Smile For Life Childrens Charity
Working in the North East of England, our vision is to put a smile on the face of every disabled and disadvantaged youngster. We empower these children and young people to achieve their potential to live a full and happy life.
Smile For Life strives to make a real difference to the lives of young people with physical and learning disabilities across the North East of England. Whether it is by providing equipment, experiences, short breaks, or even work placements for students in our Café Beam in Newcastle, we empower these young people to achieve their potential to live a full and happy life.
We provide essential work experience placements at our Café Beam in Gosforth – a beautiful café/bistro which is run by a team of young people with a variety of disabilities and learning difficulties.
These youngsters help to prepare all of the produce, serve customers, operate tills and handle money as well as welcoming many different members of the community both volunteers and customers.
Some Of The Young People We’ve Helped
Hope has Odho Syndrome which affects every part of her development. Having worked so hard with her mobility and now managing to walk with support, her mum Michelle asked for our help to adapt her garden, installing handrails, levelling it out, creating soft surfaces and planting sensory shrubs and toys. We were delighted to work with an amazing team from Tesco Bank to completely overhaul Hope\’s garden making it a wonderful haven for her to enjoy and continue building her strength!
Grace FrazerGrace Frazer is 6 years old and in 2014 was diagnosed with a brain tumour. Grace bravely underwent surgery and treatment only for the tumour to return the following year. Devastated, the family supported and nursed Grace through more gruelling chemo which she faced so courageously. It was fallowing this treatment that her family contacted us to help make her dream come true – a full refurbishment of her bedroom into a room fit for a princess! We were delighted to work with a team from Sage UK to strip the room then paint, carpet, furnish and provide beautiful finishing touches to make it magical for this brave little girl..
Savannah Donnison from Newcastle has Down Syndrome and complex medical needs including chronic lung disease and is oxygen dependant. Her mum contacted us to help provide a suitable outdoor play area for Savannah to enable her to get fresh air and exercise whilst keeping her health under control. Our team assessed her garden at home and together with a team of volunteers from UNW accountants, planned a new allergy free garden for Savannah. The team ripped out the lawn, bushes and plants and replaced it with artificial grass, sand pits and play area for Savannah to enjoy for many years to come!
Jasmine SteeleJasmine attends Percy Hedley School and we were contacted by her teacher who was desperate for help. Jasmine has a degenerative eye condition and her sight had become very poor. Mr Hebron had conducted a huge amount of research to help Jasmine and was desperate to maintain her ability to read, which was her great passion. He found and trialled the Connect 10 with Jasmine which was amazing – increasing the font of any book, magazine, photograph or item to the size Jasmine could see easily. The equipment cost £3000 which just wasn\’t affordable to her family so, following a fantastic fundraising drive by Mr Hebron, we were delighted to fund the remainder of the Connect 10 to make Jasmine\’s dream come true!
We were approached by Benjamin’s family when they were desperate for support. Benjamin suffers from many complex disabilities. Unable to walk, talk or feed himself, his parents were struggling to carry him upstairs to his bedroom as he got older. Their local council refused to adapt their home so his parents set about planning to create a downstairs bedroom for Benjamin. We were delighted to help create a campaign to get the funding required to complete the project and in November 2018 the work began on Benjamin’s dream room! The downstairs bedroom has changed the lives of all of the family, providing a safe place for Benjamin to sleep, a ground floor space that he can be wheeled into, rather than carried, and supervised when he needs regular rest and therapy.