Little Penny Turner is full of smiles – and it’s all thanks to the charitable efforts of Sunshine Fund supporters across the North East.

The 22-month-old has spina bifida and suffers from a range of health problems which include huge difficulty in walking, meaning Penny needs a wheelchair specially designed for a child her age.

Newcastle High School for Girls was eager to help after hearing about Penny via a teacher from Grace Darling primary School.

Both schools took part in the Sunshine Fund’s designated Wear Yellow day in June which saw Penny’s family themselves dress up as bananas to raise sponsorship.

Together with Penny’s family, Grace Darling children raised just under £535.

Newcastle High School for Girls held a cake and biscuit sale alongside their own Wear Yellow day which added £1,250 to the pot, bringing the total amount raised to over £1,700.

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Angela Charlton, head teacher of Newcastle High Junior School, said that helping out the local community plays an important part in the ethos of the school and everyone was touched by Penny’s story.

She said: “I was immensely proud of the girls’ engagement with this fund-raising opportunity and their eagerness to contribute.

“It was fantastic to see the support of our parents for Wear Yellow day and we were all thrilled to be able to make a difference for Penny.“

Penny joined her parents on a visit to School to collect the cheque on behalf of the charity and she spent time playing outside with girls from Nursery.

Mam Heather has said the new £2,200 wheelchair will give her daughter more freedom to play with children her own age when she herself starts at Nursery School in September.

She added of the joint fundraising efforts: “It is to ensure future children are helped and we are so grateful for the support from the charity.”

Paul Bulmer, from the Sunshine Fund, said: “What a fantastic amount the children at both schools and Penny’s family have raised.

“Their efforts really change the lives of children with disabilities and the equipment the Sunshine Fund can provide for them.”

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