Sunshine Coast charity ‘Sunshine Butterflies’ is spreading sunshine to many families throughout the Coast and beyond who are living with disability and founder Leanne Walsh knows first hand how disability affects families.
In 1995 Leanne gave birth to her son Curtis who entered the world 13 weeks premature leaving him on oxygen for the next 12months and later diagnosed with cerebral palsy and epilepsy.
Leanne’s dream of having a healthy baby was unexpectedly changed forever when she woke early one Sunday morning experiencing signs of early labour.
“My world was turned upside down and my vision of a perfect life turned a different direction to what I imagined and dreamed it to be,” she says.
Years later Leanne created Sunshine Butterflies to assist other families who walk a similar journey and to empower families and provide the support people need to achieve a happy and fulfilled life.
Sunshine Butterflies is a registered charity and not for profit organisation to support and improve the lives of young people with disabilities and provide families with support information and individual assistance.
Their 10 key program and service areas include:
• Family Care Program
• Swim and Recreation Clubs
• Siblings Social Club
• Puppet Disability Education & Awareness Program
• Support Groups
• Early Intervention Aqua Therapy Program – Baby Bridges
• Personal Fundraising Initiatives for families
• Post School Day Activity Programs (art, music & woodwork)
• Business Services – All ability First Aid Training & Sunshine Butterflies Cleaning
However it’s their holistic approach to support which sets them apart from other organisations and service providers. Leanne says not receiving government funding has actually been a blessing in disguise as it means they have to be creative in the way they fund services and it gives them an open licence to offer flexible solutions to assist families. “Our families who come into our life thank us for giving them hope as more often than not families living with disability do not cope well, and can view their life as lonely and challenging.”
Sunshine Butterflies open a whole world of possibilities for families by building confidence within the family unit. Each family will experience different challenges which change as their child progresses through life, but once they know there is help out there, they suddenly no longer feel alone.
Sunshine Butterflies “can do” approach is lead by Leanne and a small passionate team whose uniqueness to understand and support the caring role of families living with disabilities has earned them many awards.
They support over 250 families and many are joining from all over Australia to access their online personal fundraising initiative which allows families to raise funds to support their child’s needs, by using the security of a registered charity.
Millenium Education will be holding a special Fund Raising Event for Sunshine Butterflies on Friday the 21st November 2014 and proudly sponsored by Holistic Bliss Magazine. For more information about this event call: 07 56414009