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Baby & Toddler Sensory Group

We have created a wonderful pre-school sensory group for children 0-3 years with a disability, additional need or just beginning the process of assessment. No diagnosis required. This is a wonderful small group where you can gain advice, support and enjoy lovely sensory play for your child.  This programme is being supported by Sunderland Together For Children, Family Hub.  

This is a wonderful small group for up to 8 children along with their parents/carers.  This is ran weekly on a Wednesday during term time and places can be booked via our events page.  Each week we have a different activity/theme with Sensory Stories, Tac Pac, body awareness, motor skills, messy play.  The children who attend these sessions have gained so much and really enjoy their interactions with new friends and it lovely to see them develop and grow along with the Parents and carers meeting new friends and interacting in such a familiar group.

VCAS Awards


We are so proud of Charlotte Stewart for being Highly Commended in the Junior Volunteer award of the VCAS Open Arms Awards 2023.  Charlotte was recognised for all of the hard work she puts into helping at our family events.


The Special Lioness was also Highly Commended in the Small Group Community Culture and Arts Award. 


A Halloween Night of Delight

In a world where shadows played on moonlit eves, A Halloween party, a tapestry of joy weaves. For children with spirits as bright as the moon, A celebration where every heart would swoon.

The venue adorned with pumpkins aglow, Welcoming families with a spectral hello. Giggles and laughter echoed through the air, A haven of warmth, a place beyond compare.

Costumes aplenty, a kaleidoscope of hues, Imagination unfurling, like mystical cues. Heroes and ghouls, side by side they stand, In this enchanted party, hand in hand.

As the moon peeked through a spectral mist, The dance floor called, a magical twist. Children twirled with joy, hearts all aflutter, Dancing with shadows, a Halloween utter.

A special guest, The Addams Family arrived, With Gomez, Morticia, and children who thrived. They danced through the night, a macabre ballet, Waltzing with glee in a spectral display.
As the moon bid farewell, and dawn's light drew near, Families departed, hearts full of cheer. In this Halloween tale, where love takes its stand, Every child, every family, hand in hand.

Comments from Families:

"What a fabulous day everyone had you have smashed it again Special Lionesses xx"

"What a fantastic afternoon! Thank you so much xx"

"thank you all so much for a lovely afternoon xx"

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Surf Party With Santa

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On Sunday 30th July we tested the water with a Surf Party with Santa...

We had beach entertainment from Kevin Mangles and surfing fun with South Shields Surf School.  There was fun for all of the family and lots of precious memories to be made.

This event was proudly sponsored by South Sharpley Wind Farm/ County Durham Community Foundation.

 Here are some of the comments we received...

The best day! Surfing with Santa at South Shields. A fantastic event ran by The Special Lioness charity and South Shields Surf School enabling children with disabilities and their siblings to experience surfing. They all absolutely loved it!

Thank you for a wonderful day, jack had a great time, and now wants to do surfing again xx

Thank you Claire and Amy and your families you are all amazing Ella had a fantastic time and loved surfing she also told Santa what she would like for Christmas.

Worth their weight in gold, all of them  It was such a fabulous day! Just lovely seeing the children and families having so much fun 

We had an amazing time. Thank you for having and being so accommodating with Joseph. This was our first event with yourselves and we loved it x

Absolutely amazing inspirational women. We loved today Thanks so much!!  xxx


What's New...

SEND Stars After School Stay & Play

  • After school club Mondays 4pm-6pm

  • Siblings are welcome

  • Safe space to enjoy activities and make new friends

  • Support from other parents and carers

  • Tuck shop available for drinks and snack (tea and coffee for adults)

This is an already established group ran by Melissa & Angela who volunteer their time each week to run this group and have done for the past year.  They both have personal experience with ASD and strive to provide a safe and welcoming environment for families to come together.

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The Incredible BGL Team

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Partnership Opportunity

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We are overwhelmed to have been chosen by BGL Insurance to support us this year with our growth plan.  They have dedicated a team of specialists to assist with our technology, PR, legal and much more.  This support is invaluable to us as a growing Charity and this truly is investment into The Special Lioness which comes down to peoples generosity with their time rather than financial.

Fundraising Opportunities

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The human nature of giving is one of the most powerful forces. At BGL, they harness the efforts of their staff and volunteers to positively impact the lives of those most in need of assistance. A team from BGL completed an astonishing 3 Peaks Challenge on behalf of The Special Lioness, raising an incredible £15k!!!  On top of this, the CSR Team included a one-off payment of £10k to top up our activity fund to enable us to bring the most precious events and activities to our precious families.

Thank You just doesn't seem enough.

The Mayor of Sunderland


We are extremely proud and honoured to support the Mayor of Sunderland as her chosen charity for her mayoral period 2023-2024 alongside the wonderful Hug in a Bag.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Councillor  Dorothy Trueman for her support and dedication in upcoming year.  Where possible she will be supporting us at our events and raising awareness and funds for both The Special Lioness and Hug in a Bag. 

We hope were you can you are able to support us in supporting the Mayor' efforts to raise awareness and funds.  If you would like to donate any prizes for the Mayors fundraising events please contact us at

The Latest & Greatest News

Stay Up To Date With Us

We make sure our members and supporters are always in the loop when it comes to The Special Lioness news and announcements. Check out our updates and never miss the latest stories about our charitable work. Here you can always find up to date information about our events, programs, and activities.


The Latest News & Announcements

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