The Sunshine Centre was founded in January 1998.

A project steering group comprising entirely of residents living in the Bretch Hill area of Banbury, were faced daily with the demand for such a project and consequently with support, were successful in receiving Lottery Funding. The Sunshine Centre has continued to grow and develop and in September 2008 became an incorporated charitable company limited by guarantee. The company was established under a Memorandum of Association which established the objects and powers of the charitable company and is governed under its Articles of Association.

The main emphasis of The Sunshine Centre has been to develop groups and services in response to the local community needs, by working with the community and partners from other agencies, both voluntary and statutory. The Sunshine Centre is based centrally within the Bretch Hill area and serves primarily Ruscote and Neithrop Wards. We offer multi-agency services and are a universal point of access for children and families for integrated early learning and childcare, family support, health services, support into employment and training, and links to other specialist services.

We work together with a range of agencies and organisations to provide quality, accessible and coherent services so that every child and young person has the opportunity to fulfil their full potential and those facing adversities are supported to overcome them.

The Sunshine Centre’s reach area has the greatest concentration of serious social economic problems in Banbury (see centre profiles)

The Sunshine Centre has a strong community ethos, organising activities and services that are open to any local parent/carer, children and families. We recognise that each individual and each family is unique, and we value them for themselves, their culture and customs, their community heritage, and their social class.

The Sunshine Centre is open access to all families and is accessed by ‘mainstream’ families and families referred by Social Services, Education, Health and other agencies. Some families are also self-referred families, who could so easily have slipped through the net had we not have been an easily accessible resource.

We recognise that parents deserve and want clear advice to be available when they need it on a range of issues, from the health of their child to their role as parent. The range of coping abilities among the families using The Sunshine Centre allows them to support each other, and the community ‘open access’ provision allows reciprocity to thrive, and the range of coping abilities among families using The Sunshine Centre allows them to support each other and their community, rather than merely be the recipients of services.

The Sunshine Centre is open all year round offering a wide range of services. There will always be people who are too shy or depressed to come to The Sunshine Centre, and so outreach work to those families is vitally important. Our ultimate aim is to empower them to come to the Centre.

By recognising and respecting the diversity of families, staff are more able to support and facilitate the emotional, physical, moral and spiritual development of children and families. By creating a trusting environment, we can attempt to make a difference by providing conditions, which allow personal growth and/or change for the individuals.