Tamsin Kingsley

Tamsin's half marathon for Sunshine & Smiles

raised of £500 target
by 48 supporters
Donations cannot currently be made to this page
Event: Great North Run 2023, on 10 September 2023
We support people with Down syndrome to improve lives & opportunities in Leeds.


In just over a week I will be running a half marathon (13miles or 21 km) - The Great North Run in Newcastle. Having done this once before I can assure you this is no easy feat for me. Trying to train whilst juggling part time work and full time childcare over the holidays has been hard work, but it will be worth it if I can raise some money and awareness for a charity that is close to my heart - Sunshine & Smiles.

Recently I spoke to a family who told me about receiving the gift and information pack from Sunshine & Smiles and Diff-ability after the birth of their child. They described it as the first positive thing that had happened since their diagnosis of Down Syndrome and a turning point for them in how they were able to see their child and future. It reminded me of my own first visit in hospital from Ailith, where she calmly sat and talked to me about Down Syndrome and Sunshine & Smiles. I knew then that I wasn’t alone in what I was experiencing, and the charity has been there for us as a family ever since, at times when I couldn’t attend groups due to being in hospital, didn’t want to attend groups because of how I was feeling, and in more recent years when I’ve been able to fully access the range of fun, educational and supportive groups. 

Sunshine & Smiles supports those with Down syndrome in Leeds and the surrounding area along with their families. Lauren feels fully as much a part of the Sunshine & Smiles family as Izzy, and both girls have friends amongst the other children with Down Syndrome and their siblings. 

Since working for Sunshine & Smiles I’ve realised how much everyone at the charity cares about helping families wherever they’re at, regardless of age, background and situation. Some of the projects I’m currently involved in are:

-Finding the right Speech and Language therapist to work with our families; to run age specific groups to focus on the areas that those with Down Syndrome particularly struggle with, as well as providing individual help and guidance

-Working on the garden at Stainbeck Community Hall to provide a safe and therapeutic outdoor space for use by our groups.

-Working with the Leeds Teaching Hospitals and other charities to see how we can improve what we are able to offer to our families when their child is admitted to hospital

Anything you are able to give will go directly to helping those with Down Syndrome and their families, and also motivate me to keep running!!! 

Thank you. 

About the charity

Sunshine & Smiles is a registered charity that provides a support network in Leeds for children and people who have Down syndrome and their families We also run 21 Co. Cafe. Set up in 2011 we are the only specific support network in Leeds and fulfil a vital role in our local community.

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