Bereaved mum raises money for Rainbows

A mum whose three-year-old son passed away three months ago has dyed her hair every colour of the rainbow in his memory. Andrew Springthorpe was diagnosed with Leigh’s Syndrome, a severe neurological disorder, shortly after his first birthday. Following his diagnosis, Andrew and his parents, Helen and Paul, were supported by everyone at our hospice.

This week, in a fitting tribute to Andrew and our charity, Helen (41) had her hair dyed seven different colours at George’s Hairdressing, The Parade, in Oadby. “Rainbows were with us for the journey,” said Helen.

“The support we got, and still get, from Rainbows is absolutely superb. It was almost like a second home for a year. Andrew absolutely loved Rainbows. He liked the arts and crafts and messy play, which were hard things for me to do at home. On one visit, staff even made a beach for him to enjoy as he was unable to travel far. I posted the video of him on the beach on Facebook and it got over 5,000 views. At Rainbows, the staff took care of his needs which meant I got to be Andrew’s comforter and his mummy. “It was Andrew’s third birthday on July 13th and Rainbows gave him the best birthday ever with a ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ story theme, which was his favourite book. He passed away six days later.”

Andrew suffered from frequent stomach problems which meant he struggled to gain weight. His brittle bones and weakened muscles meant he was unable to walk and move and he also had trouble with his breathing. “My son was never able to run around or kick a ball, which broke my heart but he was a very happy boy and just loved to be held and cuddled,” said Helen.

“If Andrew saw what I had done with my hair he would laugh. He had a great sense of humour and he understood quite a lot of things.

“Thank you to everyone who has supported me in my fundraising efforts and thank you to everyone at George’s Hairdressing. I really love my new hair and I have had a few people contact me on Facebook to say I have inspired them to do the same for Rainbows. It is so important for me to raise money for Rainbows for what they did for Andrew, for what they did for us and for what they do for other families.”

Gary Farnfield, Rainbows Community Fundraiser in Leicestershire, added: “We would like to thank Helen for raising funds for Rainbows in such a colourful way. At Rainbows, we care for hundreds of children like Andrew while supporting their families throughout their toughest of journeys and we need the help of our fundraisers to continue our work.”

For more information on Rainbows, visit