Kingston Kings and a Queen

Blog by Nicola Jura, Futures & Office Administrator

The Futures group recently took a trip to Kingston to see how accessible it is.

We traveled by bus. It was my first time traveling in my power chair on public transport and I managed to park myself.

We started on the high street and ended in Bentalls Centre.  

We saw a piece of art which was phone boxes falling over (see photo below). The places we went to were accessible but there was a dip in the pavement which made things difficult for me. 

Just a quick reminder from me – don’t eat before you travel!

Artwork the we saw (David Mach, out of order)
Ritesh and David
Lunch stop at Costa
Christmas Display in the Bentall Centre

It’s that time of year again

Photo of Nicola out and about

Blog by Nicola Jura, Futures & Office Administrator

We are busy planning the staff Christmas lunch and preparing for our gift wrapping service on the 14th of December to the 24th in Epsom in the Ashley Centre (outside House of Fraser). If you’re free please come on down and see us in the festive spirit. 

Our Christmas lunch will have more people than last year, there will be 12 of us, can you believe it! Guess who’s organising it.. 

We have a new team member. Annie has joined as our new Independent Advocate and will be replacing John. He will be missed by all of us at Sunnybank. We welcome Annie on board and look forward to seeing what she brings to the team. 

Purple Tuesday logo

The Sunnybank Trust pledges support to Purple Tuesday

Sunnybank joins over 2000 businesses and organisations making changes to support those with disabilities. 

As part of our commitment to Purple Tuesday, we pledge to complete an accessibility audit of our office and website. By actively supporting and taking part in the Purple Tuesday initiative, we hope to encourage local businesses to consider the needs of their disabled customers and service users. 

New research published for Purple Tuesday reveals that poor customer service and a lack of staff understanding are among the key barriers preventing disabled consumers purchasing goods and services.  

Dorothy Watson, Sunnybank CEO said: “In our daily work we see the ways in which opportunities for adults with learning disabilities are limited by a lack of understanding and accessibility in local shops and organisations. By supporting Purple Tuesday, we hope to encourage other local organisations to plan with disabilities in mind. It really would mean a great deal for our members to have access to the services that many take for granted.” 

The purple pound is worth £249 billion and yet it is estimated that less than 10% of businesses have a targeted plan to access this disability market.3  

75% of disabled people have had to leave a shop or website, unable to go through with their purchase because of their disability1. New research shows that disabled people are more likely to spend money with businesses if they improve2

  • staff understanding about different disabilities (56%) 
  • the overall customer experience for disabled people (41%) 
  • shop accessibility (41%) 
  • website accessibility (16%) 

Some disabled respondents said improvements should include ‘being treated the same as anyone else’ and having ‘knowledgeable staff’.  

Of the 13.9 million disabled people in the UK, 80% have a hidden impairment, meaning improvements are needed to improve access for disabled people, beyond having a ramp installed to help enter a site

Mike Adams OBE, Chief Executive of Purple, said:  “Purple Tuesday has more than doubled in size this year, with more than 2000 organisations from a variety of sectors making commitments to improve the customer experience for disabled people. These are long-term changes that will have a lasting impact for millions of customers – and improve the commercial opportunities for the organisations involved.”

 For more information on Purple Tuesday, visit


1 Extra Costs Commission: Final Report. Scope, March 2015 
2 Research Conducted: 15/08/2019 – 22/08/2019. Sample: 501 respondents in the UK who consider themselves to be disabled. 
3 Leading from the front, Disability and the role of the Board, KPMG, May 2018: 

Busy, busy, busy!

Blog by Nicola Jura, Futures & Office Administrator

On the 3rd of October I attended the Grange Annual Review meeting which included a performance from Include Choir. Some people had their wishes come true this year, one of them was Richard who got to be the boss for a day, and another was a walking holiday in Scotland.

At the end there was a big surprise – they got a new minibus!! 

On the 9th of October, I went to the QEF open day which was on transport and accessibility.  There were many different stands and a driving track. We found out about the adaptions they can make to the driving theory test.  

We tried the toy adaptions on the MERU stand and got some information about a transfer sling you can use on airplanes.

Get Moving

Blog by Jovi Edwards, Choices Officer

On Sunday 20th October, me, Martin, Maria, Emily, Lesley and David (Emily’s dad) went to Epsom College for the ‘Get Moving’ event.

When we got there, we picked up tickets for each of the different activities we wanted to take part in. All of us decided to do freestyle dance where we learned how to do salsa.

Emily then went on to do some athletics and Maria, Lesley and David did Pilates. After that, me, Martin and Maria went swimming and did some swimming games.

Photo of Jovi and Martin at Get Moving event

We all thought it was a great day and all enjoyed ourselves.

I would give the day a 7/10 or 4 stars.

Guess who’s back

Nicola Jura

Blog by Nicola Jura, Futures and Office Administrator

I have returned and have now officially left college! 

I am now working with Sunnybank as an office team member on administration and Sunnybank’s new service called Futures.

Last month I attended the Surrey Learning Disability Partnership Board meeting which was full of information, most of it I did not understand.

At the meeting, Healthwatch released their learning disability easy read report. You can read it here.

I hope you continue to enjoy my blog entries – the next one will be very soon!

It was Mayhem!

Blog by Jovi Edwards, Choices Officer

Last Friday, me, my friends & Sunnybank Choices Manager, Lesley went to Mayhem which is a nightclub for adults with Learning Disabilities based in Woking. We all went in 2 cars.

We had a lot of fun and there was plenty of dancing & drinking involved. It was a 70s, 80s & 90s themed evening so people (including me) dressed up (I dressed up as Baby Spice) and they had 70s, 80s & 90s music on all night.

I thought it was good but not as good as previous Mayhems. I would give it a 7/10 or 4 stars.

Jovi and Martin at Mayhem
Jovi dressed as Baby Spice

Sunnybank Trustee shares online trolling experience

Sunnybank Trustee and learning disability campaigner Ciara Lawrence, shared her personal experience of online trolling with newspaper this week.

Ciara campaigning outside the Royal Courts of Justice
Ciara campaigning outside the Royal Courts of Justice

Ciara was trolled online in response to some of the excellent campaigning work she has been involved in, fighting for the rights of those with learning disabilities.

Read Ciara’s article here.

In the press 9th July 2019

Nicola’s June update

Nicola is 10 months into her internship at Sunnybank HQ, and is continuing to build on her professional and personal skills.

“Coming to the end of my supported Internship I have improved my skills and gained in confidence.”


Personal achievements I was invited to an awards evening at NESCOT and achieved two awards (Foundation Hub Student of the Year and the NESCOT Chancellor’s award for Overall Student of the Year).

I was surprised to see how much I have improved from previous years.

My internship at Sunnybank has help me to achieve these awards. I have doubted myself at times, but I have been determined not to give up and I have learnt a lot throughout the year.


Design and communications I have played a big part in the preparation of the drama group’s annual production, Beauty and the Beast. The production has an Arabian theme and I have designed a poster with this theme throughout. Also, I have been researching costume designs.

I was asked to find some quotes about beauty and came up with my own which is “beauty is everything that is good in the world”. My quote will be used as part of a song.

Fundraising I have been involved in helping at the Ashtead Village Day which is something I’ve never done before. Sunnybank managed to raise £154.92!!