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Our Journey

The organisation which is now known as Shine (East Norfolk) was established over 30 years ago. It was the vision of two parents who had children of their own with Special Needs and nowhere to go for advice, guidance and support. Together in 1989 they started a group for other parents and families in a similar situation to themselves. This was held at the Toy Library which was a mobile building, situated in what is now the car park on the current site on Alpha Road. In this informal setting the support and information parents shared became invaluable and lifelong friendships were formed.

The newly established Newberry Child Development Centre allowed for a display board with information that could be shared with parents, and relationships with specialist therapists and other agencies grew. The effective working partnerships continue to be a priority and are well established and embedded in our practice today.

A ‘start up grant’ of £750 from the Local Health Authority changed everything and gave the launching pad for the weekly groups to become more formal. This grant was closely followed by a 3 year Lottery Grant which enabled ‘Contact’ (the first name) to be established with office facilities at the Toy Library premises and the opportunity to start a summer play scheme.

As time passed and additional funding was received the original Toy Library was absorbed into the running of ‘Contact’. Numbers of families accessing the service grew and so did the demand for diversity. A permanent staffing team became established and eventually in 2014 the opening of the purpose built building, which is where services operated from today was opened. The organisation was renamed ‘Shine’ and with the support and dedication of the staff and 11 Trustees the support for families continues.


Ofsted is the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills. They inspect and regulate services that care for children and young people, and services providing education and skills for learners of all ages.


To find out more about Ofsted click on the link below:


Shine (East Norfolk) was inspected in July 2021 and received a judgement of ‘good’ across all areas.


To read the full report click the link:


Dawn Kightley – Chairperson

I am a recently retired primary school teacher and headteacher, having

worked in Norfolk for 39 years.

During that time, I have taken a special interest in working with children with special educational needs and disabilities and inclusive practise. I have been a designated safeguarding lead and had responsibility for looked after children.

In my retirement I am still interested in being involved in education,

ensuring that all children receive the teaching and care that enables

them to become confident individuals who aspire to achieve their full potential and for them to be prepared for their life in the future.

Geraldine Budworth – Vice Chairperson

I have been a Trustee at Shine for many years when we were in the original building. I recently retired from my role as SENDco/Assistant Head at a local primary school.

My interest is pastoral care, which I have started to transfer to Shine through the Thrive project. I am also trained in counselling and Hypnotherapy with a particular focus on working with children. My hobbies include reading and my cats. I have just started ‘cat cuddling’ at the RSPCA.

Peter Bussey – Treasurer

My career was in Accountancy that covered Insurance, Financial Services and the Construction industries, progressing from a trainee to Group Financial Controller over 25 years.

After that I ventured out on my own into practice by setting up Abacus Accountancy, and now undertake accounts, tax returns, payroll and Independent Examinations for various organisations and individuals across East Anglia.

My interests are rock music along with a sport, which was originally rugby, then road running, and lately cycling sportives. We live in Long Stratton with our grand-daughter, along with our rescue dog Leah who we chose when we featured on ‘The Dog House’.

Wendy Connell – Trustee

I have been a trustee with Shine for a few years now. Prior to that I recorded the minutes for the Board of Trustees and covered all the administration tasks involved with this job.

I have also been a service user having had a family friend’s child attend Shine Nursery before he transferred into mainstream school.

I am interested in creating and developing the outside spaces at Shine to enable all the children and young people to extend their skills, experiences and to enjoy being outside in a safe and secure space. This involves maintaining the green spaces, developing the outside resources and equipment, and on occasions working with the Nursery children to weed the plant borders!

I currently work fulltime for Norfolk County Council High Needs SEND as a Reviewing Officer for the North, East and Broadland Team.

Linda Shiner – Trustee

My professional background is in special educational needs, having worked as an educational psychologist for Norfolk County Council for very many years.   I retired in 2006 and for the following six years volunteered through VSO to work with children with disabilities in Namibia. My interest in Shine began when I was working in the Yarmouth area and after I returned to the UK I was invited to become a Shine trustee. More recently I have taken a particular interest in Short Breaks and offer informal supervision to the short breaks staff.

Chris Smyth – Company Secretary

I am a solicitor with over 30 years’ experience of working with charities and other business organisations. My role is to help the Senior Manager and Trustees with employment, contracts, and property law issues. As Company Secretary I liaise with the Charity Commission and Companies House regarding the formal records of Shine.


Diane Nottage – Trustee

I have been a Trustee at Shine since January 2016. 

My experience is based on many years working for Norfolk County Council Children’s Services, latterly as an Education, Health and Care Plan Co-ordinator in the East of the county.  I retired in September 2016.

I have a family member who is diagnosed with autism and who attends a mainstream high school. 

My particular interest as a Trustee is in developing the outside play and learning areas along with a small team of fellow Trustees.


Holly-Jo Green – Trustee

I am a parent of two children with additional needs, and I am currently a university student alongside volunteering for Home-Start. I am a trustee for Shine because I want to have an active role within the nursery and to help provide a parental perspective on the development of the setting