a number of weeks to protect their loved ones who they are caring for. This has limited their access to activities and resources.

“As we progress through this lockdown, it is clear our communities’ wellbeing and mental health are now being impacted. Spread a Little Sunshine which is aimed at young carers from 5 years old and children who have special educational needs and disabilities, aims to address this.”

Spreading a Little Sunshine

Families can be nominated to receive a pack of activities and resources that includes

  • Garden Games (football, mini golf, badminton sets, beach balls etc)
  • Sensory toys and materials
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Useful resources such as How to Make a Sensory Bottle, Salt Dough Recipes and Covid-19 Time Capsule
  • Mindfulness Activities and
  • Yoga for kids and
  • Easter Eggs

Hartlepool Carers has received funding from 1 Hart, 1 Mind, 1 Future - Hartlepool’s recognised parent-led forum for children with SEND - as well as donations from Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, the town’s Co-operative funeral home and Sainsburys and support from Poundland in Hartlepool. Hartlepool Borough Council has also supported the initiative by offering drivers from the new Hartlepool Support Hub to distribute the packs.

Christine Fewster added: “We are so grateful to all organisations for their support and I’d like to give a special mention to the drivers provided by the Council who have enabled us to get the packs out really quickly.”

She said Hartlepool Carers hoped to continue providing packs throughout the Coronavirus lockdown period, although this depends upon the availability of funding.