Shining Rays of Hope
for those with
in the Weston-super-mare area
Weston Sunbeams is a Charity set up in 1954 by parents from Baytree School. It is run solely by volunteers to offer help, support and grants for the Additional Needs of those with Learning Disabilities
Whether you'd like to join the committee, make a donation, or just take some of our fliers, there are a great many ways you can help and we really appreciate every bit!
We're all ears! Please feel free to contact us via email or telephone: all the details you need are on the "Contact Us" page. (Please note we can only accept Grant Requests from recognised Health Professionals - see FAQ)
Add your email address below and click the yellow button if you'd like someone to contact you about helping Weston Sunbeams help the local Community
Who are we?
We are a Charity originally set up by parents from Baytree School. We are a group of Volunteers who give up our time freely to run Weston Sunbeams.
What do we do?
Our aim is to offer help and support to members of our local community who have a variety of Learning Disabilities. The help we offer can range from advice and guidance o financial grants. We have very specific criteria about the people we are able to help (see below). We are legally bound by these criteria and however much we may empathise with someone’s cause, we do not have any legal authority to make exceptions to these criteria.
Who can Weston Sunbeams help? / What are Weston Sunbeam’s criteria to offer help?
The person requiring our help must be classed as having a “Learning Disability”. This includes people with Cerebral Palsy, Autism and a variety of other conditions that are categorised as “Learning Disabilities”. Learning Difficulties such as Dyslexia and Physical Disabilities are outside the legal scope of our remit.
We are legally bound by these criteria and however much we may empathise with someone’s cause, we do not have any legal authority to make exceptions to these criteria.
We can also only offer help to those people who live with postcode areas BS22, BS23, and BS24. We are legally bound by these criteria and we do not have any authority to make any exceptions. As such, we do require documentary evidence of residency in order to proceed, as well as in the later stages of the verification process.
Is there an age restriction on who you can help?
No we have no age restrictions at all.
What Grants can Weston sunbeams offer?
We can offer grants for things that are considered “needs” rather than wants, or wishes, but do not fall under the remit of any other funding, (eg DFG - Disabled Facilities Grant).
Examples of grants we have awarded in the past were for a specific child car seat, bespoke ear plugs, an adapted school vehicle, wheelchair ramps, a toddler wheelchair and many more.
We generally offer grants from £5 to £5000 however this can be increased in exceptional circumstances.
What if I want more than £5000?
We generally offer Grants from £5 to £5000: however in exceptional circumstances we may be able to offer a higher amount, for example to provide an adapted minibus that will benefit a multitude of people. You are also able to apply for ‘part funding’ for your requirements.
Can I apply for more than one Grant?
Yes you can, but you can only apply for one Grant in any one calendar year.
So please think about your application carefully before applying as even if you had a successful Grant application for £5, you still need to wait until the next calendar year before you can apply again.
Do we offer funding for “wishes”?
No we are not a “Wishing Charity”. We offer grants specifically on the basis on “need”. However if you are looking for a “Wish” charity, you may wide to look at
What area do you cover?
We can offer help to those people who fit our criteria and live with postcode areas BS22, BS23 and BS24. We are legal bound by these criteria and we do not have any authority to make any exceptions. As such, we do require documentary evidence of residency in order to proceed, as well as in the later stages of the verification process.
How do I apply for Grant?
We can only accept grant applications from a recognised Health Professional. This could be an Occupational Therapist, Physiotherapist, GP, Community Paediatrician, Lifetimes Staff, SEN or other Recognised Health Professionals. Please ask them to contact us if they are unsure if you fit our criteria.
You will be required to fill in a form detailing your requirements along with health and residency information. You will also be required to sign a disclosure document allowing us access to medical records where appropriate (your information will be greatest in the strictest confidence and is fully covered under the Data Protection Act).
It is essential that applications are only made for people who specifically meet our “health” and “residency” criteria, as these are legal requirements for us to offer grants: they are criteria over we have no legal discretionary powers. Therefore application not meeting these criteria will automatically be rejected at the final verification stages.
All the information you need is detailed under “Contact Us”.
How long will it take to know the decision about my Grant?
Weston Sunbeams is run solely by volunteers so whilst we make every effort to review Grant requested as quickly as possible, it could take up to 8 weeks for us to get back to you.
Can I apply to other places for funding?
It is a requirement of the Grant Application that you only apply for funding that is not already covered by a Disabled Facilities Grant, Occupational Therapy etc, and that you are not financially able to cover yourself.
We do however accept that Charity funding is often sought as a last resort and as such it may have taken some considerable time to have even arrived at this point. This coupled with the fact that we only provide funding for “needs” means that we fully accept that you may wish to apply to other charities as well as Weston Sunbeams to get the funding as quickly as possible and also because some grant applications may be unsuccessful. All we ask is that you keep us fully up to date with any other grant applications you have made or do make, along with their outcomes: and obviously that you do not accept funding from two sources for the same need (unless they are for part funding). Obviously accepting two Grants for the same need would be classed as fraud and Weston Sunbeams will always pursue any fraudulent activity to the full extent of the law.
We are also happy to receive applications for Part Funding if your total requirement is for over £5000.
Where else can I apply for Funding?
Your registered Health Professionals should have lots of information regarding funding however a few good places to start North Somerset Council’s Disabled Facilities Team for larger adaptions, or Occupational Therapy for smaller requirements. You might also like to consider charities such as www.familyfund.org.uk or google other charities specific to your condition.
If I receive a Grant do I have to agree to publicity?
No you don’t! Whilst its always lovely for us to be able to publicise the help we give to people and we love adding your photos to our web site, we totally accept that not everyone wants that, so the choice is totally yours.
Can I join the committee?
We are always grateful for help and support so if you would like to join us please do call 07817 204123
I don’t want to join the committee but is there any other way I can help?
Most definitely yes! There are many ways you can help. You may wish to :
Make a donation to Weston Sunbeams
Leave a bequest to Weston Sunbeams in your Will
Take some Publicity information to leave at any centres or establishments you go to
or simply just help us speed our name by telling all your friends about Weston Sunbeams
Please ask your appropriate Health Professional (see FAQ) to contact us and let us know how we can help
We are located in the South West of England and deal specifically with those people who are resident in BS22, BS23 and BS24 Postcode. Please note, we are not legally allowed to deviate from this requirement however worthy we feel your cause is. Sorry!
(Please note we can only take referrals from recognised Health Professionals (See FAQ)
email : email@example.com