What we offer

Advocacy

Everyone has the right to make choices about their own lives. Some people find it harder to say what they want or to speak up for themselves. This can be even more difficult when you have a learning disability.

If you would like some support making your voice heard, then our Advocacy Service is here for you.

Concerned about a friend or loved one? If they could benefit from an impartial and independent source of support, then our Advocacy Service might be what you’re looking for.

Our Citizen Advocates help their Advocacy Partners have their voices heard.
This includes helping Advocacy Partners understand their options and putting their needs and wants first.
How Advocates help:

  • They listen to their Advocacy Partners.
  • They find out information.
  • They explain things so their Advocacy Partners can make informed choices.
  • They make sure their Advocacy Partners know their rights.
  • They talk to other people with or on behalf of their Advocacy Partner.
  • They help their Advocacy Partners express themselves.

“My advocate is there to help you. She’s a person that will sit and listen.”

Advocacy Partner
Our Citizen Advocates are committed to being there for as long as they are needed. This could be for a one-off issue or life-long support.
The issues we support on:

  • Care and support planning
  • Activities and leisure access
  • Accommodation
  • Medical care
  • Transition
  • Safeguarding
  • Education
  • Benefits
  • Finances and financial abuse
  • End of life planning
  • Best interest meetings
  • many more.

If it matters to our Advocacy Partners, it matters to us.
We aim to help everyone who needs our support, but we do not always have the resources available so we do have a waiting list for our advocacy service. We give priority to:

  • Those who require non-instructed advocacy due to communication barriers,
  • If someone is without family or close friends in their lives,
  • If there is an urgent issue that needs immediate attention.

Our Advocacy programme is independent of any statutory authority. Our Advocacy Partners best interests are our sole priority.

We believe in putting people first and follow the principles of The Advocacy Charter.
We respect our Advocacy Partners’ right to confidentiality and ensure their data security is a priority.
If you volunteer as a Citizen Advocate you will:

  • Be supported by our Advocacy Manager
  • Be involved in a two-stage induction
  • Be trained in key areas (including safe-guarding, human rights etc.)
  • Be part of a friendly and welcoming team of volunteers
  • Be invited to regular training sessions and team meetings
  • Be building a relationship and making a difference to someone’s life.

Buddies

Friendship is at the heart of everything we do because we believe friendships are some of the most important relationships we’ll ever have.

It can be difficult to make friends. So our Buddy Scheme is there to help. Whether you’re looking for someone to share coffee, cake and a chat with or to see the latest blockbuster film with you, by matching up likeminded people and providing activities we want to help you get to know potential new friends.

The types of Sunnybank Buddies

Penfriends:
It’s a rare treat to have something pop through your letterbox that isn’t a bill or flyer. Penfriends exchange regular letters, postcards, or drawings to cause a smile when the post comes. We also run a monthly Penfriend Corner at Kites Club to help people respond to their penfriends if they need some extra support.

121 Buddies:
Want a buddy to go to the cinema with? Or maybe you’re looking for someone to have a pint with down the pub. Then a 121 buddy is just what you’re looking for. We pair up people with similar interests so they can socialise, get to know each other better, and spend time doing what they love with someone else.  Buddies Club (see below) is also open to all 121 Buddies.

Home buddies:
Sometimes people living together also want to socialise together and would appreciate a mutual friend. Home buddies visit people living in residential care homes and spend time socialising as a group.  They might do jigsaw puzzles, listen to music, watch a movie, or just have a cuppa and a chat.  We also help homes to partner up with other homes so they can socialise together.

Buddies Club is open to all homes and Home Buddies as a place to meet. All of our friends are welcome to meet at Kites Club too.

Buddies Club
Each week we host a variety of activities for you to get involved in, with or without a Sunnybank Buddy.  Everyone is welcome to join in.

Current Buddy Clubs are:
Coffee and Cake Club – 10-11.30am every Tuesday at Costa Coffee, Odeon, Upper High Street, Epsom.
Come along for a cuppa and a chat. Remember your cash for coffee, and the cake is on us.

Book Club – 6-6.45pm every other Thursday at St. Barnabas Church, Temple Road, Epsom, KT17 8HA
An accessible book club using Books Beyond Words. Open to everyone, this book club is a fun way to fill in time between The Happy Kings and Queens Drama Group and Kites Club, or just something to come along to on its own.

If you have any ideas about possible activities for Buddies Club, let us know!

Check out our events page for full details of activities you can join.
 

If you volunteer as a Buddy you will:

  • Be supported by Lesley, our Buddy Scheme Manager
  • Be involved in an induction
  • Be invited to regular training session
  • Be getting out and about in your local community
  • Be having fun while making a difference!

Happy Kings & Queens

The Happy Kings and Queens Drama group is focused on fun, inclusive, member led drama activities, with at least one show a year.

When: 5-6pm every Thursday
Where:St. Barnabas Church, Temple Road, Epsom, KT19 8HA
Price: £3.50 (includes entry to Kites Club)

Each week the group meets to do workshops, which help improve their skills as actors, help deal with complex life events, or are part of developing their annual production.

Members of The Happy Kings and Queens pitch for the show they would like to perform and then the group vote for their favourite to produce that year.  As part of this, the group enjoys a theatre trip to see someone else’s interpretation of their chosen show, or just to get a feel for and learn from professional theatre.

The Happy Kings and Queens are a hard-working and supportive group, who practice team work each week.  Joining in with drama is great for building confidence, meeting new people, being creative and expressing yourself.

Every drama session starts with a warm-up that everyone is encouraged to join in with.  This changes each week and could be involve improvisation, story-telling, physical theatre and movement, or role-playing.
Members of the group are encouraged to share their ideas, support each other, and be involved in all aspects of theatre.  That said, depending on what you’re comfortable with, everyone is welcome to opt in or out of different parts of the workshop so they enjoy themselves as much as possible.

Everyone is welcome to join The Happy Kings and Queens Drama Group, so if it sounds like fun to you get in touch!

If you volunteer as a Drama Group Friend you will:

  • Be supported by Dorothy, our Drama Co-ordinator (and CEO!)
  • Be involved in an induction
  • Be invited to regular training sessions
  • Be part of a vibrant and dedicated team of volunteers
  • Be having fun and being supportive, whether on stage of behind the scenes!

Kites Club

Everyone has the right to try new activities, develop hidden talents, and practice life and social skills. Kites Club is all about doing just that in a fun and friendly environment.

When: 6-8pm every Thursday
Where:St. Barnabas Church, Temple Road, Epsom, KT19 8HA
Price: £3.00

Our weekly social club is open to all Sunnybank Members.  It’s a great place to meet old friends, make new ones, try your hand at crafts, sports/dance, and lots of other unusual activities, or just enjoy a cuppa and a chat!  There really is something for everyone.
Each week there is a main activity, our café, a craft activity and our pop up sensory room.  To find out what’s coming up, check out our Kites Club Planner or the events page.
Kites Club favourites include:

  • Bollywood dancing
  • Discos
  • Community golf
  • Bingo
  • Sensory nights
  • Live music
  • Drumming workshops
  • Tai-chi
  • Talent shows
  • Open mic comedy night
  • and much, much more!

Kites Club is run by members for members. We host regular feedback forums and are always open to suggestions, so if there’s something you want to do or a night you particularly enjoy, let us know and we’ll make sure the events programme reflects what Kites Club members want to be doing.
Kites is a vibrant, welcoming environment so come along and give it a try!

Volunteering at Kites Club
If Kites Club sounds like the kind of place you’d like to volunteer, there are a range of roles available.  From helping run the café or set-up and clear-up, to supporting arts and crafts or mingling and supporting members more generally, there is a role to suit everyone.

If you volunteer as a Kites Club Friend you will:

  • Be supported by Mandy, our Kites Club Deputy Manager
  • Be involved in an induction
  • Be invited to regular training session and team meetings
  • Be part of a friendly and welcoming team of volunteers
  • Be having fun while making a difference!

Swag Club

Swag Club is a student-led evening social club that meets monthly to have fun, hang out and party!

Meeting up with friends can be difficult plan; trying to find a time and place that everyone can get to is hard.  Swag Club gives students, ex-students and other young people the opportunity to meet up outside of college hours and away from home.

Every week students at the NESCOT PFLAW Department meet with us for the Pizza Planning Group (there’s planning and pizza) sessions. To begin with they came up with ideas for the branding and name of Swag Club. They then went on to plan the types of activities and food they wanted for the club, as well as advertising Swag Club.  Any student who is part of the PFLAW department is welcome to join the Pizza Planning Club and help shape and organise Swag Club.  It’s a chance to build confidence, learn and practice planning skills, socialise and make new friends.  It’s also great to have on your CV and we are happy to write references for anyone involved in the group.

Swag Club runs once a month and is a vibrant and exciting place to hang out with friends, make new ones, and try new things.  On the night activities include:

  • Dj-ing and music
  • Open mic
  • Tuck shop
  • Selfie corner
  • Wii gaming

So if you or someone you care about is 18-30ish and would like to come along, get in touch!

If you volunteer as a Swag Club Friend you will:

  • Be supported by Mandy, our Kites Club Deputy Manager
  • Be involved in an induction
  • Be invited to regular training sessions
  • Be part of a vibrant and dedicated team of volunteers
  • Be having fun and doing something to support young people in the local community.