Last week the sun was shining and it was lovely to see the children were outside, and as we start to welcome more children, it reminded me why Rainbows is so important to those children and young people that access our services.

Whilst, enjoying the weather, I was walking around the hospice, seeing the children and saying hello to them and I realised that it was the first time that I had heard noise and laughter in over a year!  However, more striking than that, was meeting the little boy and his sister that I first met three years ago and how they had both grown! They were not only taller, but had developed in their thinking and charm – he as handsome as ever, and his sister, well she made me smile and a little sad as well, as her mischief had been replaced with maturity and grace and it reminded me that:

There is no standing still because TIME is moving forward.

Sometimes it feels as though time is moving, whilst COVID stands still, and although I know in my heart, that it is here for a while, I have to stop myself from wishing my life away in an attempt for COVID to disappear!

However, time doesn’t stand still, not for me or for you, or for our children, young people and their families. Their needs are constantly changing and the page is turning and as we turn the page and we reach for our ambition, ‘Rainbows wherever you are’, we will be mindful of everything we have all been through. This my first of a regular blog, where I will tell you a little more about that journey, and what Jane, Glyn, Julie (your Senior Leadership Team) are up to.

We have been busy during June – we celebrated the fantastic work our volunteers do – we joined in ‘Childrens Hospice Week’ – our heads held high – ‘tall poppies’ so to speak, as we told people about the real difference we make to children, young people and their families. I would like to thank, everyone who has helped tell our story, and I promise that I will be mindful any changes we make to what we do so we can reach more children, has an impact on everyone.

So what are we up to?

  • Rainbows starts the year on a strong financial footing, we know there will be challenges ahead and Glyn and his team have set up regular meetings with budget holders so we keep on track.
  • In line with the road-map, we are welcoming our children, young people and families back, as well as seeing more children here at Lark Rise, the number of children that we are seeing at home and in hospital is rising.
  • The Retail Team have successfully registered for the Government’s Kick-start programme, which will create job placements in our shops for 16-24 year olds.
  • Making sure that you can be the best you can be – we have agreed to review the Training Policy, to enable clarity regarding how all our staff can access training and development opportunities. If you would like more information, then please talk to your relevant Director, and we will let you know when the policy has been updated.
  • We have started some work on our brand – keep watching this space for updates!

It appears inevitable that vaccinations for staff will become compulsory and we are working to understand what that means for Rainbows, what we will need in place, and the information that our staff and volunteers will need. Remember, although nothing has been finalised yet, all the evidence suggests that double vaccinations will reduce transmission and your risk of needing a hospital admission, if you contract COVID.

We all have our unique experience of COVID, both at work and at home, and you, the staff at Rainbows, wherever you work, have helped us move forward through what has been a difficult year. Thank you!

Dee Sissons (CEO)