Derbyshire Dragons raise thousands for Rainbows with 24 hour challenge

Members of the Derbyshire Dragons have been martial arts warriors as they completed a 24 hour challenge and raised £2,684 for Rainbows.

Three instructors and 20 students from the martial arts school, based in Aston-on-Trent with venues across Derbyshire, took on the physical task from 2pm on Friday 25 February to 2pm on Friday 26 February at MCP unit in Parcel Terrace.

The event was organised by instructor Martin Baker (55), whose son, Jack, was cared for at our hospice. Jack had Cerebral Palsy and other underlying conditions which caused him to have seizures. Jack died at the family’s Melbourne home in 2008 when he was just 16.

“Jack spent four years receiving care and support from Rainbows and I just wanted to be able to give something back,” said Martin.

“From day one when we walked into the hospice, to when he passed away and his funeral needed arranging, Rainbows was such a great help for my wife, Tina, and I. We couldn’t have done it without them.

“We appreciate how much money Rainbows needs to raise to support families like ours and this is why I wanted to do the event.”

When Jack died, Tina was pregnant with the couple’s daughter, Kara, who is now 13. “Jack had the chance to meet Kara at a detailed scan. It was a very special time but it also felt strange,” said Martin. “We had a lot of pregnancies that didn’t work so Kara was very special.

“Jack was the happiest chap in the world. He had the most amazing smile and he lifted a room. His smile was the only way he could communicate. When he cried, we knew he was really poorly. Jack was incredible and he had a great life.”

Martin, who is a Third Degree black belt in Kickboxing and teaches Kickboxing and Taekwondo, said the event was a great success.

“The event was very tiring but everyone put in 100%,” said Martin. “We had students that did the full 24 hours and some who popped in and out. It was so amazing to see how well supported it was by everyone. Everyone was flagging by the end and I hit a wall at about 2am but I picked back up.”

Jenny Ball, Rainbows Community Fundraiser, added: “We would like to thank everyone who took part in the 24-hour marital arts event; what a challenge! As Martin says, we rely on the support of our fundraisers to enable us to continue providing care to hundreds of children and young people and supporting families like Martin’s. This event looked great fun and we are thrilled it was a success.”

People can still contribute to the fundraiser at