People urged to support Rainbows’ 20th birthday

Rainbows is celebrating 20 years of care this year and is calling on people to help celebrate the milestone.

We first opened our doors in 1994 and over the years, staff and volunteers have supported thousands of children, young people and family members.

To commemorate our birthday, we want to raise an extra £100,000 over the year to help fund more children’s nurses at our Loughborough-based hospice.

Rainbows was founded by Gail and Harry Moore, whose daughter, Laura, died of Leukaemia in 1989. Laura’s favourite thing in the world was a rainbow. The hospice was officially opened in April 1995 by HRH Prince of Wales and in 2009, a £4m extension was built to create a new therapy wing and separate facilities for young people.

Harry said: “It was 22 years ago that Gail and I stood in a field outside Loughborough overlooking the Charnwood Forest. This would be an ideal place to build the children’s hospice we said to each other. Three years previously, we had lost our five-year old daughter Laura to Leukaemia after three years of treatment, including a bone marrow transplant from her twin brother Kit.

“The journey along the way has not always been easy. It has involved a lot of hard work from a lot of people to develop it into what it is today.  After 20 years, Rainbows continues to realise its dream with wonderful facilities and palliative care programmes that have been instrumental in both extending the lives of our children, and improving their quality of life. Over and above everything however, its success is down to its people and the quality of care they provide to ensure that our children get the best support possible throughout their all too short journey of life.”

Rainbows currently cares for 288 children and young people with life-limiting and terminal illnesses as well as supporting 249 bereaved families and 521 siblings. Through our outreach efforts into East Midlands paediatric oncology units, we are also caring for a growing number of the region’s children with cancer.

People can help to support us by joining in with 20th birthday celebrations which include the Rainbows Great Cake Bake; a “do 20 good deeds” schools’ challenge and business challenge. There will also be a birthday party for the children and their families, a ball and themed 20th events.

Geoff Ellis, chief executive of Rainbows, added: “Rainbows is continually developing and is now a hospice that is nationally and internationally recognised. But none of this would have been possible without the amazing help that Rainbows has received from our supporters in the East Midlands over the last 20 years.
“Turning 20 is a very special time for us and we have devised many ways that you can help to raise funds to support the hospice this year. Please do get involved, have some fun and be a part of your local children and young people’s hospice by joining in our celebrations. You really will be helping us to make a difference.”

Please take a look at Rainbows’ 20th birthday archive page.