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Record numbers of people from across the East Midlands took up the invitation to experience the beauty of Rainbows. The Loughborough-based hospice for children and young people with life-limiting conditions opened its doors to the public for a day of celebration, attracting over 1,000 visitors, more than ever before.
The sun shone kindly on the charity’s Community Open Day on Saturday, (16 September) boosting the numbers of those who came to view the facilities, enjoy the gardens – and obtain a sense of how the hospice is able to provide vital support to youngsters and their families when they need it most.
And there was plenty to celebrate, thanks to donors and supporters. There’s the beautiful new sensory garden for visitors to enjoy. The hospice has also added a vibrant and colourful new reception area. Rainbows also extended an invitation for all to come inside and view just what makes the hospice so special. Guided tours of the hospice facilities took place at regular intervals throughout the day.
Andrew Ball, Director of Supporter Relations, said: “Rainbows is an inspirational place where we extend the best possible care in a loving, joyous environment – and the focus is on making every day special for those who come to us.”
But, he said, it is only made possible through the dedication of donors and volunteers who support the charity.
Mr Ball added: “Our Open Day is about celebrating those who help us maintain the highest level of care – our supporters, old and new. And today we were bowled over by the record number of people who turned out to support us. It has been a wonderful day!”
There was live music and dance, arts and crafts stalls, tea and cakes for all – and a chance to meet the Rainbows therapy team to try out some activities. Many tried out messy play, hand-printing, or sampled the gym facilities. And children (of all ages!) enjoyed the soft play area, experienced the sensory room, or had fun in the outside play area.
Derby pensioner Melvain Clarke had the birthday surprise of a lifetime on Saturday when he arrived at Derby Cathedral… to be told he was signed up to abseil from the top of the 212-foot tower.
Sons Brett and Lee secretly paid £100 for their father Melvain (74) to take part our sponsored abseil event at the historic Cathedral.
Melvain said: “I turned up at the Cathedral on my birthday and was asked if I had my trainers with me. When I asked why, they said they had signed me up to abseil from the top of the tower.
“I said, ‘you’ve got to be joking’,” he added.
But they were serious. And wife Margaret was in on the stunt – she had her husband’s trainers in her shopping bag!
“I knew nothing about it beforehand. I was a bit dumbfounded. But then I quite fancied having a go. And up I went! The view of the city from the top was fantastic!”
Melvain was one of almost 100 abseilers who took a ‘leap of faith’ to raise money for Rainbows from the tower, which is the country’s second highest.
They included Radio Derby breakfast show presenter, Martyn Williams, who had been nominated by BBC colleagues to ‘have a go’ and broadcast his descent live on the day.
Rainbows event organiser Ali Furlong said: “It was a wonderful day, which drew people of all ages make the ‘drop from the top’ and raise money to help Rainbows support youngsters and their families when they need it most.”
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Youngsters at Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People have an unusual new staff member… and it was love at first sight – puppy love!
Toni the Golden Retriever has just been introduced to the hospice for youngsters with life-limiting conditions and is already putting smiles on faces.
Bringing Toni onto the Rainbows team was the idea of Lynne DeMelo, Clinical Nurse Specialist in Palliative Care, who has a wealth of experience at Rainbows gained over 17 years.
Toni is a 12-month-old breeding pooch and comes from Guide Dogs for the Blind. She has an additional future role of producing puppies to become guide dogs.
Lynne explained: “The calming effect of animals in a care setting is well-documented and can be very therapeutic.
She added: “We have a beautifully trained dog with a wonderful temperament, who lights up faces. Sometimes the sense of normality for families of seeing and interacting with a dog can be significant.”
The move is already brightening the lives of children and young people at the Loughborough-based hospice charity.
Four-year-old Harpal Dhaliwal (right), is pictured with mother Kamaljit (centre) and sister Sophinder (nine, left) with Rainbows Care Team members Jackie Markgraf and Golden Retriever Toni.
Come and experience the beauty of Rainbows. That’s the message from the Loughborough-based hospice for children and young people with life-limiting conditions, which is throwing its doors open to the public for a day of celebration.
An open invitation has been issued to people across the East Midlands to visit the hospice on Saturday, September 16 to view the facilities, enjoy the gardens – and obtain a sense of how the charity is able to provide vital support to youngsters and their families when they need it most.
And there’s plenty to celebrate. There’s a beautiful new sensory garden for visitors to enjoy. The hospice has also added a vibrant and colourful new reception area. Rainbows is also extending an invitation for all to come inside and view just what makes the hospice so special. Guided tours of the hospice facilities will take place at regular intervals throughout the day.
Helen Lee-Smith, Head of Individual Giving at Rainbows, said: “Rainbows is an inspirational place where we extend the best possible care in a loving, joyous environment – and the focus is on making every day special for those who come to us.”
But it is only made possible through the dedication of fundraisers and volunteers who support the charity.
Ms Lee-Smith added: “Our Open Day is about celebrating the real VIPs, our supporters, old and new. We want everyone to come and see first-hand how their efforts are put to good use.”
Everyone’s welcome, whether you are new to Rainbows, or already a supporter. There’s live music and dance, arts and crafts stalls, tea and cakes for all – and a chance to meet our therapy team to try out some activities yourself!
Try your hand at messy play, hand-printing, or sample our gym facilities. Children (of all ages!) are welcome to enjoy the soft play area, experience the sensory room, or have fun in the outside play area.
The fun-packed day promises something for everyone – and an opportunity to see what Rainbows is all about. It is also a day for families who may benefit from the support offered by Rainbows to learn more about the hospice services and facilities, and to meet staff.
The Rainbows Community Open Day takes place at the hospice at Lark Rise, Loughborough, Leicestershire from 10.30am to 3pm, Saturday, September 16.
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A 13-year-old from Derby is taking on an epic challenge to raise money for Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People.
William Black will abseil down the 212ft tower at Derby Cathedral on Saturday, 9 September with the aim of raising £200 for Rainbows.
The Allestree Woodlands School pupil was excited to sign up after hearing about the event and the work of Rainbows during a talk at the school. His mum, Gill, said William was really excited by the prospect of such a challenge and determined to get involved; when they looked at the Rainbows website together, the images and stories really touched William.
She added: “I am so proud of William, tackling a challenge such as this. Often young people turn to their friends before embarking on adventures, seeking their approval and companionship. I’m delighted that William has had the courage to think for himself and do something really positive from which both he and many others will benefit.”
William will be cheered on during his decent by his parents Gill and Daniel, brother Cameron (18), and sister Jemma (16) as well his grandparents and family friends. He said: “I want to do this for Rainbows. I want to raise some money because everyone should have a good life.”
All money raised at the sponsored event goes to Rainbows, which cares for youngsters across the East Midlands with life-limiting illnesses, including those from Derbyshire.
Rainbows event organiser Ali Furlong said: “We are delighted that William is taking part in the event to help Rainbows. He should be very proud of himself for taking on such an incredible challenge and we hope he has a great day. Fundraisers like William are helping the children and young people at Rainbows and their families and without people like William, we wouldn’t be able to open our doors.”
People can abseil between 9am and 7pm. Entry is £20 and Rainbows is encouraging participants to raise sponsorship money. Children under 12 are not permitted to take part. To get involved, contact 0800 952 1133, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.rainbows.co.uk/derbyabseil
Two Leicester martial arts enthusiasts are hosting a ‘Challenge Charity Boxing’ event to raise funds for children and young people with life-limiting conditions.
Faisal Nathani and Nathan Leverton are offering competitors from all walks of life eight weeks of free boxing training at Leicester Shootfighters Gym (voted one of the top five Mixed Martial Arts gyms in the UK,) which will culminate in an experience to remember at the 3,000-seat Leicester Arena on Saturday, 11 November.
This will be the first of a series of similar events as the duo aim to raise £50,000 for Rainbows Hospice within the first two years. Rainbows is a hospice for Children and Young People, and cares for more than 380 youngsters across the East Midlands with life-limiting illnesses.
Mr Leverton, who is Head Coach at Leicester Shootfighters, said: “We visited Rainbows and had a tour, and we were so moved by the bravery of the children and families in the face of such difficult circumstances. The facilities at Rainbows are amazing and they do so much to help the people who come to them, so this is our way of giving a little something back.”
Mr Nathani, who works as a Project Manager by day, added: “We currently have a large number of people signed up, with more entries every day. We will be encouraging everyone to raise as much as possible. There is still space for more competitors – it’s suitable for men and women who are complete beginners to boxing and will be great, safe fun while raising some money for a brilliant cause.”
Jess Dixon, Community Fundraiser at Rainbows, added: “We’d like to thank Faisal and Nathan, as well as all the competitors in Challenge Charity Boxing, for choosing to support Rainbows. We rely so much on the generosity of our community and they are all doing a wonderful thing raising funds to help us run the hospice and be there for all the people who need us.”
To find out more about Challenge Charity Boxing or to sign up, visit https://www.challengecharityboxing.co.uk/ or follow Challenge Charity Boxing on Facebook. To find out more about Rainbows, visit www.rainbows.co.uk.