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The 5 O’Clock Show awards Rainbows Star Volunteer

Doug Knight, volunteer gardener at Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People, was awarded for his outstanding contribution to the community on the Channel 4’s The 5 O’Clock Show on Tuesday, 6th July 2010. Doug, aged 85 and from Barrow upon Soar, has volunteered at Rainbows for over six years. He is a part of a small team of volunteer gardeners making sure everything is bright and happy for the children and their families.

Doug was given the award by guest presenter, Vernon Kay. As a part of the prize, Doug received vouchers from Tesco worth £500, some of his favourite whisky and gardening equipment worth hundreds of pounds for Rainbows. He even had the opportunity to meet actor Warwick Davis and see many famous faces like Paloma Faith, Gok Wan, Alan Carr and Joe Swash.

During his years at Rainbows, Doug has dedicated long hours to make sure the children have fun and the surroundings are colourful and a safe place to play. Scott Lea, Marketing Manager at Rainbows says, “It’s wonderful to have Doug around and we are very grateful for the work and effort he puts in. He is one of our favourite people here at the Hospice and a familiar face. Many times Doug has gone out of his way to buy plants for the gardens, dipping into his pockets and asking friends in garden centres for support. I’m sure Doug and all the gardeners are looking forward to using the new gardening equipment”.

The Hospice is going through a £4m development as a part of the ‘Building for the Future’ project. This has disrupted some of the garden space but it doesn’t stop Doug from working tirelessly to put everything in perfect order. “I enjoy my time at the Hospice doing something I love, gardening. Being able to do something worthwhile for the children helps me contribute to the society in my own way. Everyone at Rainbows is very helpful. It’s like a small family for me. I was quite surprised by this recognition and am very thankful to Channel 4. I had a great day in London and look forward to using the new equipment in the gardens”, explains Doug.

Once the Building for Future project is complete the disrupted garden space will need to be redeveloped. More trees and plants will be planted and the area put back into order. Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People would love more volunteers to help Doug prepare the space and make it look brighter than before. Anyone interested in volunteering should get in touch with Paul Holden at Rainbows on 01509 638059.

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