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Sunshine & Smiles

What we do

We organise free groups and events to improve the lives and opportunities of children and families living with Down syndrome in Leeds. This includes speech and language therapy, regular groups and activities, individual support and advocacy for families, as well as raising awareness and challenging preconceptions in the wider community.

Our sessions include; football, dance, swimming, music, singing, and structured play for younger children. 

 

Support

We understand each family will need different support at various times of their young persons development, and we want the support we offer to be as individual as possible depending on a family’s needs. Our charity is parent led and carry a wealth of experience and knowledge.

We can offer home or hospital visits, email or telephone contact and we have regular groups and activities you can drop into. 

There are a number of other areas we can offer help with such as completing forms for Disability Living Allowance, Carer’s Allowance, and talking through and helping with Education, Health and Care plan assessments.

We also have a wonderful partnership with Phoenix Health and Wellbeing where all our families can access complementary therapies or counselling free of charge.

If we can’t help, we will find out where there is someone who can.

 

Groups

Sunbeams 0-3’s Group

A chance to meet new friends and other families to ask questions and share experiences over a cuppa. We also do Sing and Sign, creative play and other fun filled activities for all the family. Siblings are welcome to come along too! We have regular speakers from other organisations (for example, Speech and Language, Portage, Physiotherapy) to talk to us about services and support available for our families.

Early Development Age 1-2 / Age 2-3

A structured session focussed on learning early developmental skills. We use tools, resources & techniques from See & Learn, the Early Years Developmental Journal, The Portage Model, and we link with our Speech & Language therapists to ensure consistency & continuity.

Mini Movers Age 2-8 / Age 8-15

Using an inclusive approach the Mini Movers Dance Sessions are created to encourage children to explore their imagination and use their bodies through play and movement. Props, music and singing are used to promote a creative environment where the children can have fun and the sessions are made accessible to all.

Family Swimming

We hire Bramley Baths for our exclusive use and everyone is welcome to come along for as long as you like. We have individual 15-minute structured swimming lessons you can book in advance or just come for a splash. The lessons will run throughout the session but everyone is free to swim in the rest of the pool. All ages and siblings are welcome. 

Made with Music Age 2-8 / Age 8-15

Made with Music is a charity based in Leeds who specialise in providing accessible live music experiences for families and young people. They love singing and all the personal and social benefits singing with a group brings.

Football Juniors Age 4-9 / Intermediate Age 9-16

These football sessions are lots of fun but also have structure, and focuses on learning and developing physical skills, increasing confidence and being part of a team.

Speech and Language

Small group sessions delivered by Speech & Language Therapists who work to build on your child’s social skills, and general language development. The session will focus on speech sounds, language in context, and understanding.

Danceworks

Dance sessions run by qualified and experienced dance teacher, Laura Jakes who provides excellent tuition, as well as the support from an amazing group of volunteers. The main aim for Danceworks is to have fun, but there is structure to allow children and young people to learn routines.

Smilers Singing Age 10+

The session is relaxed and about sharing and exploring our voices together. Singing teacher, Michelle Hodgson, leads the group and it’s all about having fun and creating sounds. No singing experience needed, nor will you be expected to read music.

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