New Sunshine Card scheme to brighten up the lives of those with disabilities in South Tyneside
Two South Tyneside mums are set to launch a new scheme to bring a little bit of sunshine into the lives of those living with disabilities.
Lynsey Baxter and Nichola Winthrop, co-founders of the Odd Socks Foundation have announced a new scheme to support those living with or caring for someone with a disability.
Close friends Lynsey and Nichola launched Odd Socks in 2018 with the aim of providing a place for families of youngsters with a range of disabilities to go for help and support.
Their latest initiative, the Sunshine Card, due to launch later this year, will give those with hidden and visible disabilities the chance to shop, eat out and socialise at a reduced cost.
The 10 South Tyneside streets with most disorder and anti-social behaviour in June
Owners urged to keep dogs on leads after 'two swans are killed' at South Tyneside beauty spot
'We can support each other': South Tyneside mum who lost son to suicide to hold fundraiser for new support group
Bats still holding up demolition of ‘eyesore’ Jarrow building after six years
Striking new images show vision for South Tyneside College and Customs House in bid for town centre levelling-up cash
Lynsey and Nichola, who both have children with additional needs, came up with the idea in a bid to reduce prejudice and promote social inclusion.
Lynsey, mum to Harry, 13, and Oscar, 7, knows only too well how isolating the conditions such as autism can be for both the child and the parent.
“People often don’t want to go out for fear of being judged,” she said.
“We live it daily with our children and we want to change things for other people.”
Lynsey, who sometimes attends up to 19 appointments a week with Oscar, who has a rare chromosome disorder, continued: “When you’re a carer of an autistic child it can be very difficult to find employment and carers allowance is only £120 a week.”
More than 11% of people are providing unpaid care in South Tyneside – a figure higher than the national average.
But Lynsey added: “It’s not just about prices, it’s to make people feel included in society.”
For a small cost, people will sign up to a two-year membership with the Sunshine Card, giving them access to a range of discounts and benefits.
Odd Socks are also looking for businesses, both local and national, to get involved the scheme.
“All the money will go back into the Foundation so we can continue to grow,” added Lynsey.
“The response has been amazing, proving that the need is even greater than we thought.”
For more information visit the Sunshine Card Facebook page