Press

  1. Great North Run places available for Rainbows

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    Monday 6 February 2017

    People disappointed not to secure a place in the Simplyhealth Great North Run have a second chance by snapping up one of our charity places.

    The ballot for the world’s biggest half marathon closed yesterday (6th) but we have guaranteed places for the event on Sunday 10 September.

    By signing up to run on behalf of us, your sponsorship will be helping to support children and young people with life-limited illnesses and their families.

    Helen Lee-Smith, Head of Individual Giving at Rainbows, said: “While the challenge of 13.1 miles may seem a little daunting, our dedicated events team will support you every step of the way providing help and tips for your training, fundraising and race day support. We can help with advice on accommodation and transportation and as part of Team Rainbows, we will meet you at the finish line with refreshments, a massage and hospitality.”

    As well as the Great North Run, we are offering a range of other challenge experiences, including a Great Wall of China Trek, Survival of the Fittest in Nottingham, London to Paris Cycle and Rat Race Dirty Weekend obstacle course in Peterborough.

    Helen added: “The Great North Run is an iconic event but this year we have challenges for everyone and our events range from across the continent to here in the East Midlands. Some of the events are tougher than others, and people may need time to train, so we would encourage them to sign up as soon as possible.

    “All of our events are a fantastic opportunity to take on a challenge, get fit, meet other like-minded people and raise funds for Rainbows, which supports more than 380 children and young people with life-limited and terminal illnesses in the East Midlands.”

    To find out more, please contact Neil Swift 0800 9521133 or email fundraising@rainbows.co.uk

  2. Get your shift together for Rainbows

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    Monday 16 January 2017

    ‘Volunteer with friends and get your shift together’ is our New Year message to encourage people to give time to our shops.

    Our new campaign aims to encourage people to not only donate their time, but to encourage friends to join them. Each year we rely on around 700 hours of volunteered time to keep our six shops running across the East Midlands. Whether it’s a couple of hours a week or a few days a month, there’s something for everyone.

    Karen Bilsby, Rainbows Retail Manager, said: “We’re always looking for new volunteers for our shops. Our new campaign is a great way of spending time with your friends doing something worthwhile. It’s also a great way to meet new people and make new friends.

    “If you have spare time, need a new challenge for the New Year or simply wish to support Rainbows in a different way, get in touch and we’ll help you.”

    To volunteer, contact Paul Holden at Rainbows on 01509 638059 or email paul.holden@rainbows.co.uk

  3. Let Rainbows benefit from Santa’s mistakes

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    27 December 2016

    People can help the children and young people who use Rainbows this festive season by donating their unwanted gifts to our shops.

    We have shops in Loughborough, Melton, Blaby, Market Harborough, Beeston and Matlock and we are asking people to donate those oversized jumpers, surplus toys and duplicate gifts received at Christmas.

    Karen Bilsby, Head of Retail for Rainbows shops, said: “Santa may have got it a bit wrong this year and people don’t need to feel guilty about not liking a gift or hanging on to something they just won’t use. Every year we’re grateful for people’s unwanted gifts, which are often the perfect item for someone else. And of course, we are ever grateful for your old items of clothing, toys etc to make way for your new ones.

    “Donating presents to Rainbows helps you make space in your cupboards, and helps us raise money for local children and their families,” added Karen. “And if you are a UK taxpayer, your donation could be worth 25% more at no cost to you thanks to gift aid – please ask for more details in store.”

    For more information visit www.rainbows.co.uk/shops

  4. Three of our families have enjoyed a once in a lifetime opportunity attending the Prime Minister’s Christmas Party

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    24 December 2016

    Three of our families have enjoyed a once in a lifetime opportunity attending the Prime Minister’s Christmas Party.

    Nine-year-old Preston, seven-year-old Edward and three-year-old Gurmukh attended the Christmas extravaganza at 10 Downing Street on Monday with their families.

    They were entertained by magicians, wowed Santa, enjoyed fun and crafts as well as meeting Theresa May.

    Preston was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma, a cancer of specialised nerve cells called neural crest cells, in January 2013. Over the years, Preston has endured chemotherapy, a stem cell transplant and radio therapy. He is currently undergoing chemotherapy.

    “Preston has really been through it,” said mum Alice. “But he has had it for half of his life now so he doesn’t know any different anymore, which is sad. Preston is prone to infection and if his body temperature gets too high, he has to go in hospital. It’s very upsetting that he can’t play like other boys his age. We don’t think about the future we just stay positive and take each day as it comes.”

    Preston loves spending time at Rainbows and a firm favourite is the Arts and Craft Room, where he can be creative as the specialist Play Team help Preston and his family to make special memories.

    Preston said: ““The party was great! They had a magician and a princess and even Santa was there. We got to meet the Prime Minister, she was really nice.”

    Edward was born with Partial Trisomy 9, meaning he has an extra chromosome. He has received respite care at Rainbows since he was five-months-old. He was accompanied to Downing Street with his mum, Gemma, and five-year-old sister Anya.

    Edward has the development age of an 18-month-old. He didn’t start learning to walk until he was three as he suffers from mild cerebral palsy and his joints are loose and unstable. Edward is visually impaired and due to misshapen airways, has breathing difficulties. He is also unable to talk and can only communicate using signs and pictures.

    “Edward is the most mischievous and loving boy you will meet. He has a hug for everyone and he is just so friendly,” said mum Gemma. “He has been through such a lot with operations and hospital trips, and we have no idea what the future holds as his condition is so rare, but Edward is always happy.

    “Rainbows has been a godsend to us. Edward and Anya can both go there and do things together. When Edward is at Rainbows, I don’t have to worry, I know he is going to be looked after. And he loves going. You can never get him past the Music Room without him wanting to go in and he loves the Hydrotherapy Pool and the Soft Play Room.

    “Having a child like Edward is incredibly daunting and we get so much help from the Family Support Team and everyone at Rainbows. To get the chance to go to Downing Street was amazing. We’ve had a fantastic time. It was great getting to go in the famous Number 10 door – we saw Boris Johnson and the Prime Minister.

    “The party was so much fun, they had lots of activities for the children to take part in. We’ve all had a really great time. Thank you to Rainbows for making it happen.”

    Three-year-old Gurmukh has a life-threatening rare genetic heart disorder called Long QT Syndrome, which causes problems with the electrical activity of the heart.

    He also has low muscle tone so can’t walk properly and is profoundly deaf.

    “It has all been very traumatic,” added Sukveer. “We had a normal healthy baby and then all of this has happened. He has been through such a lot. When we found out he had a problem with his heart, it broke me. Even now, I still get to appointments and have a good cry. But there is always someone worse off and we just have to keep going.

    “We have been going to Rainbows for a few months and it has been amazing. They have helped us out such a lot with so many different things with Gurmukh. Thanks to the Family Support Team, we now have a portable defibrillator, which could save Gurmukh’s life.

    “Gurmukh loves going to Rainbows as well, there is so much for him to do there. He needs 24 hour care and I never let him out of my sight, but at Rainbows, I can relax and forget about things.

    “We are not sure what the future holds but we do know we have a really happy little boy.”

  5. Derby runner takes on five marathons in five days dressed as Santa

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    19 December 2016

    A Rolls-Royce worker who smashed a Guinness World Record earlier this year is taking on five marathons over five days dressed as Santa.

    In February, Jon Kinder (47) ran 132.9km over 12 hours on a treadmill in Derby raising £3,000 for us.

    Now father-of-two Jon plans to run five marathons over five days dressed as the man in red. His challenge began today (19th December) and concludes 131 miles later on Friday 23 December. Each morning, Jon will run seven miles from his Oakwood home to the Rolls-Royce site on Wilmore Road, in Sinfin. After work, Jon will run 19 miles home via a different Derby suburb to ensure he covers 26 miles each day. Jon will also have a speaker in his rucksack playing the festive season favourites as he runs.

    Rolls-Royce manufacturing engineer Jon said: “I have been an ultra-distance runner for 20 years and I love running so this isn’t a chore. I enjoy the fulfilment of doing something worthwhile for a good cause. This idea, at least to my knowledge, is original and fun it will hopefully bring a bit of Christmas cheer to folk stuck in the rush hour traffic.

    “Rainbows is a fantastic charity and I was delighted to raise £3,000 for its work in February. I hope to collect at least £500 with this challenge.”

    Paula North, Rainbows Community Fundraising Manager for Derbyshire, added: “Once again, I want to thank Jon for his continued efforts in supporting Rainbows. This is a fabulous challenge and sounds a lot of fun. I think he will make a lot of people smile on their journey to work. Without the support of our fundraisers like Jon, we wouldn’t be able to carry out the work we do at Rainbows caring for hundreds of children and young people with life-limited illnesses.”

    To sponsor Jon, visit www.justgiving.com/jonathan-Kinder1

  6. Five-year old Nottingham Forest fan will be a mascot for Saturday’s game

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    A young Nottingham Forest fan who is severely disabled with a life-limiting condition will be a mascot for Saturday’s game.

    Five-year old Isaac Smith will be carried by his father, Andy, in to the middle of the City Ground during half-time at the match between Nottingham Forest and Wolverhampton Wanderers. His nine-year-old sister, Connie, will also be by his side.

    The dream is being made a reality thanks to a partnership between Nottingham Forest Football Club and Rainbows. We have supported the Loscoe family for six months. This season, the Notts team has adopted us as its charity of the year. There will also be bucket collections for donations before the game and after the full-time whistle on Saturday.

    Just five years ago, Andy, of Loscoe, was minutes away from losing his wife Rachael and unborn baby Isaac during a difficult labour. Two days before Rachael (40) was due to have an elected C-Section, she woke in the night with the most horrendous pains. Thinking she was in early labour, Rachael went to the hospital. By the time she arrived, she was unable to walk and was taken straight to theatre for emergency surgery. Medics discovered her placenta had ruptured which caused mass hemorrhaging. Rachel lost seven pints of blood and unborn baby Isaac was being starved of oxygen.

    When Isaac was born, it took 20 minutes to resuscitate him. The lack of oxygen resulted in brain damage leaving Isaac with spastic quadriplegia, the most severe form of cerebral palsy. Later, Andy was told that had they got to the hospital five minutes later, neither Rachel nor Isaac would have survived.

    “Every day we were told that the next 24 hours were critical for Isaac,” said Rachael. “In the early days, we had no idea what journey we were about to go on. The most painful thing was realising how close we came to losing him.

    “When I came round from surgery and Isaac wasn’t there, it was heartbreaking and the first time I saw him was when a nurse showed me a photo. I was then wheeled from my bed in Intensive Care and taken to him. He was in an incubator connected to so many wires and leads that we could only hold his tiny hand and it was days before I could even hold him.

    “Isaac was just so vulnerable and living from one day to the next. Our hearts were in our mouths every day just not knowing what the day would bring and if our little boy was going to survive.”

    Now aged five, Isaac can’t do anything independently and relies on round the clock care. He is unable to walk or talk, suffers from epilepsy and is visually impaired. He takes daily medication and has endless medical appointments.

    Despite all the challenges Isaac faces, he is such a happy little boy. He can hear what is going on around him and he loves to smile and laugh.

    “Seeing the courage Isaac has shown gives us all the strength we need to carry on and make his life the best it can be,” said Racheal.

    Rachael and Andy, who also have two daughters, Connie (nine) and two-year-old Violet, discovered Rainbows this summer. Rachael said: “It is just amazing. As soon as we walked through the doors, we felt the support. We had gone from nothing to somewhere where everyone will go above and beyond to help the whole family.

    “We don’t know what is around the corner for us but I think that’s a blessing or we’d struggle some days to face the day ahead. We just try to take one day at a time.”

    Andy added: “Everyone at Rainbows will do whatever they can to ensure families like ours are always able to create everlasting happy memories. For me as a father, this Saturday is an incredible opportunity and something that we, as a family, will treasure. Isaac will never be able to kick a ball or run around a field but to experience the atmosphere on Saturday will be the next best thing for him.”

     

  7. It’s been a fantastic first year in partnership for Leicestershire CCC with Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People.

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    14 December 2016

    It’s been a fantastic first year in partnership for Leicestershire CCC with Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People.

    The two organisations have worked together closely after Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People was named as the club’s Official Charity Partner for 2016.

    Rainbows came to the Fischer County Ground on a number of occasions during the season, including NatWest T20 Blast matchdays.

    Leicestershire CCC Players, Officials and Staff visited the hospice at Loughborough last week, handing out some Foxes goodies to young people at their Christmas party.

    The club was also given a guided tour of the facilities and gained an insight into everyday life at the hospice, which was appreciated by everybody. A number of Foxes players visited including Ben Raine, Lewis Hill, Tom Wells, Zak Chappell, Richard Jones, Gavin Griffiths and Will Fazakerley.

    As part of the afternoon, Leicestershire CCC Catering Manager John Stew presented a cheque for £660 after completing the feat of running three marathons in ten days for Rainbows.

    Among the visitors to Rainbows was Leicestershire CCC Chief Executive Wasim Khan MBE, who said: “It is an honour to be working alongside Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People and we were lucky to see the wonderful work that is done.

    “To see a lot of young people with smiles on their faces was something that myself, our players and staff will never forget. Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People is an inspiring place to visit and we’d like to thank for them for providing the opportunity to visit.”

  8. Toyota Santas take on Derby run

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    Thursday 8 December 2016

    Colleagues from Toyota in Derby will be swapping overalls for red suits as they take on our Derby Santa Run.

    Nine staff members, along with 17 family members and friends and a festive dog, will be joining hundreds of Santas at the event on Sunday 11 December at Elvaston Castle.

    Pictured left to right is Adam Monaghan, Kelly Bown, Andy Sayers, David Ferguson, Matt Peake and Alison Rice.

    The group, which has been fundraising since the summer, hope their sponsorship for this event will take their total over £1,500.

  9. It’s a toy story for Rainbows

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    03 December 2016

    Our shops want families to make way for new Christmas toys by sorting out the old ones and donating them to us.

    Last year, toy sales raised almost £30,000 for our work.

    Karen Bilsby, Head of Retail at Rainbows, said: “Christmas is a time where children receive a range of new toys. Then parents or carers can be faced with the nightmare of where to put them all! By donating old toys to the Rainbows shop, not only are you clearing some valuable space, you are helping to raise money for hundreds of children and young people who have life-limiting illnesses and are cared for by Rainbows.

    “We welcome any kind of toys, as long as they aren’t broken, even the noisiest ones! And people can also pick up some great bargains from our shops in Loughborough, Blaby, Market Harborough, Melton, Matlock and Beeston, which could make the perfect Christmas gift.”

    For more information on Rainbows shops visit www.rainbows.co.uk/shops

  10. Loughborough brewery makes special Rainbows beer

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    01 November 2016

    Charnwood Brewery wants people to ‘hop’ on down to its Leicestershire site to pick up a special ale concocted to raise money for us.

    Called ‘Rainbow Fox’, the beer has been created to a brand new recipe and is now on sale at the brewery shop in Jubilee Drive, Loughborough. As well as buying a special gift box of three bottles, people can also get in to the spirit by buying a pint of Rainbow Fox, on sale at 18 pubs across the region.

    Andrew Reed at Charnwood Brewery said: “This is a completely new venture for us but something we really wanted to do. We’ve recently invested in extra capacity at the brewery which has allowed us to produce Rainbow Fox. We pride ourselves on being a family business with strong family values – Rainbows is a happy place for families, so to help raise money for such a wonderful cause that fits our ethos seemed the perfect thing to do for Christmas.

    “We made sure to create a brand new recipe for Rainbows. It is a deep copper ale, ruby red in colour, and balances English malts against fruity, spicy hops – we think people will love it.”

    Rainbow Fox is limited edition and it is hoped the venture will raise at ‘yeast’ £1,500 for the work of our hospice.

    Rainbows Corporate Fundraiser Tom Stanyard added: “We would like to thank Andrew, Andrea and the team at Charnwood Brewery for agreeing to try something a little different for Rainbows. We’re really grateful to them for allowing us to make use of their skills and expertise to create something that will raise money for the hospice. The gift boxes will make great presents for people at Christmas and money from those and the sales of draft beer at the pubs will all go towards our vital work at the hospice.

    “We are obviously encouraging people to drink responsibly and we hope people will take the ‘hopportunity’ to be socially responsible as well by raising a glass, or a bottle, to Rainbows, safe in the knowledge they’ve helped to raise money for a fantastic cause. Cheers!”

  11. Be rewarded for supporting Rainbows

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    People have just two weeks left to snap up a raffle ticket which could see them win £5,000 as well as supporting our hospice.

    Tickets for our Big Christmas Raffle are on sale until Monday 9 December costing £1. As well as the top prize of £5,000 – which has been increased from £3,000 – cash prizes of £250, £100 and £50 are up for grabs. The draw, which raised £27,000 last year, will take place on Friday 16 December.

    We are also reminding people that they can help to raise a smile at our hospice by supporting our brand new appeal, Gifts that Give.

    Instead of traditional Christmas presents, Gifts that Give are a collection of alternative gifts like music therapy, hydrotherapy or a special trip out for children, young people and their families who use Rainbows. They range from £5 to £75.

    Gill Smitherman, Donor Development Manager at Rainbows, said: “Sadly, Christmas isn’t always a happy occasion for the families who are supported by Rainbows. We are there for children and young people who’ll live short lives. We provide a place for them to play, laugh and receive the best care possible. We couldn’t do this without your support.”

    To find out more visit rainbows.co.uk/bigchristmasraffle or rainbows.co.uk/giftsthatgive or contact Gill Smitherman on 01509 638058 or gill.smitherman@rainbows.co.uk

  12. Rainbows nurse shortlisted for NHS Recognition Awards

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    Anne-Marie Murkett, our lead nurse for education, quality and governance, has been shortlisted for the 2016 NHS Recognition Awards.

    The awards pay tribute to the region’s best leaders in healthcare and Anne-Marie is nominated for the Leading and Developing People Category, the only non-NHS nominee.

    Anne-Marie, who has been in her role at Rainbows for two years, said: “Great leaders don’t tell you what to do, they show you how it’s done. Helping to develop great leaders for the future is important so that the patients of the future receive high quality co-ordinated care delivered by the right people at the right time. Helping to grow our emerging leaders’ confidence is so important to me as it helps to grow their competence and resilience, that can be transferred into their practice and ultimately onto the patient.”

    Now in its fourth year, the NHS Recognition awards celebrate leaders at all levels and across all professions, especially those who have ultimately improved people’s health and the public’s experience of the NHS.  Winners will be announced at a ceremony on Thursday 1 December, at St Martin’s House and Conference Centre in Leicester.

  13. It’s Christmas…………festive joy for Rainbows

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    22 November 2016

    Tickets are still available for our Christmas concerts and yule be sorry to miss them.

    We have a range of festive events taking part across the region, all of which raise money for the work of our hospice. Each event has a selection of seasonal songs performed by choirs, solo singers and duos. Refreshments and mince pies will also be on offer.

    The concerts take place at:

    • Grantham, St Wulfram’s Church – Tuesday 6 December
    • Derby Cathedral – Tuesday 6 December
    • Nottingham, Church of St. Barnabas – Monday 12 December
    • Leicester, St James the Greater Church – Tuesday 13 December
    • Repton, St Wystan’s Church – Friday 16 December

    Tickets cost £5 in advance and are available from www.rainbows.co.uk/christmas 0800 9521133 or fundraising@rainbows.co.uk

  14. Bubbles Bag Thousands

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    21 November 2016

    Runners, walkers and joggers raised £52,000 for us by taking part in our first ever Bubble Rush event.

    More than 1,600 people were showered with foam as they took part in the 5km Bubble Rush at Markeaton Park, Derby, in September.

    Victoria Brunt, Events Coordinator at Rainbows, added: “We are delighted to announce the incredible amount which was raised at the event. We were so excited to hold our first ever Bubble Rush in Derby and the event didn’t disappoint. It was so much fun and everyone had a great time.

    “We would like to thank everyone who took part, all those who supported the runners and all of our volunteers. Your backing is invaluable and the Derbyshire community are always so supportive of Rainbows and our cause. We look forward to next year’s event and hope that you will join us.”

    Next year’s Derby Bubble Rush takes place at Markeaton Park on Saturday 23 September. For more information contact 0800 9521133 or email fundraising@rainbows.co.uk

  15. Pioneering tool to help families launched at Rainbows

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    Friday 18 November 2016

    Parents of young adults at our hospice have been the driving force behind a pioneering website to help families across the UK.

    The website ‘My Adult Still My Child’, which is the first of its kind, is aimed at parents whose life-limited child is turning 18 and making a transition into adult services. As well as providing a wealth of information, it offers advice about the law, tackles issues around consent and helps parents with decision making.

    Launched at the hospice, it has been created by Rainbows, Together for Short Lives, the three clinical commissioning groups for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland and NHS England, which also funded the project. The website was produced following questions and concerns raised by parents of young people attending Rainbows who were facing challenges in respect of continued decision-making for their children when they reached adulthood.

    Alison Cooke, Director of Care at Rainbows, said: “Increasing numbers of children and young people with life-limiting and life-threatening health conditions are surviving to adulthood and making the transition from children’s to adult services. Life as an adult with a life-limiting condition can be very different to that experienced within children’s palliative care.

    “We hope this website is a really useful tool for people across the country and I would like to thank all of our parents who have been involved.”

    Kimberley Kingsley, Deputy Director of Nursing and Quality at NHS England, said: “This website is a valuable tool for parents because it’s been developed by parents of young children who have previously attended Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young people. These parents faced real challenges around continued decision-making for their children once they reached adulthood. Having their involvement in developing the tool will really benefit other families in the same situation.”

    Tina Wilkinson, of Leicestershire, is mum to Heidi (20). She was involved in creating the website. She said: “As a parent, I found the website very informative. It’s really important to have somewhere to go to get the right information, you just have to look at the website and there it is.”

    You can visit the website at www.myadultstillmychild.co.uk

  16. Fireworks extravaganza raises over £80,000

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    Monday 14 November 2016

    Our annual bonfire and fireworks extravaganza went with a bang raising over £80,000 at a sellout event.

    A total of 12,000 people attended our Pennies for the Guy event on Saturday (5th) night at Leicester Racecourse.

    People were treated to two firework displays, one of which was Disney themed, and a huge bonfire topped with a Guy made by children from Stoneygate School. There was also a large funfair along with stalls, food and bars.

    Victoria Brunt, event organiser at Rainbows, said: “This was the most successful bonfire and fireworks event we have ever held and special thanks must go to the dedicated group of volunteers who organise it every year with Rainbows. The event wouldn’t happen without them. We are so grateful for all the support. We would also like to thank Leicester singer and entertainer Neil Warner and Leicestershire band Arc Isla who both performed for the crowds.

    “Rainbows is the only hospice in the East Midlands to care for hundreds of children and young people with life-limited illnesses and events such this, are pivotal to our work. We have had such fantastic feedback, everyone really enjoyed themselves. We can’t wait for next year’s event and we would encourage people to get their tickets in advance to avoid disappointment.”

    To find out more about Rainbows events, visit www.rainbows.co.uk/events

    To view the photos from the social media stand, please visit http://bit.ly/2gaj8fm

  17. Dazzling Diwali Dance Demonstrations at Rainbows

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    Friday 11 November

    Students from DMU Bollywood Dance Society dazzled young people at Rainbows with a Diwali dance demonstration.

    Five dancers visited our hospice shortly after Diwali – the Hindu festival of lights – to perform for the children, young people and staff. After their show, the students taught a short routine of Bollywood, Bhangra and traditional dance to our staff.

    Varsha Chawla, from DMU Bollywood Dance Society, said: “We were thrilled to visit Rainbows and showcase our dancing. We love to perform and it was wonderful to see the joy on people’s faces as well as getting people involved.”

    Nishil Saujani of Rainbows added: “On behalf of everyone at Rainbows, I would like to thank the students for giving up their time to entertain us. It was a great experience for everyone.”

  18. Rainbows launches Gifts that Give

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    Wednesday 9 November 2016

    Rainbows has launched Gifts that Give – a virtual gift that gives twice.

    People in the East Midlands can help to raise a smile at Rainbows this Christmas by supporting our brand new appeal.

    Instead of traditional Christmas presents, Gifts that Give are a collection of alternative gifts like music therapy, hydrotherapy or a special trip out for children, young people and their families who use our hospice.

    People select a gift online and we make the memories, it’s that simple. The purchaser will receive a personalised tree gift tag to give to the recipient as well as a certificate.

    Gill Smitherman, Donor Development Manager at Rainbows, said: “Sometimes it is really hard to think of gift ideas, especially for that person who has everything. With our Gifts that Give, your choice is easy.

    “Rainbows is here for children and young people who’ll live short lives. We provide a place for them to play, laugh and receive the best care possible. Along the way we support mums, dads, brothers, sisters and grandparents – because life-limiting illnesses affect the whole family.

    “The money raised through Gifts that Give will help to fund the care and support that Rainbows provides. And you, and the recipient, can feel proud knowing you have helped a child, young person or their family going through the most difficult of times.”

    Gifts that Give start at £5 for a ‘Secret Santa’ present. £15 would fund a ‘Gift of Art’, therapy that gives children and their siblings the opportunity to have fun and express themselves, no matter what their disability.

    For £35, people can buy ‘Make a Splash’, a session in our Hydrotherapy Pool, providing a chance for children and young people to move their bodies freely and experience different sensations, even those who rely on a ventilator and have limited mobility.

    A ‘Gift of Music’, therapy which is invaluable for those with communication difficulties, costs £50 as does a ‘Gift of Care’, which goes towards funding our specialist team for a day. For £75, people can purchase a ‘Gift of Compassion’, which delivers an hour of support for all of the family when they need us the most.

    Gill added: “We always appreciate your generous donations of toys at Christmastime but the complex needs of some of our children and young people means they sadly can’t play with them. By buying one of our Gifts that Give instead, you will be supporting our full range of care for everyone who uses Rainbows, helping to make precious, everlasting memories.”

    To find out more about Gifts that Give, visit www.rainbows.co.uk/giftsthatgive or contact Gill Smitherman on 01509 638058 or gill.smitherman@rainbows.co.uk

  19. People could win £5,000 in Rainbows Big Christmas Raffle

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    We have launched our Big Christmas Raffle and people could scoop the top prize of £5,000.

    Now in its 10th year, the raffle – which was previously known as the Superdraw – plays a crucial part in raising the necessary funds needed to keep our hospice running each year. Last year’s Superdraw raised £27,000 for our work.

    As well as the top prize of £5,000 – which has been increased from £3,000 – cash prizes of £250, £100 and £50 are up for grabs. The draw will take place on Friday 16 December, and tickets, which cost just £1, can be purchased until Monday 9 December.

    Gill Smitherman, Donor Development Manager at Rainbows, said: “Our raffles are one of the hospice’s biggest income streams and by just buying one ticket; you’ll be making a difference to lives of the children, young people and families we support each and every day. Buying a book of tickets could help to fund two days’ worth of oxygen for a child at Rainbows and two books of raffle tickets worth £20 could help to fund a music therapy.

    “Sadly, Christmas isn’t always a happy occasion for the families who are supported by Rainbows. You can help us to continue providing care to those who need it the most by supporting our Big Christmas Raffle, which would make a wonderful Christmas gift to those here at Rainbows.”

    To buy tickets, contact Gill on 01509 638056, email lottery@rainbows.co.uk, or visit www.rainbows.co.uk/bigchristmasraffle. Tickets can also be bought in the Rainbows shops in Loughborough, Melton, Market Harborough, Blaby, Beeston and Matlock.

  20. Bereaved mum raises money for Rainbows

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    03 November 2016

    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 www.rainbows.co.uk

  21. Pupils at a Leicester primary school have been creating a Guy for the Rainbows Children’s Hospice’s annual bonfire and fireworks display.

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    02 November 2016

    Children at Stoneygate School, in Great Glen, have created the giant 10ft guy. It will be the star of the show at the charity event, Pennies for the Guy, on Saturday 5 November at Leicester Racecourse.

    Head of Year 8 David Palmer said: “We have been involved with Rainbows for several years and it is always great fun to make the Guy. The children really get behind the project and they know that they are doing something worthwhile to help other children.”

    Victoria Brunt, event organiser at Rainbows, added: “The Guy, which has been named Joseph because he looks like he is wearing a technicolour dreamcoat, is fantastic. So much work has been put in to creating it and we would like to thank all of the children who have been involved.”

    The event usually raises more than £40,000 towards supporting life-limited children, young people and their families who use Rainbows.

    Gates open at 5.30pm ahead of two firework displays and a huge bonfire. There will also be food, bars, stalls and a funfair.

    Tickets on the night cost £7.50 or £25 for a family ticket. Children under four are free.

    Visit rainbows.co.uk/bonfire or contact 0800 952 1133 or fundraising@rainbows.co.uk 

  22. Shhh Secret Santa shopping at Rainbows’ shops

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    30 October 2016

    As Christmas fast approaches, Secret Santa shoppers can bag a quirky bargain at our shops across the region.

    Shopping at our stores in Loughborough, Melton, Market Harborough, Blaby, Beeston and Matlock is a perfect way to pick up great gift as well as helping us to raise funds.

    Karen Bilsby, Head of Retail at Rainbows, said: “Christmas can be a very busy and expensive time for people so we want to help shoppers out with some great festive offers. At our shops, we have a range of quirky, fun and practical presents for your Secret Santa including a range of vintage and retro board games all under £5, fox and duck sewing sets just £4.50, and great stocking fillers for kids.

    “We also have a fabulous range of clothing to make the perfect outfit for your Christmas party. We would like to thank the community for their generosity over the past year and wish our supporters a very happy Christmas”

    As part of its ‘Gifts that Give’ appeal, people can also buy a virtual Secret Santa gift for £5.

    For more information on the hospice or its shops, visit www.rainbows.co.uk/shops or www.rainbows.co.uk/giftsthatgive.

  23. Leicester runner takes on 122nd, 123rd and 124th marathon for Rainbows

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    A Leicester runner who has completed 121 marathons is set to take on three more over 10 days to raise money for us.

    John Stew (59) is the catering manager at Leicestershire County Cricket Club, which is one of our charity partners for the year. At the age of 49, John quit his 20 year smoking habit and began running, which he says became more addictive than smoking.

    Starting on Sunday, John will lace up his running shoes for the first event in his trilogy, the Leicester Marathon. This will be followed by Beachy Head Marathon on October 29 and the November Nightmare at Lightmoor Lake, Telford, on November 1.

    He is aiming to raise over £500 for us.

    John said: “Rainbows is a fantastic charity is a very worthy cause looking after very sick children, and supporting their families at such difficult times.

    “I have been injured for a year or so and started running again in July so now I am ready to test myself again. I am really looking forward to the challenge, which will be one road marathon, one cross country and one trail.

    “It is great to be part of the cricket club’s fundraising for Rainbows so please support this cause, and in my 60th year give my running a focused objective.”

    Helen Lee-Smith, Head of Individual Giving at Rainbows, added: “I would like to thank John for taking on this incredible challenge and for supporting Rainbows. He, and the cricket club, are doing a wonderful thing raising funds to help us run the hospice, which make such a huge difference to both the children at Rainbows and their families.”

    To sponsor John, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/John-Stew1

  24. Mum dyes hair to raise funds in son’s memory

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    A mum whose three-year-old son passed away three months ago is dying her hair every colour of the rainbow to raise funds for us in his memory.

    Andrew Springthorpe was diagnosed with Leigh Syndrome, a severe neurological disorder, shortly after his first birthday. Following his diagnosis, Andrew and his parents, Helen and Paul, were supported by our dedicated team at the hospice.

    “Rainbows were with us for the journey,” said mum 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’ 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 was doing with my hair he would laugh. He had a great sense of humour and he understood quite a lot of things.

    “I hope people will support me in my fundraising efforts. 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.”

    Helen will transform her locks at George’s Hairdressing, The Parade, Oadby, on Wednesday 2 November from 11am.

    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.”

    To sponsor Helen, contact fundraising@rainbows.co.uk

  25. We are on the hunt for a new CEO.

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    12 October 2016

    We are on the hunt for a new CEO.

    Former CEO Andy Campbell has left Rainbows to return to a career in IT. Until the position has been filled, we are delighted to welcome Mandy Ashton OBE as interim CEO. Mandy has over 36 years of experience working in health care. Starting out as a nurse, she has worked as a leader at Board level in all types of health settings as well as leading the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at De Monfort University.

    Mandy said: “I am looking forward to leading the team at Rainbows until the appointment of the new permanent CEO. Rainbows has a wonderful workforce and I feel very proud to have this opportunity.”

    Dianne Postle, Chair of Trustees at Rainbows, added: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Andy, who has given many years of support to Rainbows. I am also delighted to welcome Mandy as our interim CEO.

    “Few of us can begin to understand how it feels to be a child or young adult with a life-limiting condition – or a member of their family. But we can all understand that they deserve the very best care and support. Here at Rainbows, that’s exactly what we aim to provide for children and young adults across the East Midlands. Working within a purpose built hospice and a growing community-based service, our team of staff delivers individualised palliative and respite care at a time when families need us the most.

    “There are very few jobs like this one, so it will take someone very special to succeed in delivering the loving, compassionate care that we’re renowned for. It’s an exciting time to be joining Rainbows as we have ambitious plans to extend our services.”

    For more information, visit rainbows.co.uk/vacancies or contact 01509 638000

  26. Our Open Day is a success

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    23 September 2016

    Around 800 people visited us on Saturday 17th September as we opened our doors to the public.

    Visitors attended our annual Open Day to learn more about the work carried out to provide care and support to children and young people with life-limited illnesses and their families, and the difference their fundraising makes to us.

    Around £24,000 was also collected, made up of donations on the day and money that people had raised throughout the year.

    People toured the Hydrotherapy Pool, Music Room, Multi-sensory Room, Cinema, Arts and Craft Room and Soft Play area as well as browsing at stalls and enjoying a BBQ and refreshments.

    Andrew Ball, Director of Income Generation at Rainbows, said: “The Rainbows Open Day is our most important day of the year as it’s our chance to show people what a world class facility they’ve built and what a difference they make to local lives.  We were overwhelmed with the number of visitors that came through our doors on the day and our volunteers and staff were very proud to show people around. Thank you to everyone who came, it’s down to you that we can continue to help families going through the most difficult times imaginable.”

    To see photos from the day, please click here.

  27. Daredevils take on Derby Abseil

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    22 September 2016

    Eighty people braved downpours as they scaled down Derby’s highest landmark to take part in our abseil.

    The even took place on Saturday 10th September at Derby Cathedral. After climbing 189 steps to the top, adventurous participants got the rare chance to descend the 212ft tower – the second highest in the country.

    Claire Lawson was taking part in the event in memory of her nephew William Furlong who was cared for by our team. William passed away at the hospice in June 2014 aged three. He had a rare and life-limiting brain condition.

    She said: “Rainbows is a fantastic charity, they were really helpful and supportive and were there for myself and my family when my nephew, William, sadly passed away. I can’t thank them enough for what they did at the time, and still now, and that is why I am doing the abseil.”

    Philip Clowes has completed a bungee jump in the past and wasn’t too worried about the drop. He added: “Rainbows is such a brilliant cause and I am feeling okay about going down. It is a different way to spend a Saturday morning.”

    61-year-old Tony Beenham loved the event so much, he has already signed up to do it again next year. Speaking after his abseil, he said: “It was absolutely brilliant. That is the only way I can sum it up. Rainbows is just fantastic. I am a member of the Rotary Club of Church Wilne and we do a lot for Rainbows, it is such a worthwhile charity.”

    Rainbows volunteer Denise Ollerenshaw has raised over £800. “It was just so exhilarating,“ she said. “It was not what I expected and really good fun.”

    Paula North, Fundraising Manager for Rainbows in Derbyshire, thanked everyone who had taken part in, or supported the event, which is hoped to raised thousands for the work of the hospice.

    To view the photos from the day, click here.

    To find out more about Rainbows events, contact 0800 952 1133, email fundraising@rainbows.co.uk or visit rainbows.co.uk/events

  28. Nine-year-old Max Dunkley, who benefits from our care, is taking on the Derby Bubble Rush in his wheelchair to say thank you.

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    Max has been visiting Rainbows for more than six years for respite care. He was born with a severe life-limiting form of epilepsy and suffers from seizures on a daily basis. Max has complex medical needs and a tracheostomy, which means he has to have one to one care at all times and his oxygen levels are monitored throughout the night.

    As Max gets older, he gets heavier, making it harder for parents Jackie and Nick to carry him, relying more and more on the support of a hoist.

    In support of Rainbows, Max will be taking on the Bubble Rush at Markeaton Park on Saturday 24 September with his father Nick.

    “Rainbows is such a special place for our family and we don’t know what we would do without their support,” He said. “Max just loves to go to the hospice and do lots of things he can’t do anywhere else, like swim in the Hydrotherapy Pool and go in the Multisensory Room. Rainbows also gives us a bit of time off, knowing that Max is getting all of the care he needs.

    “As a family, we will do anything we can to support Rainbows, which is why I wanted to take part in the Bubble Rush. I know it will be a great, fun event and I can’t wait. I hope other people will sign up as all of the sponsorship money raised goes towards helping children like Max.”

    The event is the first of its kind in Derbyshire. Participants will take on a 5k run through walls of colourful bubble stations along the route and we hope to raise around £30,000.

    The route is wheelchair, pushchair and child friendly. There will be live entertainment throughout the day. Entry is £25 for over 16s, £7.50 for under 16s and under 3s go free.

    For more information, visit www.rainbows.co.uk/bubble

  29. Blaby sisters are double bubble trouble

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    16 September 2016

    Two sisters from Blaby are taking on our Derby Bubble Rush because they want to help youngsters less fortunate than themselves.

    Eleven-year-old Keira Hitchin and sister, Mia (six), are aiming to raise £1,000 for us by doing our first ever Bubble Rush at Markeaton Park, Derby, on Saturday 24 September. They even have their own fundraising web pages, with a bit of friendly sibling rivalry to see who can raise the most.

    Dad Scott Hitchin, is a key account manager at Leicestershire-based TGW Limited. The logistics group has supported us for five years raising almost £20,000.

    Scott said: “For me, it is really important that the girls understand the value of helping others who may not have the things in life that they have. They are both thoughtful and considerate and understand there are others who are less fortunate. They are very supportive of Rainbows.

    “It was their idea to take on this event and they are very excited. I am very proud of them and I will be joining them on their challenge.”

    Victoria Brunt, Events Coordinator at Rainbows, added: “We are thrilled to have Keira and Mia taking part in this event and we hope they will inspire other people in Leicestershire to sign up too. You don’t have to run. It’s not about speed or fitness, it’s about celebration, having fun with friends and family and raising a smile, and sponsorship, for Rainbows.”

    Entry is £25 for over 16s, £7.50 for under 16s and under 3s go free.

    For more information, visit www.rainbows.co.uk/bubble

    To support Keira and Mia, visit www.justgiving.com/Keira-Hitchin or www.justgiving.com/Mia-Hitchin

    To join our Bubble Rush Facebook event page for updates, click here: www.facebook.com/events/229447610769641

  30. Rainbows helps children like Preston

    Six-year-old Preston has a life-threatening heart condition but he doesn’t let that stop him from running around, playing and enjoying life.

    Preston Shumba, of Leicestershire, and his family have benefited from our care. They now want to raise awareness of our charity and encourage people to support us by visiting the hospice on Open Day on Saturday.

    Preston was born six weeks premature with a complex congenital heart condition. He was immediately taken from Leicester General Infirmary to Glenfield Hospital in an ambulance. “It was very scary, I didn’t even get to hold my baby,” said mum Julia. “I couldn’t go to him until the next day and he was connected to wires and had a mask on. I was able to hold his hand through the incubator and it was just heart-breaking.”

    Preston spent the first year of his life in hospital and underwent surgery to widen his heart’s valves when he was just 10 days old. Since then, he has had two further operations on his heart. He has also had a tracheostomy tube fitted which is connected to a ventilator that he depends on.

    Preston’s health began to stabilise but without warning, at the age of three, he began bleeding from his tracheostomy. He was taken straight to hospital where he suffered two cardiac arrests. “I thought I was going to lose him, I was just so scared,” said Julia.

    The bleeding continued, sometimes up to four times a day, for three years. Eventually doctors were able control the eruptions with medication.

    To add to his heart complications, Preston only has the use of one lung. Because of this, parents Julia and Isaac, have been told their son cannot have further surgery.

    “Preston will have a shorter life, we don’t know how many years he has but we take each day as it comes,” said Julia. “I look forward to his birthdays so we can celebrate another year and celebrate making happy memories with him. We can’t think about what might happen, we just have to take each day as it comes.

    “Preston brings us so much joy, he is such a happy, friendly boy. He likes to play so much but he can’t run a lot as it can affect his heart.”

    Julia and Isaac, who also have a daughter Febbie (10), first visited Rainbows in 2014. Julia said: “At first, I didn’t want to go to Rainbows as I was told it was a place where children go to die. But then I learnt more about it and realised it wasn’t so we decided to give it a try. I wish we had come sooner. Rainbows is excellent. It is a lovely, happy place. Preston and Febbie both love it. We all stay at Rainbows as I can’t be too far away from Preston and it is like a holiday for us. Preston is safe at Rainbows and he gets to do things that he normally can’t, like swimming in the hydrotherapy pool.”

    Febbie is also supported through our Sibling Support scheme. She added: “I really love my brother and when Preston first came home from hospital, it made me really happy and I kept on hugging him. Now he goes to Rainbows and it is a great place for children who aren’t very well to get better. I get to go on the sibling trips and have sleep overs and go to theme parks and I also get to spend more time with my mummy when Preston is being looked after.”

    On September 17, we will open our doors to the community, a unique opportunity to look around the East Midlands only hospice for children and young people.

    Visitors can take a tour of the hospice viewing facilities such as the Hydrotherapy Pool, Music Room, Multi-sensory Room, Arts and Craft Room and Soft Play. Members of our care team will also be on hand to give detailed information on the therapeutic treatments each room is used for.

    Andrew Ball, Director of Income Generation at Rainbows, said “Open Day is a fantastic opportunity for people to come along to Rainbows and see the work that is carried out at the hospice. We hope that visitors to Rainbows will be inspired by the work we do by seeing first-hand how supporters make such a difference to so many families like Preston’s.”

    Visitors are welcome to arrive at Rainbows on Lark Rise, Loughborough, LE11 2HS at any time between 10.30am and 3pm. For more information, call 01509 638000 or visit www.rainbows.co.uk.

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  31. Forest Players Kick Off Partnership with Rainbows

    Players from Nottingham Forest Football Club visited Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People to celebrate the start of a new partnership.

    Club captain and Rainbows Ambassador Chris Cohen was joined by Eric Lichaj, Jorge Grant and Matty Cash as well as staff from the football club.

    During the visit, the players were given a good thrashing by the young people over games of Table Football and Blow Football. The footballers and staff also had a tour around the hospice to learn more about the work carried out to support children and young people with terminal and life-limiting illnesses.

    Andrew Ball, Director of Income Generation at Rainbows, said: “It was great to have the players and staff from the club visiting the hospice so they could see for themselves just what a difference our partnership will make to the lives of children and young people. We are looking forward to seeing things develop this year.”

    The partnership will include working more with the children and young people at Rainbows, football themed fundraising events, players and staff taking part in hospice events and bucket collections at selected matches.

     

    For all the latest information about Rainbows’ partnership with Nottingham Forest and upcoming events, follow Rainbows social media and visit: www.rainbows.co.uk/forest

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  32. Notts supergran reaches dizzy heights for Rainbows

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    25 August 2016

    Supergran Pam Bradley of Notts is taking on a 212ft abseil to raise money for us.

    Daredevil pensioner Pam Bradley (74) is scaling Derby Cathedral’s tower, the second highest in the country on Saturday 10 September.

    Retired nurse Pam is no stranger to heights as she completed an abseil from the top of Nottingham’s Council House in 2000. She said: “I am really looking forward to the event and I think the most difficult bit will be walking up the stairs. Rainbows is an absolutely brilliant cause and it is so worthwhile, it is such a great place.”

    Pam, who has five grandchildren and a great grandchild, is hoping to raise over £200 and says her friends and family have been incredibly supportive in sponsoring her. “I would like to thank everyone for their support,” added Pam. “If I can do it, so can a lot of other people. I want as many people to join me and sign up to this fabulous event.”

    Paula North, Community Fundraising Manager for Rainbows, added: “We would like to thank Pam for signing up to this event. We would simply not be able to open the doors of our hospice if it wasn’t for our fundraisers.

    “We still have places available so I would urge any thrill seekers out there to sign up; we promise it will be a lot of fun.”

    Last year’s event raised £27,000 which was split between Rainbows and the cathedral. This year all funds will be going to Rainbows.

    People can abseil between 9am and 8pm. Entry is £20. Children under 12 are not permitted to take part. To get involved, contact 0800 952 1133, email fundraising@rainbows.co.uk or visit www.rainbows.co.uk/derbyabseil. We also have a Facebook event page: http://bit.ly/2biqSZ8

    Photo Credit: Eastwood & Kimberley Advertiser
  33. Rainbows calls on bookworms

    Rainbows books

    Tuesday 15 August

    Rainbows wants people in the East Midlands to forget about the beach body and concentrate on the beach book this summer.

    We have been inundated with generous donations of literature which will make scorching summer reads. Karen Bilsby, Head of Retail at Rainbows, said: “People have been so kind and given us lots of books. In fact we have so much fiction and non-fiction, we are struggling for room on our shelves so we are calling for people to come along to our shop and pick up a book for their holiday, the kids or even an early Christmas present. Not only will you bag a great bargain, you will also be helping us to support children and young people with life-limiting and terminal illnesses.”

    Our shops are also looking for volunteers to join our team. For more information, visit www.rainbows.co.uk/shops or contact Paul Holden on 01509 638059.

  34. Nottingham Dragon Boats raise £20,000 for Rainbows

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    The Nottingham Riverside Festival Dragon Boat Challenge has raised over £20,000 for us.

    We were the official charity partner for the event on Sunday 7 August and two crews from the hospice joined the other 43 teams taking part.

    Tom Stanyard, Corporate Partnerships Fundraiser at Rainbows, said: “We’re delighted with another successful Dragon Boat challenge. This year we had more teams than ever, the day ran smoothly and the weather was kind. To top that off, the companies taking part have raised a fantastic amount of money and we’d like to thank all of them for their hard work.

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    “We would also like to thank the work of organisers, Gable Events, and the event media partners, Smooth Radio and Nottingham Post, for their help in making the event such a success. Here’s to next year.”

    To find out more about next year’s Dragon Boat Challenge, contact Tom Stanyard on 01509 283919 or tom.stanyard@rainbows.co.uk

     

  35. Family are taking on the Derby Bubble Rush in aid of Rainbows.

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    The family of a six-year-old boy who lost his battle to brain cancer in December are taking on the Derby Bubble Rush in aid of Rainbows.

    Ari Rainford, of Derbyshire, and his family had visited Rainbows during his illness. After he passed away, Ari’s family brought him back a special bedroom in our Bereavement Suite where we continued to provide support to his family in the difficult process of saying goodbye.

    Team Ari, set up “in memory of a beautiful brave boy”, is made up of family friends from all around the East Midlands area, including staff from Ari’s school, Ridgeway Infant School.

    “Ari was an absolute inspiration,” said his mum Gabrielle, who is part of Team Ari along with her daughter Jacy-Meadow. “He battled through, never moaning and always kept his sense of humour right until the end. We all want to do him proud by all joining together and being one big team raising as much money as possible.

    “Ari had such a caring nature, I’m certain he would be proud of what we are trying to achieve in his memory. We want to spread the word about what an amazing service is offered by Rainbows to children like our Ari and their families. Rainbows has been there for us and now too, in our hour of need, as a grieving family.”

    The Bubble Rush, a sponsored event, takes place on Saturday 24 September.  Participants will take on a 5k run through walls of colourful bubble stations along the route.

    Team member Ellie Matthews, of Alvaston, was Ari’s cousin. She expects more people to join the team on the day. She added: “We wanted to do something in memory of Ari for Rainbows. Everyone at Rainbows was so amazing in caring for Ari and we want to say thank you and give something back.

    Ari Rainford

    “Ari was so funny. He had a great sense of humour, so it is quite fitting that the Bubble Rush will be a lot of fun. Ari always made you laugh. Whether it was before he was ill or when he was really, really poorly, he would always find a way to make you laugh.

    “I would just like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has been involved in Team Ari so far in any way possible. We can’t wait until we see you all on the day of the event where we can go out and raise lots more awareness and lots of money for Rainbows.”

    We hope the event will raise a total income of £30,000 for us. The route is wheelchair, pushchair and child friendly. There will be live entertainment throughout the day.

    Victoria Brunt, Events Coordinator at Rainbows, added: “We would like to thank Team Ari for signing up to the event and raising funds in Ari’s memory. We hope their story inspires others to take part, raise sponsorship, and help children like Ari and their families.”

    Entry is £25 for over 16s, £7.50 for under 16s and under 3s go free.

    For more information, visit www.rainbows.co.uk/bubble

    To sponsor Team Ari, visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/teamari

    To visit Team Ari’s Facebook page visitwww.facebook.com/fightforAri/

    To join our Facebook page for updates, click here: www.facebook.com/events/229447610769641

     

     

  36. Loughborough ladies reaching dizzy heights for Rainbows

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    10 August 2016

    A team of housekeepers and a Trustee from Rainbows will be abseiling down a 212ft tower to raise money for us.

    The ladies aim to raise hundreds of pounds by taking on the Derby Abseil on Saturday 10 September. Adventurous participants will get the rare chance to descend the 212ft tower – the second highest in the country.

    Anne-Maria Olphert, of Rothley, has been on the Board of Trustees at Rainbows for five years. She can’t wait to take part in the event. “It is a great cause and I like doing extreme things, I will always do something that pushes my comfort zone. So the abseil ticks both boxes. I am really looking forward to it,” she said.

    Anne-Maria, who is the Director of Nursing for the NHS in Lincolnshire, has also been a nurse in Leicestershire working very closely with Rainbows. She added: “What I am doing is nothing compared to the families at Rainbows and what they put themselves through every day.

    “People are very giving when it comes to a children’s hospice and I hope to raise around £500. Rainbows is a really, really good cause and I know people will be supportive of me.”

    Daredevil Anne-Maria has previously completed a skydive and a bungee jump off the Victoria Falls Bridge in Zambia.

    The Rainbows Housekeepers – who have called their team The Red Ladies because they wear red Rainbows polo shirts, is made up of Julie Middleton, Hayley Jones, Lorna Talbot and Elizabeth Peet.

    Julie has worked at Rainbows for 14 months. She said: “I have never done anything like this before and I am really excited, even though I don’t like heights! I wanted to do it as a personal challenge and also for Rainbows, which is an amazing place. Anything extra we can do to help is fantastic.”

    Hayley added that all of the housekeepers were looking forward to the challenge. “I am a bit nervous but I am looking forward to it. It will be a great day and obviously great to be supporting Rainbows,” she added.

    People can abseil between 9am and 8pm. Entry is £20. Children under 12 are not permitted to take part. To get involved, contact 0800 952 1133, email fundraising@rainbows.co.uk or visit www.rainbows.co.uk/derbyabseil. There is also a Facebook event page where you can ask any questions and interact with participants: http://bit.ly/2bfp7hv

  37. Trekking friends raise £9,360 for Rainbows

    On the wall (l-r) Yvonne and Tracey

    Two friends who walked for more than 35 hours and clocked up thousands of steps on the Great Wall of China raised £9,360 for Rainbows.

    Tracey Hill (50), of Leicestershire, and Yvonne Stevenson (52), of Nottinghamshire, took on the challenge in April. The pair spent five days walking along newly renovated and very old, crumbling parts the famous landmark.

    The trip was planned to celebrate Tracey’s 50th birthday and we were the chosen charity.

    “We were at a ball held for Rainbows and I asked Yvonne if she wanted to join me on this trek,” said Tracey. “We have been to the ball for the past six years and every year we are in tears listening to the speeches from the parents who have children that go to Rainbows. We are always moved by the positive and happy stories that they share with us. It seemed like the absolute right thing to do when we decided to raise the money for Rainbows.”

    The pair set themselves a target of raising £8,000 and along with sponsorship, the friends organised fashion shows, coffee mornings, quiz nights, stalls at a local fete and an auction. Yvonne, who is a teaching assistant in Nottinghamshire, also sold ice lollies after school. They smashed their target and to date have raised £9,360.

    (l-r) Yvonne and Tracey

    Yvonne added: “I really enjoyed the trip. I can honestly say it was the most challenging and amazing thing I have ever done in my life and I feel it has opened my life to things I would never have considered doing before. I want to thank Tracey and my family for their love and support, and look forward to our next challenge whatever and wherever it may be.”

    Victoria Brunt, Events Coordinator at Rainbows, said: “On behalf of everyone at Rainbows, I would like to thank Tracey and Yvonne for their amazing dedication. Walking for six to eight hours a day up and down thousands of steep steps is no mean feat and they have raised an incredible amount. Every penny raised goes towards our work in supporting the children, young people and their families who use Rainbows.”

  38. Derby’s first ever Bubble Rush is heading to Markeaton Park

    Bubble Rush

    26 July 2016

    The event, organised by Rainbows, takes place on Sunday 24 September.  Participants will take on a 5k run through walls of colourful bubble stations along the route.

    We hope the event will raise around £30,000 for our work.

    Twenty-year-old Bridie Gutteridge has Glutaric Aciduria Type 1, a rare condition where the body can’t break down certain amino acids. She doesn’t let her condition define her or deter her from anything.

    One of Bridie’s next adventures will be taking part in the Bubble Rush with her mum, her brother Mikey (22) and sisters Molly (24), Bonnie (19), Betty (14) and Dolly (12).

    Bridie is very independent, even using an eye gaze computer to access the internet and update her Facebook and she’s an expert at controlling her wheelchair with a special head sensor. Her mum, Michelle, describes her as a stunt girl. “She has been in a harness upside down, she wants to be an extra in a film and she wants to go scuba diving.”

    Bridie has been cared for and supported by our staff for the past nine years. Michelle is urging people to join her family and sign up to the event.

    “We can’t wait to do the event,” said Michelle. “Rainbows is an amazing place and we will do all we can to support it. The staff are amazing and Bridie has great relationships with everyone. Rainbows is a great fun break for all of us.”

    Bridie is constantly laughing with her mum and their unbreakable bond shines though in her cheeky, mischievous smile.

    “We really live our lives. We are best friends, together all of the time,” said Michelle. “She is one hell of a girl. She is so positive and every day when I wake up and see that face, I feel so lucky.”

    The route is wheelchair, pushchair and child friendly. There will be live entertainment throughout the day.

    Victoria Brunt, Events Coordinator at Rainbows, added: “We are so excited to be launching our first ever Bubble Rush in Derby and we need the community to sign up.

    “You don’t have to run. It’s not about speed or fitness, it’s about celebration, having fun with friends and family and raising a smile for Rainbows. We had the foam cannons at the hospice for the children, young people and staff and everyone had great fun in the bubbles.”

    Entry is £25 for over 16s, £7.50 for under 16s and under 3s go free.

    For more information, visit www.rainbows.co.uk/bubble

    To join our Facebook page for updates, click here: www.facebook.com/events/229447610769641

  39. Where’s it Bin? raises £20k

    Sam Green with Tom Stanyard and Barry, Bertie and Betty at Rainbows

    22 July 2016

    Businesses in the region have helped raise £20,000 for Rainbows by taking part in our ‘Where’s it Bin?’ scheme.

    Ten months ago we launched our ‘Where’s It Bin?’ campaign, where we drop three branded wheelie bins – Barry, Bertie and Betty – to businesses, organisations and clubs for one week. People are encouraged to fill them with unwanted saleable goods for our shops. At the end of the week, we collect the bins and all the donations.

    Now more than 2,000 bags have been donated and the campaign has raised £20,000 towards our work.

    Tom Stanyard, Corporate Partnership Fundraiser at Rainbows, said: “We are delighted to announce that businesses and groups across the East Midlands have helped to raise such an incredible amount and we thank all of them for looking after Barry, Bertie and Betty, but also want to thank everyone who has donated their unwanted items.

    “The bins are always looking for somewhere new to visit and the idea of keeping the collection bins at the workplace or an office is so people who want to donate their unwanted items don’t have to go out of their way to do so. Whether you’re a team of three or 300, you could help make a huge difference by filling a bin with your unwanted items.”

    To take part in the campaign, contact Tom on 01509 283919 or tom.stanyard@rainbows.co.uk or visit www.rainbows.co.uk/business-bin for more information.

  40. Game, set and match to Rainbows

    FotorCreated

    14 July 2016

    The Aegon Open Nottingham served an ace for Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People as the tournament netted around £18,500 for the charity.

    Rainbows was as the official charity partner for the two world class tennis events that were held in the city last month.

    On June 6, Rainbows took centre court with an official Rainbows day. All proceeds from ticket sales went to the hospice and there was a host of activities on the day along with collections for Rainbows around the Nottingham Tennis Centre.

    During the tournaments, the Rainbows’ 8ft tennis bear, Ace, was a smash with the players and visitors from across the region. Children and young people who benefit from the care of Rainbows were also mascots on the prestigious final days, leading the players out on to court.

    Maggie Deere, Rainbows Fundraiser in Nottinghamshire, said: “We were delighted to have been chosen as event partners and the tournaments have been absolutely wonderful. Rainbows is the only hospice for children and young people in the East Midlands, including those from Nottingham and we have been overwhelmed by people’s generosity. On behalf of the children, young people and families who use Rainbows, I would like to thank everyone for their support, whether it was in donations or time. We really couldn’t have done it without you.”

  41. England and Leicester rugby star opens Rainbows Loughborough shop

    IMG_1994

    8 July 2016

    Hundreds of people flocked to the opening of Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People’s new shop in Loughborough on Thursday (7th).

    Rugby legend Neil Back MBE cut the ribbon outside the charity’s new flagship shop, in Cattle Market.

    Shopper Julie Howard (58), of Loughborough, said: “I love it in here, it is very nice and I have just picked up a bargain. It is brilliant for Rainbows and I am so glad they have opened a shop in Loughborough.”

    Rainbows has been supported by many Leicestershire companies, including officeTwelve, JC Metalworks, Vertigo Interiors, Bell Decorating Group and Karndean who have donated goods or services to the shop for free.

    The design of the shop incorporates recycled materials. Aspects include reclaimed doors and old wooden chairs reimagined in unusual ways to create eye-catching displays and quirky changing rooms. Part of the design is a designated children’s area with a small table and chairs and toys.

    Mother of two Claire Powell (32), of Loughborough, said: “The children’s area is really imaginative. I can have a look around the shop and the children are kept amused.”

    Karen Bilsby, Head of Retail at Rainbows, said: “We would like to thank everyone who supported us in the run up to the opening and on the day. We have had such a great turn out and we are delighted to be back in our home town of Loughborough.”

    To view the photos from the day, please click the link: http://bit.ly/29wctI6

  42. Leicestershire businesses donate their time to our new flagship store in Loughborough

    Shops on fb

    5 July 2016

    Leicestershire businesses have been donating their time and services for free to our new flagship store in Loughborough town centre.

    We are opening our new shop, in Cattle Market, on Thursday 7 July. It will be the first time we have had a presence in Loughborough in 15 years.

    And to help the opening get underway, businesses in the region have been donating gifts of time or equipment for free.

    Award-winning design company officeTwelve created a bespoke interior for the shop. Maximising a tight budget, the Desford-based company incorporated recycled materials into the project generating a unique look and feel.

    officeTwelve was inspired to get involved and support us after visiting the hospice. MD Gina Mula said: ‘Visiting the hospice had a huge influence over the design team. It is an amazing place. We wanted to reflect the fun and friendly atmosphere at Rainbows while subtly reminding customers that their donations are helping children and young people with life-limiting conditions. To give our retail design skills to help Rainbows feels like a very small contribution to such a wonderful charity.”

    Aspects of the design include reclaimed doors and old wooden chairs reimagined in unusual ways to create eye-catching displays and quirky changing rooms. Part of the design is a designated children’s area with a small table and chairs and toys.

    This equipment has all been provided by Leicestershire based, Vertigo-Interiors.com. along with two big armchairs, which will be stationed outside the changing rooms.

    Hannah Reed, Assistant General Manager at Vertigo Interiors, said: “It has been our pleasure to provide this furniture for the new Rainbows shop. Having a children’s area is a wonderful idea to keep the little ones amused while the adults shop. We thought the armchairs were a great touch for the non-shoppers to put their feet up. Rainbows is an amazing charity and we are thrilled to be involved.”

    JC Metalworks has supported us for a number of years through staff fundraising. Continuing its allegiance, the company based in Loughborough, has supplied all of the interior metal for the shop including clothing rails and stands.

    Managing Director Jason Chauhan said: “We see Rainbows as being all about family and we are a family business with many families working here with us. To be able to support such a fantastic charity is an absolute pleasure for us and we will do everything we can to support them. When we were asked if we could help out with the new shop it really was a no brainer for us. We look forward to seeing the finished shop and our rails and shelves stocked up with items for people to buy.”

    As it is a new store, we need stock to fill our shelves and welcome donations of clothing and bric-a-brac and donations from the Loughborough community will be greatly received.

    Bell Decorating Group has pledged its support to us with Loughborough-based employees giving their time to decorate rooms at the hospice on a rolling basis. To kick start the partnership, staff will be taking their paint brushes to the shop ahead of its opening.

    Stuart Ridsdale, Business Development Manager at Bell Group, in Newark, said: “We are delighted to be giving our time and expertise to Rainbows and it is great that we can support the new shop alongside helping out at the hospice. We look forward to our partnership.”

    Karndean Flooring, which is based in Eversham, has also donated all of the flooring for the shop.

    Karen Bilsby, Head of Retail at Rainbows, added: “We would like to thank everyone for their support, from local businesses to ones further afield. Their donations have saved us money and we are very grateful.”

    To support the Loughbrough shop either with stock donations or by volunteering, contact 01509 638000.

  43. Men, get your ‘kit’ off for Rainbows!

    Get your kit off 1

    28 June 2016

    We are calling on footy mad men to ‘Get their kit off’ to help with a shortage of menswear in our shops.

    As football fever grips the nation with the Euro 2016 tournament, we felt it was apt to ask the males of the community to send their ‘kit’ to our shops.

    Retail sales directly benefit the hospice, Selling clothes worth £5 could supply oxygen for a child who requires specialist breathing equipment for a day, £20 could help to fund a music therapy session and £25 could help fund the cost of one week’s play materials.

    Karen Bilsby, Head of Retail at Rainbows, said: “We are very low on men’s clothing at the moment so we need all you men to have a clear out of your wardrobes and send your unwanted garments our way. Football shirts and training gear are welcome but it isn’t just your footy kit we need, we are also after trousers, shirts, t-shirts, shorts, jumpers and jackets.”

    Donations can be made at the Rainbows shops or at the hospice in Loughborough.

    For more information on Rainbows shops, visit www.rainbows.co.uk/shops or contact 01509 638000.

  44. Hundreds ramble for Rainbows

    Ramble

    28 June 2016

    Around 300 people enjoyed the sunshine on Sunday as they rambled for Rainbows.

    For the first time, our popular Walk of Life took place at Beacon Hill Country Park. Groups of friends and families took on the 10 mile ramble and youngsters took part in the two mile Tiny Trek. It is hoped the event will raise £15,000 for us.

    Ramblers started the event at Leicestershire’s famous landmark before heading to the hospice and trekking back to Beacon Hill. They were all treated to a free hog roast or spicy bean burger and invited to put their feet up after crossing the finish line.

    Victoria Brunt, Event Coordinator at Rainbows, said: “As always, the Walk of Life was a fantastic event at this wonderful new venue. We would like to thank everyone who took part, all those who supported the walkers and all of our volunteers. Your backing is invaluable and the Leicestershire community are always so supportive of Rainbows and our cause.

    “We look forward to next year’s event and hope that you will join us.”

    You can view the photos from the event here.

    For further information about Rainbows’ events, contact 0800 9521133, email fundraising@rainbows.co.uk or visit www.rainbows.co.uk/events

  45. Oars at the ready for Rainbows staff taking on Nottingham Riverside Festival Dragon Boat Challenge

    Rainbows train for Dragon Boat

    16 June 2016

    There will be no messing about on the river for our staff whose oars are poised ready to take on the Nottingham Riverside Festival Dragon Boat Challenge.

    Pictured training in the hydrotherapy pool at the hospice are (l-r) Tom Stanyard, Di Banks, Alex Johnstone and Andy Lupton – who are all part of the crew “Somewhere over the Rain-boat”.

    “Somewhere Over the Rain-boat” is one of up to 50 crews from all over the East Midlands who will battle it out over the 200m race course on the River Trent at Victoria Embankment.

    We are the official charity partner for the event on Sunday 7 August. Last year more than £23,000 was raised and organisers, Gable Events, hope to smash that target this year.

  46. Are East Midlands companies a good crumb or soggy bottom?

    Rainbows Cake Bake

    8 June 2016

    We want companies in the East Midlands to put their ‘honey’ where their mouth is for a new baking challenge.

    ‘Flour Power’ challenges colleagues to see who’s a good crumb and who has a soggy bottom – all while helping to ‘raise’ vital funds for us.

    Businesses, clubs and organisations from across Derbyshire are invited to show off their culinary creations by holding a bake sale. Before tucking in, the charity wants colleagues to judge each other’s entries and pick a winner. A photo of the winning bake will be displayed on Rainbows’ website. Fiona Cairns Rainbows Ambassador and Royal Wedding Cake creator will be acting as a judge and every few months, she will choose from the pictures submitted to crown an overall champion who will receive a special prize. As a bonus, any company pledging to raise over £100 will receive a Rainbows Prize Pack so please register your company on our website.

    Tom Stanyard, Corporate Partnership Fundraiser, said: “Bake sales have always been a simple and fun way to get involved and support Rainbows. We think this adds another layer of fun to them and is something a bit different – there’s a competitive ingredient now. Any funds you raise will make a real difference to everyone at the hospice so simply set a date for your colleagues to bake their delicious delicacies and bring them in to the office. Judge and take a picture of the best looking, then sample them all to decide who got it ‘beautifully moist’ and who over-whipped the cream. Don’t forget to sell them!”

    To get involved visit www.rainbows.co.uk/bake

  47. We need volunteers

    _MG_3004

    7 June 2016

    We are calling on people in the region to help life-limited children and young people by donating time.

    As part of Volunteers’ Week, a national annual campaign which runs until June 12, we hope to recruit volunteers for our shops, in the community and at the hospice.

    Claire Homer (41), of Barrow, has been volunteering on reception at the hospice for three years. She said: “I have always known about the work of Rainbows and it is always something I have been passionate about, so volunteering is a chance for me to do something positive for the charity. I love what I do at the hospice and I would encourage everyone to think about volunteering for Rainbows if they are able to. It is a great place and you are made to feel extremely welcome and part of the team.”

    Volunteers play a vital part in the work we do and their dedication makes a huge contribution in the day to day running of the hospice.

    Jill Smith (53), of Chilwell, has been volunteering at the Rainbows Beeston shop, in High Road for over a year. She is now a supervisor. Jill added: “When you volunteer, you can give as little or as much time as you want and that is what I like about it. Volunteering for Rainbows, you feel like you are giving something back and it is very rewarding knowing you are helping such a great cause. I would encourage anyone who is thinking of volunteering for Rainbows to give it a whirl.”

    Paul Holden, Volunteer Coordinator at Rainbows, said: “We currently have 347 volunteers who tell us that helping Rainbows is not only incredibly rewarding but also a lot of fun. It is a great way of meeting new people and building new skills and confidence.

    “Volunteering is simple and you only have to give the time you can afford – whether it’s a regular day a week or a few hours a year. Every week, 786 essential hours are volunteered to Rainbows, without which we wouldn’t be able to function.

    “So if you have spare time, need a new challenge or simply wish to support Rainbows in a different way, please do get in touch. You can be a real part of something that brings support, love and laughter to children whose lives are sadly too short.”

    For information on becoming a volunteer at Rainbows, please contact Paul Holden on 01509 638059 or email paul.holden@rainbows.co.uk

     

     

  48. Rainbows shop is coming home

    Loughborough Shop

    6 June 2016

    We haven’t had a presence in Loughborough town centre for 15 years but in July, we are set to open a flagship store in Cattle Market.

    Karen Bilsby, Head of Retail at Rainbows, said: “We are very excited to be returning to our home town of Loughborough and we want this to be our flagship store. Over the past four years, we have opened five shops and have focussed on increasing our presence in areas where the Rainbows name wasn’t so well known. It is now the right time to come home.

    “The Loughborough community is overwhelmingly supportive of Rainbows and we know that people will be as excited as we are for our presence in the town. We are planning to open our doors in July, so watch this space for the official announcement of the grand opening.”

    We currently care for 362 children and young people with life-limiting or terminal illnesses. We also support 339 bereaved families and 671 siblings. All money raised at the Loughborough shop will enable us to keep making a difference.

    Award-winning design company officeTwelve donated its time to us for free and has created a bespoke interior for the Loughborough shop. Maximising a tight budget, the Desford-based company has incorporated recycled materials into the project generating a unique look and feel.

    Aspects of the design include reclaimed doors and old wooden chairs reimagined in unusual ways to create eye-catching displays and quirky changing rooms. A designated children’s area will makes the store a fun destination for youngsters while their parents shop and recycled picture frames will add the finishing touches.

    officeTwelve was inspired to get involved and support Rainbows after visiting the hospice. MD Gina Mula said: ‘Visiting the hospice had a huge influence over the design team. It is an amazing place. We wanted to reflect the fun and friendly atmosphere at Rainbows while subtly reminding customers that their donations are helping children and young people with life-limiting conditions. To give our retail design skills to help Rainbows feels like a very small contribution to such a wonderful charity.”

    Mrs Bilsby added: “We would like to thank everyone at officeTwelve for their support. It’s clear they share our passion for this project and their enthusiasm has really shone through.”

    For more information about Rainbows’ shops, visit www.rainbows.co.uk/shops or contact 01509 638000.

  49. Breakfast at Tiffany’s visit Rainbows

    Breakfast at Tiffany's

    24 May 2016

    The cast of hit stage show Breakfast at Tiffany’s, which toured across the East Midlands, treated our families and staff to a performance.

    Eleven members of the ensemble visited Rainbows to meet our children and young people and find out more about the work we do.

    After touring the facilities, actress Emily Atack – who starred in The Inbetweeners – entertained our families and staff with a version of Moon River and cast members sang Frozen’s Let it Go. They also signed memorabilia for our children and young people.

    Charlie De Melo, who plays Jose and has appeared in The Interceptor, Casualty and Doctors, set up the visit because his mum, Lynne, works as a Clinical Nurse Specialist at Rainbows. He said: “It was wonderful to have the opportunity to visit Rainbows while taking the show to the East Midlands.

    “I know very well how wonderful the work is that Rainbows does for its children and their families. What was nice for me, was to be able to facilitate and introduce new people to that wonderful work. And on a personal level it was particularly nice to hear the admiration that the staff themselves have for the work my mum does. Over the years it’s become normalised just how worthy her work is in my eyes, so to hear her colleagues speak so highly of her was a really beautiful moment for me.

    “We also hope that our visit and the singing brightened up the day of everyone at Rainbows.”

    To see the photos from the day, please click here: https://flic.kr/s/aHskB1fftv

  50. Let’s get ready to ramble for Rainbows

    Ramble-Walk-of-Life-2016-homepage (1)

    06 May 2016

    We want people in Leicestershire to get ready to ramble for our revamped Walk of Life.

    For 2016, the location for our popular event has moved to Beacon Hill Country Park. It still features a 10 mile route but for this year, walkers start at Leicestershire’s famous landmark before heading to the hospice and trekking back to Beacon Hill.

    For those looking for something a little less adventurous, there will be two mile Tiny Trek around Beacon Hill which, although challenging, is suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs. Having worked up an appetite, all finishers will be treated to a free hog roast or spicy bean burger after they cross the line.

    Last year, more than 300 people took part in the event raising over £15,500. It is hoped the Walk of Life: Ramble to Rainbows will raise over £20,000.

    Victoria Brunt, Event Coordinator at Rainbows, said: “The Walk of Life is really popular in Leicestershire and we are very excited to be launching this year’s event with a brand new location. We wanted to make it more challenging and offer our regular supporters something different, as well as hopefully interesting new walkers.

    “Participants will experience stunning scenery and great camaraderie and we encourage people to dress in colours of the rainbow. We will even put in a special request for sunshine.

    “At Rainbows, we currently care for 358 children and young people with life-limiting or terminal illnesses. We also support 334 bereaved families and 665 siblings. All money raised at this event helps us to continue opening our doors to the families who need us the most.”

    Early Bird entry for the event, which starts at 10.30am on Sunday 26 June, is £10 for adults and £5 for children 12 years and younger.

    For further information or to register, visit www.rainbows.co.uk/ramble contact 0800 9521133 or email fundraising@rainbows.co.uk

  51. Make a Will and support Rainbows

    MAWM Banner2016

    02 May 2016

    Our Make a Will Month campaign, which raises around £350,000 for Rainbows, has launched.

    Solicitors across the region are offering a saving of more than 50 percent when making a Will to encourage people to leave a lasting legacy to children and young people with life-limiting and terminal illnesses. Last year the care of one in six children at Rainbows was funded through gifts in Wills.

    For the month, solicitors will write a new single simple Will or update a current Will for £45 plus VAT. In recognition of the offer, we hope that people may wish to leave a gift to us when writing their Will.

    Andy Campbell, Chief Executive Officer at Rainbows, said: “We understand that making a Will can be an emotional task and people will most likely be thinking of their family and friends. But by leaving a donation to Rainbows too, it can help us to continue providing care for the children and young people who rely on the hospice.

    “Since we began the campaign in 2010, we have received around £1.5 million in pledges and almost £12,000 in direct donations.

    “Even if you have a Will, which less than half of the UK population currently do, perhaps you would consider adding a codicil leaving a gift to Rainbows. All of the legacies we receive add up, no matter how small, and without your support, we simply wouldn’t be able to open our doors to those families who need us the most.”

    The typical cost for writing a single Will is around £120 plus VAT so people who take part in our Make a Will Month will make a huge saving from the offset.”

    To find out the participating solicitors click here: www.rainbows.co.uk/make-a-will-month

  52. We want your unwanted clothes

    Shops-pic-for-Facebook

    19 April 2016

    Spring has officially sprung and as people start to spruce up their wardrobe with spring and summer clothes we are calling for stock.

    We are asking people to clear out their winter wardrobe, sort through their summer clothes, and donate any unwanted items to our shops in Melton, Blaby, Market Harborough, Beeston and Matlock.

    Karen Bilsby, Head of Retail at Rainbows, said: “We are always in need of stock for our shop and we would love to find new homes for your unwanted items. Whether you are clearing out the winter woollies or whether you fancy a new summer wardrobe, we need your unwanted clothes.

    “At Rainbows we care for 358 children and young people with life-limiting or terminal illnesses as well as supports 334 bereaved families and 665 siblings. Selling clothes worth £20 could help to fund a music therapy session for a child, £25 could help fund the cost of one week’s play materials and a sale of £80 funds our care team for an hour.

    “So while you are putting away your winter clothes, ask yourself if you are likely to wear the items next year and if you think not, please consider donating them to Rainbows and we will save them for next winter.”

  53. We’ve bagged a share of a £11.5million carrier bag charge fund

    Bagsofhelp-768x811

    We are delighted to announce we have bagged £12,000 from the Tesco Bags of Help initiative.

    The supermarket teamed up with Groundwork to launch its Bags of Help initiative, which saw grants of £12,000, £10,000 and £8,000 – all raised from the 5p bag levy – being awarded to environmental and greenspace projects.

    Shoppers in the region cast their votes and we came out on top with an award £12,000.

    Work will now begin on bringing the project to life. The funding will be used to transform the approach to the hospice. We plan to create a new pathway, landscape the driveway and put in wooden planters and new signage, as well as improving the CCTV, to make the hospice more welcoming and secure for families.

    Ronald Graham, Head of Finance and Facilities at Rainbows, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to have been awarded this funding and thank every single person who voted for us. To be nominated as the most popular choice among voters is a huge testament to the importance of the work we do at Rainbows.

    “Grants like this, along with donations, are the only way that Rainbows can continue to open its doors on a daily basis, providing support to hundreds of families who desperately need our care.
    “The approach the hospice hasn’t been updated since we opened over 20 years ago in 1994. This money will help us create an entrance that is warm, friendly and secure for the families who visit us and need our help at the most difficult of times.”

    Caroline Silke, Head of Community at Tesco, said: “Bags of Help has been a fantastic success. We have been overwhelmed by the response of our customers and the feedback has been brilliant. We can’t wait to see the money being put to use bringing these projects to life.”

    Voting ran in store from 27 February until 6 March – with customers choosing which group they’d like to get the top award using a token given to them at the check-out in store.

    Groundwork’s national chief executive, Graham Duxbury, said: “We have been delighted to have been involved in the Bags of Help project. It has been wonderful to follow the projects through the application process to the final announcement.

    “This is money which will go directly back into the communities up and down the country creating places to meet people, be active, play or simply relax. This initiative is really putting something back into the local environment, transforming greenspaces and helping the community at a grass-roots level.”

  54. Kilworth raises almost £70k for Rainbows

    Kilworth House

    17 March 2016

    A Leicestershire hotel and theatre has raised the roof for us with a donation of £69,365.

    Kilworth House Hotel and Theatre adopted the hospice in 2014 as its Charity of the Year, a partnership which has spanned across two years.

    A range of fundraising has been taking place with one of the big money-makers being the open air theatre at Kilworth. To combat those chilly summer evenings, Kilworth hired out its red blankets to theatre goers which raised £7,000 alone. And voluntary addition of £1 to restaurant bills raised over £8,000.

    Owners Celia and Richard Mackay were delighted to hand over the donation to us. Celia said: “We want to thank all of our guests once again for their wholehearted support of the fundraising for Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People, a wonderful local charity that fully deserves the support of all the people of the East Midlands.”

    Andrew Ball, Director of Income Generation at Rainbows, added: “We have thoroughly enjoyed working with everyone at Kilworth House Hotel and Theatre over the last two years. I know a lot of hard work has gone in to raising the funds for Rainbows and on behalf of all of the children, young people and their families, I would like to thank them for their incredibly kind donation. I would also like to extend that thanks to everyone in the community who has contributed to Kilworth’s fundraising.”

  55. Vote for Rainbows at Tesco this week!

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    Rainbows is urging people in across the region to vote to help them win a grant of up to £12,000 to transform the approach to the hospice.

    Supporters will be able to vote for Rainbows to receive funding from Bags of Help – an initiative run by Tesco in partnership with Groundwork in hundreds of regions across England and Wales. The scheme will see three community groups and projects in each of these regions awarded grants of £12,000, £10,000 and £8,000 – all raised from the 5p bag charge.

    The public can vote for Rainbows from Saturday 27th February to Sunday 6th March at the following stores: Tesco Extra in Loughborough; Tesco Superstores in the Rushes in Loughborough and in Melton Mowbray; Tesco Metro in Syston and Tesco Express stores in Sileby, Birstall, Shepshed, Loughborough and Nottingham Road in Melton Mobwbray.

    With the funding, Rainbows plans to update and rejuvenate the approach leading to the hospice, making it more welcoming and secure for our families.


    Helen Graham, Grants & Trusts Officer at Rainbows, said: “We’re delighted to have made it through to the final stage of the process. All we need now is for supporters in the local area to pop in to their nearest Tesco store and vote for us to help make a real difference!”

    She continued, “The approach to the hospice hasn’t been updated since we opened over 20 years ago in 1994. This money will help us create an approach that is warm, friendly and secure for the families who visit us and need our help at the most difficult of times.

    “We can only do what we do because of you. So, while you’re doing you’re shopping at Tesco this weekend and throughout the week, please take a minute to vote for Rainbows. Thank you.”

  56. We need runners for Leicester 10k

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    19 February 2016

    Runners in Leicestershire are needed to lace up their trainers and support us at Leicester’s Big 10k.

    The event takes place on Sunday 17 July, starting and finishing at Abbey Park. Hundreds of participants ran for us last year raising over £3,000 for the charity.

    Starting at 9.30am, participants will run along a flat route, inside and outside of the park. All runners will receive a goody bag and there will also be dedicated prizes.

    Victoria Brunt, Event Organiser at Rainbows, said: “We are thrilled to have been chosen as the charity partner for Leicester’s Big 10K once again so we are calling on people to lace up their trainers and take part. By signing up, you will be helping us to provide specialist care to terminally ill and life-limited children and young people from the region.”

    Entry to the event, which is organised by Tempo Events and sponsored by Western Power Distribution, is £15.50 for running club members and £17.50 for non-running club members.

    For more information, visit www.rainbows.co.uk/running or contact 0800 952 1133.

    or email fundraising@rainbows.co.uk

  57. Shoppers will be rewarded for Rainbows donations

    Header for the shops page

    People who donate clothes and bric-a-brac to one of our shops will be rewarded for their donations as a special thank you from Rainbows.

    We are encouraging people to give to our shops, in Matlock, Melton Mowbray, Beeston, Blaby and Market Harborough, by giving something back to the customer. Anyone making stock donations of five items or more until the end of February will receive 10% off all their purchases made during the same visit.

    Donations made to the shop are vital in providing income for us. Donating clothes worth £10 could help to fund two days’ worth of oxygen for a child, £25 could help fund the cost of one week’s play materials and clothes worth £50 could go towards one day of care for a child or young person.

    Karen Bilsby, Head of Retail at Rainbows, said: We are grateful for every item of stock we receive so this is our way of giving something back to everyone that gives something to Rainbows.”

    For more information about Rainbows shops, visit www.rainbows.co.uk/shops

  58. Fancy joining us for a spot of celebrity lunch?

    Luncheon2016

    Nicky Morgan MP and Paralympian Australian swimmer Elizabeth Wright are the guest speakers at our Celebrity Luncheon.

    The event, which raises thousands for us, will take place on Friday 8 April at Leicester Tigers Stadium.

    Before becoming an MP, long-standing Rainbows supporter Nicky studied Law at Oxford and spent 16 years working in corporate law. She was first selected for the Loughborough Seat in 2004 and has held a number of high profile positions including Chief Whip and Economic Secretary to the Treasury.

    Now, as Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women & Equalities, Nicky will be talking about her journey, her passions in life and what it’s like to be a woman in the world of politics.

    Originally from Sydney, Australia, Elizabeth was born with Congenital Limb Deficiency. At the age of 13, she set a goal of swimming in the Paralympic Games. She achieved this feat three years later, competing at the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games, picking up a bronze medal in the process.

    Elizabeth went on to secure a bronze and silver in Sydney in 2000. Now living in the UK, she has built a career as an inspirational speaker and is also the co-founder of the schools programme Resilience, Wellbeing, Success, which helps children develop lifelong skills for good mental and physical health.

    At the event, guests will also enjoy a three course meal with the chance to peruse and purchase from unique stalls.

    Dana Simons, Appeal Manager, said; “We have two wonderful speakers this year and it promises to be an inspiring event, we do hope people will join us. Lunch, shopping and entertainment with friends, while raising money for such a worthwhile cause is an occasion not to be missed.”

    The event takes place from 11am to 3.30pm and tickets cost £37.50. To book a place visit www.rainbows.co.uk/luncheon

  59. Challenge yourself for Rainbows this New Year

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    18 January 2016

    People looking for a new challenge for the New Year can take to the road, the skies or the mountains to support us.

    Whether it is to lose weight, complete a personal goal or just for fun, we have launched our 2016 events calendar and are encouraging people to beat the post festive blues by signing up to a challenge.

    As well as local events across the East Midlands, which will be announced in the next few weeks, some of the more extreme challenges include a Dirty Weekend Obstacle Challenge; A Midnight Mountain Challenge on Yorkshire Three Peaks; scaling the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro; cycling from London to Paris; driving in the Great European Rally, trekking through the Grand Canyons or running along the Great Wall of China. People can also take part in the Great North Run by signing up to run for us.

    Victoria Brunt, event organiser at Rainbows, said: “We have a wide range of activities to suit people of all ages and abilities whose New Year’s resolution is to get fit or do something really exciting.

    “Our events range from across the continent to here in the East Midlands. Some of the events are a lot tougher than others and people will need time to train so we would encourage them to sign up as soon as possible.

    “All of our events are a fantastic opportunity to take on a challenge, get fit, meet other like-minded people and raise funds for Rainbows Hospice, which supports more than 360 children and young people with life-limited and terminal illnesses in the East Midlands.”

    For more information, please visit: www.rainbows.co.uk/challenges

  60. Forest backs ‘Where’s It Bin?’ campaign

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    15 January 2016

    Players at Nottingham Forest have been clearing out the changing room and their own cupboards to donate unwanted items to our shops.

    As part of our ‘Where’s It Bin?’ campaign, the Reds have been filling up wheelie bins with items from old training gear to baby clothes.

    The ‘Where’s It Bin?’ campaign sees us drop three branded wheelie bins to businesses, organisations and clubs across region for one week. People are encouraged to fill them with unwanted goods.

    Chris Cohen, Forest captain and Rainbows Honorary Ambassador, arranged for the bins to be kept at the training ground earlier this month.

    He said: “We are delighted to be helping Rainbows with its latest initiative and it’s been great having the bins at Wilford Lane. Everyone at the club has been very supportive and my family have personally donated a range of clothes and toys. We all have things we don’t want and ‘Where’s It Bin?’ makes it really easy for people to have a clear out and donate things. It would be fantastic if we can get as many businesses in Nottinghamshire, or other sports clubs, to join us and get involved.”

    As part of the campaign, there is an online leader board to challenge companies and clubs to collect more than their rivals, with prizes up for grabs for the teams that top the table.

    IMG_9994 Email 2

    Kate Golding, Corporate Partnerships Manager for Rainbows, said: “We’d like to say a huge thank you to Nottingham Forest for taking part in this initiative. Hopefully there will be lots of items in the bins that will be of huge interest to fans.

    “The idea of keeping the collection bins at the work place is so employees who want to donate their unwanted items don’t have to go out of their way to do so, they can simply just bring them to work with them. Whether you’re a team of three or 300, you could help make a huge difference by filling a bin with your unwanted items.”

    For more information about bringing the bins to your company or to sign up, contact Kate Golding on: 01509 638008 or email: kate.golding@rainbows.co.uk or visit the webpage: www.rainbows.co.uk/business-bin/

  61. Rainbows needs you

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    14 January 2016

    People looking for a new direction in the New Year can benefit from a rewarding experience by volunteering at one of our shops.

    Our shops – in Melton, Matlock, Blaby, Market Harborough and Beeston – need volunteers to help with sorting stock, dressing the shop windows and serving on the till.

    Karen Bilsby, Head of Retail at Rainbows, said: “Our existing volunteers tell us how much they enjoy donating their time to us and learning new skills. Previous research has also shown that volunteering helps with self-esteem and confidence.

    “We’re always looking for new volunteers, so if you have spare time, need a new challenge or simply wish to support Rainbows in a different way, please do get in touch. You can be a real part of something that brings support, love and laughter to children whose lives are sadly too short.”

    All proceeds from our shops go towards providing care and support to hundreds of children and young people in the East Midlands who have life-limiting and terminal illnesses.

    For more information on how you can get involved with your local Rainbows shop, please visit www.rainbows.co.uk/shops

  62. Christmas comes early for children’s hospice with new Guinness World Record!

    Record Rainbow

    We are delighted to announce Rainbows has officially been awarded the Guinness World Record for creating the world’s largest postcard mosaic!

    Back in April, to celebrate our 20th birthday, a team of more than 40 volunteers came together at Manheim Online Hangar at Bruntingthorpe to lay down over 40,000 brightly coloured postcards to create a giant image of a Rainbow which measured over 630m².

    Originally launched by our Patron, comedian and Britain’s Got Talent Judge, David Walliams, we asked people across the East Midlands to help the hospice break a world record by sharing a photo selfie online or by writing a birthday message on a special coloured postcard. For months we were inundated with positive messages and fun photos. Over 7,500 selfies and postcards, including those from celebrities – such as David Cameron, Graham Stanier and Miranda Hart – became part of the mosaic design.

    Speaking about the World Record, David Walliams, said: “I’m so happy that Rainbows have smashed the World Record! Having seen first-hand the amazing work they do at the hospice and the way they care and support families, this is the perfect Christmas present for everyone associated with Rainbows.”

    Rainbows’ Marketing and Communications Manager, Scott Lea, said: “What a wonderful Christmas present! We’re delighted to announce that we’ve officially broken the Guinness World Record for the largest postcard mosaic. A huge thank you to everyone who sent in a postcard or a selfie.“
    He continued: “We were pretty confident at the end of the attempt, but we know the criteria can be really strict, so to officially be told that we’re record breakers is absolutely fantastic.”

    The previous record was 453.37m², created by students from The Camford International School in India.

    The attempt was coordinated with the help of award winning agency, Juice. The company worked with Rainbows to create a masterplan and helped manage the volunteers to complete the 30.05 X 21.22M design. The task itself took over six hours and 27 minutes to complete with teams working to a grid matrix, all of which was being filmed on time-lapse by Juice too.

    Nick Taylor, Director of Juice said “We love a challenge!  This was certainly one of our biggest and more unusual projects.  We’re really pleased that it went smoothly and that there was so much coverage for Rainbows.  We hope it will help raise even more awareness of their amazing work.  ”

    Scott, from Rainbows, added: “We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone that made it happen – all of our supporters, volunteers, Santander, Opus Energy, Manheim Auctions, Smooth Radio and Juice, we really couldn’t have done it without them.”

    To see the time-lapse video of the World Record attempt visit: www.rainbows.co.uk/birthdayrainbow

  63. Festive delights at your local Rainbows shop!

    Outfits edit

    Staff and volunteers at our Rainbows shops are encouraging people to get in to the Christmas spirit with a range a fabulous festive bargains.

    At the Rainbows shops in Beeston, Blaby, Market Harborough, Matlock and Melton Mowbray, party goers can snap up an inexpensive outfit for their Christmas bash for under £15. And those struggling to find that perfect Secret Santa gift, can pick up a treat for under £5.

    Karen Bilsby, head of retail at Rainbows, said: “Christmas can be a very busy and expensive time for people so we want to help shoppers out with some great festive offers. By popping in to your local shop, you can purchase some of the latest trends perfect for your Christmas party, as well as being gifted with a range of quirky, fun and practical presents for your Secret Santa .

    “Not only will you be picking up a Christmas bargain, you will be supporting the hospice. We would like to thank the community for their generosity over the past year and wish our supporters a very happy Christmas”

    Buying an outfit for £15 will fund an hour’s care by a Care Team member at the hospice. A Secret Santa gift for £5 will buy one day’s oxygen supply for a child at Rainbows.

    To find your nearest Rainbows shop, visit www.rainbows.co.uk/shops or to shop online, visit www.rainbowsshop.co.uk

  64. Legendary Olympic athlete announced as Official Starter for festive Nottingham fun run

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    Former Olympian and British record breaker, Derek Redmond, will be joining hundreds of Santas for this weekend’s Nottingham Santa Run in aid of Rainbows.

    The athlete, who was part of the 4 x 400m team that took gold at the 1991 World Championships, will be in Nottingham to officially get the ‘Santas on the Run‘ event at Rushcliffe Park underway on Sunday 6th December.

    Redmond is probably best remembered for the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, in which he tore his hamstring mid-race but picked himself up to cross the finish line. He and his father, Jim, who had made it through security onto the track to help, were cheered home by the Spanish crowd in incredible scenes that summed up the power of the human spirit. The incident was voted the 3rd greatest Olympic moment in history and even President Barack Obama referred to Derek’s perseverance as a prime example of the Olympic ideal.

    Last year’s ‘Santas on the Run’ event in Nottingham raised vital funds for the hospice which cares for over 360 children and young people with life limiting and terminal illnesses, including those from Nottinghamshire.

    Redmond, who will be attending the event on behalf of long term supporters of Rainbows, Champions UK Plc, said: “I’m really looking forward to coming to Nottingham to be the official starter for the Rainbows Santa Run. Rainbows does such great work for children, young people and families across the region, I’m delighted to support the event.”

    He continued, “I’d encourage everyone to come and join in, it’s going to be a great day! It really doesn’t matter if you walk or run the course or the distance you cover, just bring your friends and family, pop on your Santa suit and join us – it’s all for a great cause!”

    Maggie Deere, Rainbows Community Fundraiser for Nottinghamshire, said: “We are extremely excited to have Derek here on Sunday to start the race. He really is a legend in the world of sport and it will be an honour to have him here encouraging all our Santas who have given up their time to help raise vital funds for Rainbows.”

    This year’s event also features a special Children’s Christmas Treasure Trail. Costing just £1 to enter, anyone taking part in the main event can bring along their children under the age of eight to take part in the Treasure Trail made up of a short course around the pond at Rushcliffe County Park starting at 10.15am.

    Entry to the Santa Run is just £12.50 or £6.50 for under 16s and includes a Santa suit, free on collection. To register your interest, visit www.rainbows.co.uk/christmas

  65. Join in the fun at a Rainbows Santa Run!

    Santa Run press

    Rainbows is calling on budding Father Christmases to don their red suits and take on one of this year’s spectacular Santa Runs.

    Men, women and children of all ages can take part in their choice of three ‘Santas on Run’ events taking place across the region in December:

    Rushcliffe Park, Nottingham, on Sunday 6th December
    Loughborough Market Place, Loughborough, on Sunday 6th December

    Elvaston Castle, Derby, on Sunday 13th December

    Santas can choose between 2.2 mile and 5 mile routes at the various locations, with runs starting at 11am.

    The Nottingham event also features a special Children’s Christmas Treasure Trail. Costing just £1 to enter, anyone taking part in the main event can bring along their children under the age of eight to take part in the Treasure Trail made up of a short course around the pond at Rushcliffe County Park. Organised by Ruddington Day Nursery, the Treasure Trail starts at 10.15am.

    Last year’s ‘Santas on the Run’ events helped raise thousands of pounds for the hospice, which cares for over 350 children and young people with terminal and life limiting conditions from Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and Derbyshire.

    Colleagues from the hospice have formed Team Rainbows (pictured) and will be taking part in the Santa Run series. Dannii Donovan, a family support worker and member of Team Rainbows, said: “The Santa Runs are great fun, especially when you’re doing it with family, friends or colleagues! We have several festive events across the East Midlands, so we’d love for people in Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and Derbyshire to sign up to their local run.  You can run or walk and choose to do between 2.2 or 5 miles – it’s entirely up to you, but it’s all for a great cause.”

    Entry in to the Santa Run starts from just £12.50 for adults or £6.50 for under 16s and includes a Santa suit, free on collection. To register, visit www.rainbows.co.uk/christmas

  66. Time to light up and the sky… and the dance floor! ‘Strictly’ theme for charity bonfire and fireworks night

    Audley

    Rainbows is delighted to announce that this year’s spectacular bonfire night celebration will be called ‘Strictly Fireworks’ and feature a breath-taking pyrotechnic display set to music inspired by the popular television show.

    The annual charity event, which takes place at Leicester Racecourse in Oadby on Saturday 7th November,  was previously known as the ‘Festival of Fireworks’ and has been a highlight of the Autumn events calendar for over a decade. As well as a huge bonfire, event goers will be treated to two fireworks displays, a funfair, refreshments and stalls. Plus there will be an array of live entertainment on stage hosted by Smooth Radio.

    Rainbows is no stranger to the famous Saturday night ball room dancing show, with many patrons and friends of the hospice treading the boards over the years. Former snooker champion, Willie Thorne, and Golf legend, Tony Jacklin, who put on their dancing shoes in 2007 and 2013, are both Patrons of the Leicestershire hospice, while boxer and Olympic gold medallist, Audley Harrison, who took part in the 2011 series, popped in to meet the families and staff just a few weeks ago.

    During his visit, Audley said: “The staff at Rainbows do such a wonderful job, even with limited resources, bravo to all of them. I’ve had a wonderful time meeting the children and young people. Truly inspirational.”

    Katie Baxter, Head of Community and Events at Rainbows, said: “The Rainbows bonfire and firework night is one of our most popular events and last year attracted over 8,000 people. This year, we wanted to make it even more magical and give our supporters something just a little bit different. It promises to be a great night out for the whole family!”

    She continued: “If previous events are anything to go by, it’s going to be very busy, so I’d definitely recommend booking tickets in advance. All of the money raised will ensure Rainbows is able to help the region’s poorliest children and their families. “

    The gates and funfair open at 5.30pm, followed by a children’s firework display at 7pm. Lighting of the bonfire will take place at 7.30pm and the main firework display will begin at 8.00pm. The funfair will continue until 10pm.

    Tickets in advance are just £5 per person or £20 for a family ticket (two adults and three children). Children under five go free. On the night, tickets will be £7 and £25. To book or for more information visit www.rainbows.co.uk/bonfire or call: 0800 9521133.

  67. Melton charity shop holds open days for volunteers

    Volunteer OPen Day

    The Rainbows Shop in Melton is holding a series of open days to recruit new volunteers.

    The popular store, located at 35 Sherrard Street, will hold open days on Thursday 5th and Friday 13th November, between 10am and 4pm, where budding volunteers can have a go at dressing the displays, trying out the tills and delving through donations.

    The Rainbows Shop helps raise vital funds for Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People. The hospice provides care and support to children and young people with terminal and life limiting conditions from across the East midlands.

    Lucinda Hardy, Manager of the Melton Mowbray Rainbows Shop, said: “We’re looking for new volunteers to come and help us in the shop.  It doesn’t matter if you’re aged 16 or 116, if you have any experience or not, we’ll provide you with all the training you need.”

    She continued: It’s a great was to keep busy, meet new people and learn new skills too. It’s a really friendly team and there’s always something to do – it’s never boring here at the Melton Rainbows Shop!”

    For more information or to sign up as a volunteer, simply attend either one of the upcoming open days at the Melton Shop. Alternatively, you can contact Lucinda by calling: 01664 566 280

  68. Let the ‘Rain’, see the ‘bows’! Popular TV presenter and comedian visits Rainbows.

    Paddy and Family

    Television presenter and comedian Paddy McGuinness, paid a surprise visit to Rainbows.

    Best known for his one-liners as host of ITV1’s Saturday night dating show, Take Me Out, Paddy popped in to meet the children, young people, families and staff. The TV funny man, who also recently appeared in Coronation Street, took part in arts activities, signed autographs and happily posed for photos with everyone at the hospice.

    Paddy, who was in the East Midlands as part of his sold-out nationwide stand up tour, also brought an array of Halloween gifts for the children, including dressing up costumes and sweets.

    Nishil Saujani, Senior PR Officer at Rainbows, who invited Paddy to visit the hospice, said: “When Paddy said he wanted to pop by, our families were very excited. They love watching him on TV and couldn’t believe that he was coming in especially to meet them.”

    He continued: “He surprised us with bags of goodies, Halloween costumes and sweets for the kids and really went out of his way to talk to everyone. He took selfies with all the young people and went round meeting the staff and care team. Paddy had everyone here laughing and smiling.”

  69. No tricks, just treats!

    No tricks just treats

    Our shops offer tasty treats to those donating unwanted clothes, toys and household goods

    This Halloween, our Rainbows Shops are offering anyone who donates their unwanted things free tasty treats for each bag they bring in.

    Delicious lollypops, kindly donated by Rainbows Patron and royal baker, Fiona Cairns, await those bringing in anything from clothes and DVDs to board games and picture frames, which will then be sold at Rainbows Shops across the region. All the money raised from goods sold at Rainbows Shops helps fund the Loughborough based hospice.

    Karen Bilsby, Head of Retail at Rainbows, said: “At all our Rainbows Shops this Halloween, we’re offering treats, not tricks! It’s our way to say a little thank you to our fantastic supporters who donate their unwanted items for us to sell in store. Hopefully it might encourage some of our younger supporters who might be thinking about giving away their old toys too.”

    She continued: “The shops are so important in terms of helping us to raise money for the hospice. When we sell your unwanted items in our shops across the East Midlands, the money helps us provide vital needed care for local children who simply won’t live long enough. It also helps us support their families and siblings who are so are going through the most difficult of times.

    Rainbows is also keen to let supporters know about a little known scheme called Retail Gift Aid, which las year helped the charity to raise an additional £16,000.

    Set up by the government, Retail Gift Aid allows charities like Rainbows to claim back 25p from the taxman for every pound donated.

    Karen said; “It’s so simple! Our supporters are always so generous when it comes to donating their unwanted items for us to sell, but many have no idea that, by giving us a just a few more details, they could help us to raise so much more money.”

    She added: “There’s no cost to you and no strings attached, it really is as simple as that! We even have a small form ready for you to sign when you come in to drop off your unwanted items to save you time.”

    To find out where your nearest Rainbows Shop is, visit www.ranbows.co.uk/shops.

  70. Something old, something new… something Rainbows, something blue! Rainbows shop in Beeston launches new bridal boutique

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    Rainbows has launched a brand new wedding boutique as part of their flagship store in Beeston.

    Featuring bridal gowns, bridesmaid dresses, hats, shoes and accessories, the new first floor department, at 54 High Road, offers a huge collection of new and used outfits, as well as a number of ex-display items from leading designer wedding shops from across the region.

    Strutting his stuff in a fetching cravat and waistcoat, Rainbow’s mascot, Bowbear, was joined by Beeston Shop Manager, Melissa Nicol, and local shop volunteers, Assumpta Wood and Toni Allen, at the wedding boutique’s launch. The group proudly showcased some of the items available for lucky Beeston shoppers.

    Melissa said, “We’re delighted to have Bow here today to help us launch our bridal boutique. I’m sure you’ll agree, he makes a very handsome groom!”

    She continued, “Our new range of wedding outfits and accessories is a great opportunity to pick up some absolute bargains. Everyone knows how expensive weddings can be. That’s why, here at the Beeston Rainbows Shop, we’re delighted to be able to offer a great range of outfits for great prices.”

    Karen Bilsby, Head of Retail for Rainbows, said: I’m delighted to have had the opportunity to bring a wedding department to our popular Beeston store. Not only have local brides so generously donated their beautiful gowns, but local weddings shops have also given us dresses by designers such as Ronald Joyce, Mori Lee and Allan Hannah.  There’s also some beautiful vintage dresses for sale. Whether you’re the bride, bridesmaid, mother of the bride or the groom, we have an outfit for everyone!”

    She added: “Not only is this a great opportunity to grab a bargain, but, best of all, you know that your money will be going to helping children, young people and families at Rainbows.”

  71. Bargain priced designer handbags in charity sale

     

     

    Ivonne

    To celebrate Handbag Day on Saturday 10th October, lucky shoppers in Loughborough are being offered the chance to pick up a designer bag for a bargain price, with all the money going directly to Rainbows.

    The Rainbows Handbag Amnesty pop-up shop will be located at 7 Churchgate, in Loughborough city centre, for two days on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th October. Shoppers will have the chance to browse through a huge collection of new and used bags, in every colour of the Rainbow, including many designer labels, evening bags and high street exclusives.

    All of the bags – many of which are brand new and have never been used before – were donated as part of the Rainbows Handbag Amnesty campaign, which encouraged people from across the East Midlands to donate their unwanted fashion accessories to help raise vital funds for the hospice.

    Organiser, Yvonne Powell-Caley, said: “We have lots of lovely handbags that we need to find new homes for. All of the money raised is going to Rainbows Hospice, so this really is a fabulous opportunity to do some guilt free shopping!”

    For more information, visit www.rainbows.co.uk/handbag-amnesty/email info@handbagamnesty.co.uk or contact Yvonne on 01530 224579.

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  72. EastEnders actress becomes new patron for Rainbows

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    Rakhee Thakrar pictured with James Everett in the Young People’s Lounge

    Rainbows is delighted to announce EastEnders actress, Rakhee Thakrar, from Leicester, has become its newest Patron.

    The 31 year old, who plays Shabnam Masood in the award winning BBC One show, visited the hospice earlier this year to meet some of the inspirational children, families and staff. During her visit, she joined in with arts activities took part in a special TV quiz with the young people and even met the Rainbows Choir.

    Speaking about becoming a Patron, Rakhee said: It’s a huge honour for me to become a Patron for Rainbows. During my visit, when I was asked by the young people if I would consider becoming a Patron, I was incredibly touched and immediately agreed.”

    She continued: “Meeting the children and young people was amazing. I never expected a hospice to be so happy, it really is a place where families can make memories. The staff at Rainbows are incredible. It’s amazing how much actually goes on at the hospice and how far the staff go to make things happen. It truly is an inspiring place and I’m delighted to become a Patron.”

    As a Rainbows Patron, Rakhee will be supporting the hospice in whatever way her schedule allows, which will be invaluable in raising the profile of the charity. She has even offered to show some of the young people around Albert Square, the fictional setting of the famous soap.

    Andy Campbell, Chief Executive at Rainbows, said: “It was wonderful when Rakhee visited us at Rainbows. She brought with her so much positivity and everyone who met her, loved her. To have her on board as our newest patron is very exciting and we are extremely happy she has pledged her support to us. As ever, we are very grateful to all of our patrons and ambassadors for the wonderful work they do for Rainbows and for promoting the charity all over the UK.”

  73. Light, camera, action! Hospice shop volunteer stars in film about employment skills

    Lights,Camera, Action

     

    Jon Lowe, from Melton in Leicestershire, is being featured in a short film as part of a brand new initiative which aims to help people with disabilities to find paid employment.

    Jon, 26, suffers from Cerebral Palsy, a neurological condition that affects his movement and coordination. As a result his muscles can stiffen, making it difficult for him to do any strenuous physical work. The condition affects one in 400 people in the UK. He also has mild learning difficulties.

    Despite the difficulties caused by his condition, instead of sitting around waiting for an opportunity, proactive Jon has been volunteering at the Rainbows shop in Melton for over a year.

    Since leaving university in 2012, Jon has struggled to find a permeant paid job, despite having GCSEs, A-Levels and a degree in Health Studies and Psychology. The new initiative, launched by Remploy – who try to bridge the gap between the businesses and disabled people – creates video C.V.s for people to help them get across their skills, personality and experience to potential employers.

    “Being unemployed is not fun, it’s boring, “Jon said. “The more volunteer work I can do the better, it gives me something to do and focus on. I get to work on the till, which increases my I.T. skills, and serve customers to improve my communication. It’s a really nice place to work, the customers and my colleagues are all really friendly.”

    He continued, “Because of my Cerebral Palsy, travel is big issue. I can’t drive so I’m limited in terms of the jobs I apply for because I need to work around public transport and bus timetables. The Rainbows Shop is close to where I live here in Melton, so it’s perfect for me to get to.

    “Volunteering at the Rainbows shop is great because I know I’m helping such a worthwhile charity“, Jon said. “My goal is to someday use the skills gained from working here to help me in a paid role.”

    Mark Frisby, Mental Health and Employment Advisor for Remploy, said, “Jon is a fantastic candidate. He is an incredibly popular character, exceptionally good with people and his communication skills are fantastic. The idea of this video diary is that it’s another stepping stone to help showcase these skills to potential employers.”

    Lucinda Hardy, Manager of the Melton Mowbray Rainbows Shop, said: “Jon is a very hard worker and is always keen to learn. He’s a great asset to the team and always fun to have around. This new scheme is a great way to show potential employers what he has to offer.”

    Rainbows are keen to recruit more volunteers to help in their shops. “Working at a Rainbows shop is never boring,” Lucinda added. “As a volunteer you’ll undertake variety of tasks to help you gain new skills. We encourage all of our volunteers to add what they’ve learnt to their C.V.s and we can even provide you with a reference when you get an interview.”

    For more information about volunteering at a Rainbows shop, simply pop in and speak to a member of staff. Alternatively, you can call 01509 638059 or visit the website www.rainbows.co.uk/get-involved/volunteer

  74. Mum joins Northampton charity colour run to celebrate daughter’s life

    Jessica Kerr - Email

    Mum, Mel Kerr, will be taking part in the first ever Northampton Rainbows Colour Run, to celebrate the life of her daughter, Jessica.

    Jessica was born with Patau Syndrome. Some of its characteristics include heart defects, cleft palate and scalp defects, and between 80 per cent and 90 per cent of babies do not survive infancy

    Mel said: “When Jess was two-days-old they said she had Patau Syndrome and my world fell apart. I was crushed. I was devastated. Absolutely devastated. “The family were warned that Jessica would not reach her first birthday and even for her to make it to four weeks old would be difficult.

    Unable to gain weight, Jessica was fed through a nasal tube. She also had no immune system and was prone to picking up infections, which she’d struggle to fight off.

    Her condition meant Jessica would often forget to breathe and turn blue. When this happened her parents, Mel and Simon, would give her oxygen and stimulate her chest. She would also regularly be unresponsive and needed respiratory resuscitation. Sometimes Jessica would have to be resuscitated a number of times throughout the day.

    Mel said: “We had to make plans in case she deteriorated. We were nervous wrecks. The first four weeks were hell and we were just waiting for her to go. I couldn’t take my eyes off her for a second. I couldn’t even go to the toilet without her in case she stopped breathing. It was horrible. We had to take it in turns to sleep but we didn’t really sleep at all.”

    Despite all of this, Jessica beat the odds and celebrated her first birthday with her family. “It was amazing,” Mel said. “After what the doctors told us when she was born, we never thought we’d get to spend so much time with her. She deserved to celebrate her birthday, she was such a happy, smiley baby despite everything. We really will cherish the time we had with her forever.”

    Sadly, Jessica passed away on 26th April 2014 at the age of 1 year and 2 months. But Mel is determined to make sure her legacy lives on.

    Throughout her short life, Jessica and the Kerr family received care, support and guidance from Rainbows. The hospice is the only one of its kind in the East Midlands and provides vital help for children and young people from across the East Midlands with life limiting conditions, as well as their families and siblings. The organisation currently cares for over 300 children and over 500 families, including many in Northampton.

    Mel said: “I love Rainbows. It was a huge part of Jessica’s life. At first, I didn’t want her to go to Rainbows as I thought it would be a sad place where people go to die. But after I looked round and met the people, I fell in love with it.”

    She continued; “Rainbows didn’t just look after Jessica, they looked after the whole family, including her brothers and sisters. They really benefited from the sibling support services offered by Rainbows and got to do lots of fun activities. With Jessica taking up so much of our time, Rainbows helped make sure the other children didn’t feel neglected.”

    In memory of her daughter, Mel will be taking part in the Northampton Rainbow Run, which takes place on Saturday 26th September at the Racecourse Ground. Participants will get covered with brightly coloured powder as they make their way around the 5k circuit.

    “I can’t wait for the Colour Run. It’s a great way for us to say thank you to Rainbows and celebrate Jessica’s life in the most colourful way,” she said.

    Katie Baxter, head of community and events at Rainbows, said: “This is such an enjoyable and celebratory event. Anyone can take part and you don’t have to run, it is all about the fun and laughter and of course, raising valuable funds for Rainbows so we can keep supporting families from Northampton and across the East Midlands.

    “We want as many people from Northampton to come along wearing a white t-shirt, and running gear they don’t mind getting messy, and we guarantee they will leave with a smile and every colour of the rainbow.”

    The event is being organised in partnership with Northampton-based business energy supplier, Opus Energy. Annamarie Petsis Jones, Human Resources Director at Opus Energy, said: “We’re delighted to continue our commitment to Rainbows and the hugely important work it does by getting involved in such a fun event.  We believe the Rainbow Run will be enjoyable for all involved and we wish all participants the best of luck as they raise money for this worthwhile cause.”

    As well as participants, Rainbows also needs volunteers armed with paint to throw at the participants as they make their way through the colour stations.

    Registration opens at 10.30am and entry is £16 for adults, £8 for the under 15s, with concessions for families and teams. For more information, visit www.rainbows.co.uk/rainbowrun, call 0800 9521133 or email fundraising@rainbows.co.uk.

  75. Ahoy there mateys! Pirates wanted for Loughborough charity moon light walk

    Pirateedit1

    Rainbows arrrgh searching for men and women prepared to walk the plank and the streets of Loughborough for this year’s exciting pirate themed Loughborough Moonlight Walk.

    The six mile sponsored walk around Loughborough takes place on Saturday 10th October. For the very first time, men are being invited to join the previously all female crew for a swashbuckling evening which begins at Loughborough Endowed School from 7pm.

    The Jolly Rodger TLC Bus will be sailing the seas and accompanying walkers every step of the way, giving out bottles of ‘pirate grog’ to keep fundraisers on their feet. The event will also see the return of the infamous ‘wheelbarrow of wine’ and there’s even a pirate quiz to keep your brains as active as your feet!

    Pirate fancy dress is optional, but there’s a treasure chest full of Harrods goodies for the best dressed individual and a night out at Bistro Live for the best team of up to six people.

    Anyone over the age of 16 is welcome to take part. Registration costs just £12 and includes pirate grog when you arrive, a TLC Bus beverage and a midnight snack.

    Over 200 people took part in last year’s event which raised over £10,000 for Rainbows.

    Head of Community and Events, Katie Baxter said, “This event is a really fun way of supporting the hospice, spending time with the family and raising vital funds for Rainbows.

    “With this year’s exciting pirate theme, we thought it’d be a shame not to let the men in on the fun. So, tell all of your friends and relatives and come and join us for what promises to be a fantastic evening.”

    For more information, contact 0800 952 11 33, email fundraising@rainbows.co.uk or visit: www.rainbows.co.uk/moonlightloughborough

  76. Rainbows launches ‘Where’s It Bin’ campaign

    Bins

    Rainbows has launched a brand new initiative to encourage businesses and employees from across the East Midlands to donate their unwanted clothes and household items to Rainbows charity shops.

    The ‘Where’s It Bin?’ campaign will see Rainbows drop three branded wheelie bins to businesses across region for the duration of one week. Employees can fill them with everything from their unwanted jumpers and jeans, to mobile phones and toys.

    An online leader board will challenge companies to collect more than their rivals, with prizes up for grabs for the teams that top the table. Companies can also stick their logo on the bins so everyone can see ‘Where Its Bin’.

    The aptly named Rainbow Waste Management, based in Swadlincote, kindly donated three coloured wheelie bins for the campaign and even offered to be the first company to fill them.

    Clare Taylor, Office Executive at Rainbow Waste, said, “When we first heard about the idea we thought it was fantastic, so we were delighted to supply the collection bins for Rainbows, which is such a great charity.”

    She continued: “We’ve been encouraging all our staff to bring in their unwanted items and I’m thrilled to see the bins are already starting to fill up!”

    Corporate Partnerships Manager for Rainbows, Kate Golding, said, “We’d like to say a huge thank you to Rainbow Waste, not only for providing the bins, but for also volunteering to be the first company to keep the bins at their offices.

    “The idea of keeping the collection bins at the work place is so employees who want to donate their unwanted items don’t have to go out of their way to do so, they can simply just bring them to work with them.”

    She added, “We’re taking the bins across the whole of the East Midlands. Whether you’re a team of three or 300, you could help make a huge difference by filling a bin with your unwanted items. We will also have a dedicated page on our website so everyone can see all of the wonderful companies supporting our scheme.”

    All of the money raised from the campaign will support families going through the most difficult of times, both at the hospice and out in the community.

    For more information about bringing the bins to your company or to sign up, go to Where’s It Bin? or contact Kate Golding on: 01509 638008 or email: kate.golding@rainbows.co.uk.

  77. Generous business donates extra 10p for every Rainbows Superdraw ticket bought

    Mia and Cory - Summer Superdraw 2015

    People are being encouraged to purchase tickets for the Rainbows Summer Superdraw after a Midlands based business offered to donate an additional ten pence for every ticket sold, up to £10,000.

    For every £1 ticket bought, Strategic Communications Services (SCS) will donate ten pence to Rainbows.

    By buying a ticket, not only will you be supporting the hospice, but you will also be in with a chance of winning up to £3,000, as well as a host of other cash prizes.

    Gill Smitherman, lottery manager at Rainbows, said: “We’d like to say a huge thank you to SCS for their generous offer of support. Now we’re challenging the people to help us to raise as much money as possible.”

    She continued: “By buying a Superdraw ticket, not only do you stand a great chance of winning a fabulous cash prize, but you’re also making a huge difference to the lives of so many children and their families. Because of you, we can help families like the Blakey-Tews (pictured), whose children, Cory and Mia, receive care here at Rainbows.”

    The Rainbows Blooming Marvellous Superdraw will take place on Friday 7 August and tickets, which cost just £1, can be purchased until Friday 31st July.

    To buy tickets, contact Gill on 01509 638056, email lottery@rainbows.co.uk, or visit www.Rainbows.co.uk/superdraw. Tickets can also be bought in the Rainbows shops in Melton, Market Harborough, Blaby and Matlock.

  78. EastEnders Star Visits Rainbows

    Rakhee press

    EastEnders actress, Rakhee Thakrar, from Leicester, visited Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People to meet the inspirational families and staff.

    The 31 year old, who plays Shabnam Masood in the hit BBC One show, joined in with arts activities with the children, took part in a special TV quiz with the young people and even met the Rainbows Choir. Rakhee also stopped sign autographs and take photos with families.

    Speaking during her visit, Rakhee, whose character in the show is currently at the centre of a major pregnancy storyline, said: “What a special day. Meeting the children and young people was amazing. I never expected a hospice to be so happy, it really is a place where families can make memories.”

    Talking about the care team, Rakhee said: “The staff at Rainbows are incredible. It’s amazing how much actually goes on at the hospice and how far the staff go to make things happen. Really and truly inspiring.”

    Julie Macauley, family liaison worker at Rainbows, said: “Rakhee was fantastic, she really took the time to talk to the children, young people and staff. They were absolutely delighted to meet her.”

    She continued, “I think for anyone who visits the hospice, it can sometimes be a little overwhelming. But Rakhee took it all in her stride and promised everyone she would pop back to see them next time she has break from filming.”

  79. New ‘Dad’s Group’ at Rainbows offers support to fathers

    Dads group

    When his son, Angus, was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), Nick Brown, from Grantham in Lincolnshire, found it difficult to find the support he needed. However, since attending the Dads’ Group at Rainbows, Nick has discovered that there are people who understand exactly what he’s going through.

    “When we first found out about Angus’s condition, we were absolutely devastated,” Nick recalls. “In that one moment, everything changed. Our outlook on life changed. We were on a different journey. He was only six years old at the time. He’d had the symptoms from when he was much younger but we were told he was just lazy. I felt so bad about the times I’d told him off because we thought he was just being lazy. It never occurred to me that he actually physically wasn’t able to do the things we were asking him to do.”

    “I didn’t take the news very well when he was diagnosed. I literally locked myself away. I’d tried talking to friends and family, but no matter how close they are to you or how much they want to help, after a few minutes, you see that their eyes glaze over because they just can’t understand what it’s like to actually be in that situation.”

    Now aged twelve, Angus’s condition means his muscle tissue will continue to weaken and waste away, making it more and more difficult for him to use his body. He is currently in a wheel chair, unable to stand, walk or use his arm. DMD affects 1 in 3,600 male infants and is usually found when there is a history of similar conditions in the family.

    “Every day is difficult, especially at night time,” Nick said. “His medication and steroids cause him to have night sweats. He can’t use his body to turn over or even scratch an itch, so he gets very frustrated and uncomfortable. We usually end up getting up about three or four times each night to tend to him.

    “But apart from his physical difficulties, intellectually, he’s just like any other boy. Always on his Xbox playing FIFA, he goes to school, he has a great group of friends. Although he might not be as quick to pick up certain things like maths of English, he’s top of his year group in Science and his long term IQ puts him in the top two percent.”

    Nick attends the newly formed ‘Dad’s Group’, in which parents, all of whom are in a similar situation and have children being cared for by Rainbows, can meet and chat.

    “I’d tried all the professional counselling and support groups I was being offered, but it didn’t take me long to realise they just weren’t for me,” Nick said. “So, when we got the email from Rainbows about the Dads’ Group, I was very reluctant. But, because of the fantastic care my son was receiving there, my wife encouraged me to give it a try.”

    “I was really surprised at how good it was for me. For the first time I was with a group of dads who were in the same situation as me. I didn’t have to justify or explain myself or the way I was feeling and it was great to be able to share that with other dads who were on the same journey.

    “The group is very relaxed and informal. Those who want to share can, but you don’t have to, no one is forced to say anything. There’s about eight or ten other dads who regularly attend and they all find it really useful too.”

  80. Champions’ Celebrities Celebrate Rainbows Charity Ball

    Champions Ball

    On Friday 29th May, a star-studded line-up gathered at The Dorchester hotel in London to attend a prestigious, black tie ball hosted by brand agency, Champions UK (plc), all in aid of Rainbows.

    The glittering occasion – a highlight of Champions’ annual fundraising calendar – saw a variety of high-profile celebrities, as well as their corporate clients, in attendance.

    Masterchef sensation and Strictly Come Dancing contestant, Gregg Wallace hosted the charity evening and a world class auction was held by Charlie Ross. The spectacular guest-list included X Factor singing superstar and Leicestershire resident, Sam Bailey, chart-topping boy-band, Blue, broadcaster Vanessa Feltz and retired boxing manager, Kellie Maloney. The guests were welcomed to the ball by Rainbows patrons including Coronation Street legend, William Roache MBE, England footballing legend, Peter Shilton OBE, as well as snooker legend Willie Thorne to name a few.

    The evening’s exciting entertainment included performances from Todd Miller and The Joe Loss Orchestra, as well as impressive moves from professional dancers and Strictly Come Dancing sensations, Alijaz Skorjanec and Janette Manrara. They were joined on the floor by the current Junior British National Champions in Latin and Ballroom, Lloyd Perry and Rebecca Scott.

    The event proved to be a great opportunity to publicise and raise vital funds for Rainbows.

     

    Photo credit: Antonia Doyle

  81. Volunteers Week

    Picture 1

    To celebrate Volunteers Week (1 – 7 June), we’ve been talking to some of our hardworking volunteers about why they give their time to Rainbows.


    “Volunteering lets me see the very best of people”

    Some volunteers really are driven and when it comes to going that extra mile, Julie Feechan really knows how to drive fundraising forward.

    Proudly showcasing her ‘R41NBO’ personal registration plate, Julie Feechan has been a volunteer ambassador for Rainbows for almost four years.

    As a student nurse in 1986, Julie cared for Laura Moore, the daughter of Rainbows’ founders Gail and Harry. Now the clinical head of five police forces in the East Midlands, Julie loves spending time volunteering for the hospice, promoting their good work and helping raise vital funds.

    “For me it’s about getting out in to the community and letting people know about the amazing work the staff at Rainbows do,” she said. “They really are a lifeline for families whose children have been diagnosed with terminal illnesses. But what’s truly amazing is that it’s such a happy place.”

    She continued, “I’d encourage anyone with a bit of free time to become a volunteer for Rainbows. Not only will you be making a huge difference, but you get back ten times what you put in to it. Plus you get the chance to meet some amazing people.”

    Speaking about her personal registration plate, Julie commented: “I wanted a private registration plate but couldn’t decide which to get. Then I had the idea about getting Rainbows on it to help raise the hospice’s profile and it worked a treat. Wherever I go, people ask me why I have the number plate and it gives me the perfect opportunity to talk to them about Rainbows.”

    Paul Holden, volunteer coordinator at Rainbows, said: “Volunteers play a huge part, not just in raising money for Rainbows, but also with day to day tasks to help us ensure we continue to provide the best care and support for families across the East Midlands who need it the most. We’d like to say a huge thank you to them for their hard work, time and commitment. We really are lucky to have some of the best volunteers in the world.

    “We always need volunteers here at Rainbows, at our shops and at our events. However much time you can spare, you really would be helping make a huge difference to children with life limiting illnesses.

    For more information about becoming a volunteer at Rainbows visit https://www.rainbows.co.uk/get-involved/volunteer/ or call 01509638000.

  82. Little Lottie Launches Lotto!

    Summer Superdraw Launch

    Lottie Nemeth, whose brother, Tom, receives care here at Rainbows, has helped us to launch this year’s Blooming Marvellous Summer Superdraw, in which you could win up to £3,000.

    Now in its ninth year, the Superdraw helps raise vital funds needed to keep Rainbows running each year. As well as the top prize of £3,000, cash prizes of £500, £250 and £50 are also up for grabs.

    Lottie, aged one and a half from Duffield in Derbyshire, has been a regular visitor at Rainbows with her family since brother Tom, now aged five, was diagnosed with Neuronal Migration Disorder, a rare brain condition, shortly after he was born. As a result, he suffers from severe Cerebral Palsy, epilepsy and visual impairment and requires 24 hour care. Tom is unable to sit, walk and has limited speech, but he can manage to say, with a winning smile, the most important words to his family, such as “I love you”, “hello” and “thanks”.

    Mum, Sam, and husband, Jamie, discovered Rainbows when Tom was two-years-old and describe the hospice as “a godsend for the family”. Not only has Rainbows cared for Tom, but oldest daughter Ellie (9) has also benefited from our Sibling Support services.

    Sam says: “Rainbows is such an amazing and happy place. It gives us all a break away and quality time together as a family. They support not just me, my husband Jamie and obviously Tom who needs caring for 24/7, but also Ellie and Lottie with a lot of sibling activities. Hopefully his younger sister Lottie, will come to love Rainbows as much as her big sister Ellie. There the focus isn’t always on Tom, Rainbows help us make Ellie and Lottie feel as important as him which is brilliant.”

    Gill Smitherman, Rainbows lottery manager, said: “We’re delighted to have Lottie as the face of our Superdraw this year. The Nemeth family are the perfect example of how Rainbows helps provide care and support the whole family, not just the child with a life limiting illness.”

    She continued: “By buying a Superdraw ticket, not only do you stand a great chance of winning a fabulous cash prize, but you’re also making a huge difference to the lives of so many children and their families.”

    Rainbows Blooming Marvellous Superdraw will take place on Friday 7 August and tickets, which cost just £1, can be purchased until Friday 31st July.

    To buy tickets, visit www.Rainbows.co.uk/superdraw, email lottery@rainbows.co.uk or contact Gill on 01509 638056. Tickets can also be bought in the Rainbows shops in Melton, Market Harborough, Blaby and Matlock.

  83. Gold at the end of the Rainbow!

  84. Duchess of Cambridge offers message of support for Children’s Hospice Week

    JS63176834

    Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cambridge, has offered a supportive message for Children’s Hospice Week.

    Led by national charity Together for Short Lives, Children’s Hospice Week (11-17 May) brings together the UK’s 53 children’s hospices and children’s palliative care services who provide vital care and support for children and families across the country.

    This year Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cambridge has offered a message of support:

    “For families of children with life-limiting conditions, every moment is precious and every memory needs to be cherished and celebrated. Children’s hospices strive to create happy moments in the most difficult times any family could face. I hope you will join me in supporting Children’s Hospice Week and work to make every moment count for all of our families.”

  85. Join our magical fairytale family trail. It’s the 2015 Rainbows Walk of Life!

    WOL Jess

    It’s time to put on those glass slippers and get ready to ‘let it go’, as we invite you, your family and friends to sign up for this year’s fabulous fairy tale themed Walk of Life.

    The event takes place on Sunday 28th June at Watermead Country Park in Syston, Leicester and will feature special guest appearances from popular fairy tale characters, including Anna, Elsa and Olaf.

    Families are encouraged to come dressed as their favourite characters and can choose to take part in the one, three or ten mile route. Walkers are welcome to bring along a picnic and enjoy a host of activities throughout the day including a bouncy castle, inflatable slide and action packed obstacle course.

    Registration costs just £5 for adults and £3 for those under 15 years old. This year, children can also sign up to an Enchanted Treasure Hunt for just £2 and be in with a chance of winning an amazing Monsters University Edition LeapPad2 (worth £85).

    Last year’s event was a huge success, attracting over 500 people and raising more than £19,000 for Rainbows.

    Katie Baxter, community and events manager at Rainbows, said: “Every year, we try something different to make the event more exciting for our regular supporters, as well as grabbing the interest of new walkers. There will be lots of activities to keep children entertained and dogs are welcome too – there really is something for everyone. So dust off those walking shoes, sign up and help us to raise money to support those families who need us the most.”

    For further information or to register, visit www.rainbows.co.uk/walkoflife, call 0800 9521133 or email fundraising@rainbows.co.uk.

  86. Footballers and Miss Mansfield put their best foot forward for charity midnight march!

    MMW Press

    Footballers from Mansfield Town were joined by Miss Mansfield, Jessica Boot, as they swapped their kits for onesies to call on people to take part in a charity moonlight walk.

    Martin Riley and Ricky Ravenhill helped launch the Mansfield Moonlight and Memories Walk which takes place on Saturday 6 June. The event helps to raise funds for Rainbows and John Eastwood Hospice.

    Riley said: “This event will be a lot of fun and we hope that people in the community are as supportive of Rainbows and John Eastwood Hospice as they are of us. It is really important that people back our local charities while keeping fit and doing something fun at the same time.”

    The 3.7 mile sponsored walk kicks off at the One Call Stadium, in Quarry Lane, at 10pm. Walkers will make their way around the residential streets before finishing back at the football club. Those taking part on the night time adventure will be treated to a midnight feast after the walk, with entertainment provided by Mansfield 103.2.

    Last year, the local community helped raise almost £10,000 for the two charities and organisers are hoping to beat that total at this summer’s event.

    Katie Baxter, community and events manager at Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People, said: “Last year’s event was a huge success. We really want the people of Mansfield to join us for this moonlight adventure. So, tell all of your friends and relatives, grab your PJs and come and join us for what promises to be a fun evening!”

    Entry is £10 with a minimum sponsorship target of £20. For more information, contact 0800 9521133, email fundraising@rainbows.co.uk or visit www.rainbows.co.uk/moonlightmansfield/

  87. Make a Will, Save Money and Support Rainbows in May!

    MAWM Banner2015 Press Release

    Solicitors across Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire are offering a saving of more than fifty percent to encourage people to make a Will and leave a lasting legacy to children and young people with life-limiting and terminal illnesses.

    The annual Make a Will Month campaign takes place throughout May, during which time people can make an appointment with one of the many firms taking part to have a new simple single Will written for only £45 + VAT (normally £120 + VAT). In recognition of the offer, Rainbows hopes that people may wish to leave a gift to the charity when writing their Will.

    Last year, the care of one in five children at Rainbows was funded through gifts in Wills alone. If every Rainbows supporter left £100 in their Will, it would add up to more than £4.8million, enough to run the hospice for a whole year.

    Leaving a gift of £25 could pay for a music therapy session, giving a child or young person the opportunity to express themselves through music, £50 would help fund bereavement support for a family, while £100 would provide a one hour session for a ventilated child in a hydrotherapy pool.

    Patricia Brookes, director of fundraising at Rainbows Hospice, said: “We understand that people will most likely be thinking of their family and friends when making a Will, but by leaving a donation to Rainbows too, it can help us to continue providing care for the children and young people who rely on the Hospice.

    “Even if you have a Will, which less than half of the UK population currently do, perhaps you would consider adding a codicil leaving a gift to Rainbows. All of the legacies we receive add up, no matter how small, and without your support, we simply wouldn’t be able to open our doors.

    “The typical cost for writing a single Will is around £120 plus VAT so people who take part in our Make a Will Month will make a huge saving from the offset.”

    For more information on how you can support Rainbows Make a Will Month and to find a discounted solicitor, contact Helen Graham on 01509 638027, email Helen.Graham@rainbows.co.uk or visit www.rainbows.co.uk/wills

  88. Record Breaking Rainbow!

    Credit Leicester Mercury edit

    A team of more than 40 volunteers helped us in our attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the biggest postcard mosaic.

    Launched by comedian and Britain’s Got Talent Judge, David Walliams, last year, we asked people across the East Midlands to take part in our 20th birthday celebrations by helping to smash a world record by sharing a photo selfie online or by writing a birthday message on a special coloured postcard.

    More than 40,000 brightly coloured postcards were laid down by volunteers from Santander, Opus Energy, Juice Creative and Manheim Auctions in the shape of a rainbow to create a spectacular mosaic design. The finished project measured a massive 30.05 metres by 21.22 metres, making a total area of over 637m². The current record 453.37m² and was created by students from The Camford International School in India.

    David Walliams said: “There has been such an amazing response to this campaign and it is brilliant that so many people united with Rainbows in its 20th birthday year. As a Patron, the hospice is a special place to me and I am very passionate about the work carried out by the charity and its incredible team of people, so I thank everyone for their support in contributing to the world’s biggest rainbow and I hope we crack the world record.”

    We have been inundated with positive messages and fun photos. Over 7,500 selfies and postcards, including those from celebrities such as David Cameron, Miranda Hart and David Walliams became part of the mosaic design.

    Patricia Brookes, director of fundraising said: “We were delighted with the response, it really helped to raise awareness for Rainbows. This final step will help to show our supporters just how important they are to us and what a huge difference they make.”

    Juice Creative, based in Leicester, has been involved from the very start of the campaign, donating all of its design and project management time in addition to printing, materials and filming for the campaign including this record attempt.

    Nick Taylor, director of Juice said “We’re so proud to be involved with Rainbows and we really enjoyed getting stuck into this record attempt. We really hope it will raise even more awareness of their amazing work.”

    Manheim Online has donated use of its hangar at Bruntingthorpe for two days including the day of the attempt itself and will also be providing volunteers for the build team.

    Dave Parry from Manheim Online added: “Rainbows are our charity partner for 2015 and we are pleased to support this innovative event. We look forward to holding several further events throughout the year.”

    For more information, please go to our webpage www.rainbow.so.uk/birthdayrainbow

  89. More colour fun at the Rainbow Run!

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    Due to popular demand, more places are now available for this year’s spectacular Rainbow Run!

    The hugely popular event, which last year attracted over 400 runners, takes place at the Forest Recreation Ground in Nottingham on Saturday 2 May from 12noon. Participants will get splashed and covered with brightly coloured powder as they make their way around the 5k circuit.

    The crazy, colourful day helps raise vital funds to help children and young people here at Rainbows. Last year, participants managed to raise over £20,000.

    As well as participants, we also needs volunteers armed with paint to throw at runners as they make their way through the colour stations.

    Entry is £14 for adults and £7 for under 15s, with concessions for families and teams. Registration opens at 10.3am on the day. To book your place or for more information, visit www.rainbows.co.uk/rainbowrun, contact 0800 9521133 or email fundraising@rainbows.co.uk.

  90. TV presenter Anne Davies urges people to support our latest stock campaign

    12 March 2015

    Anne Davis Retail

    “Losing a stone was easy, I just gave it away.” is the message from TV presenter and Rainbows Patron Anne Davies as she urges people to support us.

    Today, Anne has helped Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People to launch a stock donation campaign – I lost a stone in a day, the Rainbows Way. We want people to donate their clothes to our shops across the East Midlands losing excess weight quickly by shedding all of those heavy garments.

    We need people to clear out their wardrobes and donate unwanted clothes to our shops in Matlock, Melton, Market Harborough, Beeston or Blaby or direct to the hospice in Loughborough.

    Anne, who became a Rainbows Patron last June, was delighted to back the campaign and hand over a bag of her unwanted garments. She said: “As people often want a fresh start in the new year, it’s an ideal time to have a clear out of your wardrobe. Even a clothing hoarder like me finds it very therapeutic sorting out cupboards and it’s wonderful to know that I can help Rainbows by donating the clothes I no longer wear. It is so easy to get involved with this stock drive and I challenge as many people as possible across the East Midlands to fill a bag of clothes and drop it in to Rainbows.”

    Donating clothes worth £10 could help to fund two days’ worth of oxygen for a child, £25 could help fund one hour of physiotherapy and clothes worth £50 could go towards one day of care for a child or young person.

    Karen Bilsby, head of retail at Rainbows, added: “For an easy way to lose weight and a simple way of helping the hospice, give us your unwanted clothes. You don’t need to give us any money, just items that you don’t wear anymore. In fact, we can get even more money on your clothes if you Gift Aid your donation. As Anne says, it is a great way to shed unwanted pounds, which will make pounds for the hundreds of families we support and help us to keep running our hospice, which is a lifeline for so many families.”

    For more information, visit www.rainbows.co.uk/shops

  91. Taste of History for Rainbows

    10 March 2015

    Taste of History

    The chief archaeologist responsible for the discovery of Richard III is the guest speaker at a special dinner held in aid of Rainbows.

    Richard Buckley, from the University of Leicester’s School of Archaeology, will entertain diners at the Taste of History event with a celebration of the reburial. He will talk about the adventure from the start of the dig to the re-interment in Leicester Cathedral.

    Taste of History, where the three course dinner includes the choice of one of two recipes from the period, takes place at 7pm on Wednesday 29 April at the Taste Restaurant, Leicester College. Tickets are £28.50 with reductions for tables of eight or 10. All money raised will go to Rainbows. For more information, contact 0800 952 1133 or visit www.rainbows.co.uk/tastehistory

  92. Rainbows launches Nottinghamshire Rainbow Run

    6 March 2015

    RainbowRun1

    People in Nottinghamshire can get showered with an explosion of colour as our Rainbow Run is back for its second year.

    The Rainbow Run takes place at the Forest Recreation Ground on Saturday 2 May from 12noon. Participants will get covered with brightly coloured powder as they make their way around the 5k circuit.

    The crazy, colourful day will raise vital funds for us. Last year over 400 people took part raising just over £20,000.

    Katie Baxter, head of community and events at Rainbows, said: “This is such a fun event and we got tremendous feedback last year. Anyone can take part and you don’t have to run, it is all about the fun and laughter and of course, raising valuable funds for Rainbows.

    “We want as many people to come along wearing a white t-shirt, and running gear they don’t mind getting messy, and we guarantee they will leave with a smile and every colour of the rainbow.”

    As well as participants, we also need volunteers armed with paint to throw at the participants as they make their way through the colour stations.

    Registration opens at 10.30am and entry is adults £14, Under 15s £7, with concessions for families and teams. For more information, visit www.rainbows.co.uk/rainbowrun contact 0800 9521133 or email fundraising@rainbows.co.uk

  93. Forest captain becomes Honorary Ambassador for Rainbows

    3 March 2015

    Chris and Jessica at Rainbows

    We are delighted to announce Nottingham Forest captain Chris Cohen as our newest Honorary Ambassador.

    Last year, Chris and his wife, Jess, made a special trip to see us. They were so moved by the children and young people they met, they wanted to get on board and do more for Rainbows.

    As a Rainbows Honorary Ambassador, Chris will support and help to raise our profile. Chris and Jess have already donated more than £3,000 to us which was raised from wedding favours and donations last June.

    Chris said: “When we visited Rainbows, we were struck by what an incredible place it is. It was overwhelming, yet so inspiring, and the children and young people who benefit from the services offered are just fantastic. We met some amazing people at Rainbows and Jess and I want to do all we can to help raise awareness of this fantastic charity and support the children, young people and their families.”

    Patricia Brookes, Director of Fundraising at Rainbows, added: “To have Chris on board is very exciting and we are extremely happy that he has pledged his support to us. Chris is very popular in the Nottinghamshire area and we know his support will be invaluable to Rainbows. We are very grateful to all of our patrons and ambassadors for the wonderful work they do for Rainbows.”

  94. Families and staff at Rainbows thrilled as Nina Conti becomes patron

    13 February 2015

    Nina Conti and Brandon Fick

    Rainbows is delighted to announce ventriloquist and award winning comedian Nina Conti as its newest patron.

    Nina visited us last month while filming a documentary on giggle doctors. She was so moved by children and young people she met, she wanted to get on board.

    During her visit, Nina talked to the young people and parents about her work as a giggle doctor as well as entertaining families and staff with her side-kick puppet Monkey and her famous masks.

    As a Rainbows Patron, Nina will be supporting us in whatever way her schedule allows, which will be invaluable in raising the profile of the charity.

    Nina said: “Visiting rainbows was wonderful, I had never been to a children’s hospice before and was nervous before arriving, but what I found was a warm loving place with emphasis on fun and happiness. Meeting the staff and the families was a real privilege. I am absolutely thrilled to become a patron.”

    Andy Campbell, chief executive at Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People, added: “It was wonderful when Nina visited us at Rainbows. She brought with her so much laughter and positivity and everyone who met her, loved her. To have her on board as our newest patron is very exciting and we are extremely happy she has pledged her support to us. As ever, we are very grateful to all of our patrons and ambassadors for the wonderful work they do for Rainbows and for promoting the charity all over the UK.”

  95. Broxtowe MP supports local Rainbows shop

    10 February 2015

    Anna Soubry MP

    Anna Soubry, MP for Broxtowe, supported our shop in Beeston by clearing out her wardrobe and giving up some of her time to volunteer.

    Miss Soubry visited the store in High Road to hand over a bag of stock, which will help to raise vital funds for us. She also met the volunteers and joined them in carrying out essential work.

    She said: “If you have anything you no longer require at home that you think someone else may like, don’t throw it out, give it to Rainbows. By supporting Rainbows they can help to support children, young people and their families when they need it the most. If you can’t give to Rainbows, please shop at Rainbows.”

    Melissa Nicols,manager at the Beeston shop, added: “We would like to thank Anna for her donation and for taking the time to come and visit our shop and volunteer for us. It is great to have her backing. We have felt extremely welcome since we opened our shop a few months ago, the local community has simply been wonderful and I hope they continue to support us.”

    For more information on Rainbows shops visit www.rainbows.co.uk/shops or contact 01509 638000.

  96. Loughborough mum’s challenge raises over £1,000 for Rainbows

    6 February 2015

    Biskitty

    A sweet fundraising idea set up by a Loughborough mum to raise money for Rainbows has smashed its £1,000 target.

    Last March, Alison Birkin came up with the Biskitty Challenge, encouraging people to save used biscuit wrappers which can be recycled to raise money for us.

    Not only did people help to surpass the fundraising target, the scheme also scooped a second place award from McVities and Terracycle, a national competition, for collecting the most wrappers.

    Alison said: “’I am thrilled that collecting people’s rubbish can raise such a huge amount for Rainbows. People love the idea as it doesn’t cost them anything to do, and it is also environmentally friendly. I have had great support from the community and we have had lots of businesses and groups get involved from cafes, hairdressers, nursing homes, schools, scouts, guides, WI, conference centres etc. People have told me they are determined to raise another £1,000 in 2015, which is just fantastic.”

    Alison supports us because her daughter Chloe Flanders (20) benefits from respite care at the hospice.

    Money raised through the Biskitty Challenge helps us to support children and young people like Chloe. Chloe was diagnosed with a severe form of Childhood Idiopathic Primary Dystonia – a movement disorder that leads to painful involuntary sustained muscle spasms and involuntary movements – which affected every function of her body.

    Chloe endured Deep Brain Stimulation, pioneering surgery which helped bring her symptoms under more control. She has a battery pack inside her chest which constantly sends electrical impulses to the part of the brain which controls movements to block out the signals which cause the symptoms of Dystonia. But her family never know when her symptoms will come back or in what force.

    Katie Baxter, head of community and events at Rainbows, added: “Alison has done an amazing job and her dedication to Rainbows is just fantastic. It really is a simple challenge that everyone can get involved in just by putting the wrappers aside rather than in the bin. We wouldn’t be able to run our hospice without the support of people like Alison and we thank her so much for her devotion.”

    An average biscuit wrapper weighs around 2.4 grams, which is worth two pence. Inner individual wrappers and outer wrappers of any sweet biscuit are accepted, excluding foil and paper.

    Posting the wrappers is free by requesting a pre-paid postage label. For more information on how to get involved or to request a pre-paid label, visit http://on.fb.me/1qsyfxg, by searching for ‘Biskitty Challenge’ on Facebook, or email biskitty.challenge@gmail.com .

  97. Challenge yourself for Rainbows this New Year

    12 January 2015

    Challenges

    Rainbows is calling on people to take to the road, the water, the skies or the mountains to support youngsters with life-limiting and terminal illnesses.

    We have launched our 2015 events calendar and are encouraging people to beat the post festive blues by signing up to a challenge. There is a wide range of activities to suit all ages and abilities for those whose New Year’s resolution is to get fit or do something really exciting.

    Local challenges include the Desford and Belvoir Triathlons, Nottingham Rainbow Colour Run, the Leicester 10k, Nottingham Dragon Boat Challenge an East Midlands Skydive and Derby Cathedral Abseil.

    Some of the more extreme challenges include a Snowdon Multi-Activity Challenge, Yorkshire 5 Activities Challenge, cycling off the beaten track in India, 3 Peaks Challenge:24 hours and the infamous Conquering Kilimanjaro Challenge.

    People can also sign up to national events such as the Virgin London Marathon and the Bupa Great North Run, all in aid of Rainbows.

    Katie Baxter, community and events manager at Rainbows, said: “This year we have some new and really exciting challenges. The New Year is a perfect time to focus on setting a personal challenge as we often feel guilty about indulging over the festive period.

    “This year we have challenges for walkers, runners, cyclists, swimmers and our events range from across the continent to here in the East Midlands. Some of the events are a lot tougher than others and people will need time to train so we would encourage them to sign up as soon as possible.

    “All of our events are a fantastic opportunity to take on a challenge, get fit, meet other like-minded people and raise funds for Rainbows, which supports more than 318 children and young people with life-limited illnesses in the East Midlands.”

    For more information, contact 0800 9521133, email fundraising@rainbows.co.uk or visit www.rainbows.co.uk/challenges15

  98. Let Rainbows benefit from Santa’s mistakes

    8 January 2015

    Let Rainbows benefit from Santa's mistakes

    Santa may have got it a little bit wrong for people this Christmas but you can salve your conscience for not loving every present you’ve received by donating unwanted gifts to our shops.

    By donating unwanted gifts to us, people will be helping to fund the specialist care the hospice provides to more than 318 children and young people across the East Midlands. Rainbows also supports 293 bereavedfamilies and 579 siblings.

    Karen Bilsby, Rainbows Retail Manager, said: “We’re grateful for anyone’s unwanted gifts. You may not love the new jumper but someone else might have been looking for one for months. People often receive gifts that may be the wrong size, are duplicates or just not to their taste.

    “Donating presents to Rainbows helps you make space in your wardrobes and cupboards, and helps us raise money. And you’ll be happy knowing that instead of gathering dust in a corner; your unwanted gift is helping a local child.”

    Donating clothes worth £10 could help to fund two days’ worth of oxygen for a child, £25 could help fund one hour of physiotherapy and clothes worth £50 could go towards one day of care for a child or young person.

    For more information, visit www.rainbows.co.uk/shops

  99. Rainbows appoints a new chief executive

    6 January 2015

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    We have been hunting for a successor for Geoff Ellis, who announced his retirement in July and long term Rainbows supporter Andy Campbell (53), of Stapleton, took the helm from yesterday (5th) and says he can’t wait.

    “The place is just amazing,” said Andy. “I am really excited about what is ahead. Rainbows is wonderful and I have always loved it. When I heard Geoff was moving on, I thought the job seemed perfect for me.”

    Andy’s first visit around the hospice was in 2010 when the Building for the Future project to create a £4m extension was taking shape. “I thought wow – the difference this place can make to families is incredible,” he said.

    “I have lots of ideas for my new role at Rainbows – things we can develop and things that we might change; Geoff has done a fantastic job building Rainbows to where it is now and whatever we do, we mustn’t lose sight of what a fantastic place it is already.”

    With a background in aeronautical engineering and system analysis, Andy and a business partner set up an IT consultancy company in 1992 before developing a software product for charities called thankQ. This was rolled out to more than 300 charities including Rainbows.

    He said: “I have run a commercial business for years, working closely with a wide range of charities, helping them to be more effective, which has set me up for this role

    “Over the years, I ran my own business and have done things for me; now it’s time to change; to do things for others. My father was a teacher, headmaster and a minister and he always had a job that gave something back to the community. I always wanted to do the same. The timing is absolutely right for this role for me.

    “I can’t wait to get started. I don’t know what the next steps will be but I know it will be exciting.”

    In his spare time Andy loves to paraglide as well as spending time travelling and walking with his wife, Nic, and two dogs. He also relishes time with his children and grandson.

    Geoff Ellis added: “I wish Andy every success for the future and am delighted to welcome him to the role; I am confident that he will be a first class Chief executive for the hospice.

    “Rainbows has more than doubled in size in the last seven years and provides care to children and young people with more complex needs than ever before. I feel hugely privileged to have been able to play my part in “Team Rainbows” working alongside the most dedicated staff and volunteers you could ever meet, I will miss them incredibly. During my tenure I have constantly been amazed by the generosity of our donors and supporters from across the East Midlands without whom we simply wouldn’t survive, and for that I thank you all.”

  100. Rainbows has Downing Street treat

    19 December 2015

    FotorCreated

    Ten families from Rainbows enjoyed a once in a lifetime opportunity this week as they attended the Prime Minister’s Christmas Party.

    On Monday (15th), the families were whisked to Number 10 Downing Street where they met David Cameron and his wife Samantha, children’s entertainers Dick and Dom, some of the cast of Paddington along with Paddington Bear himself, princesses and Santa Claus.

    We were one of several charities chosen to attend the annual party thanks to Loughborough MP Nicky Morgan who organised the visit. Due to limited places, the children were all selected by ballot to ensure a fair process.

    Four-year-old Harry Norton was born with complex congenital heart disease and underwent two operations at an early age. Last year, he suffered two cardiac arrests while having a routine bronchoscopy which left him severely brain damaged due to the lack of oxygen.

    Harry benefits from respite care at Rainbows and attended the event with his parents and sister Caitlin (six). Mum Sam said: “What an amazing opportunity this has been and Harry and his sister have loved it. It has been an absolute privilege and to be able to represent Rainbows and talk about Rainbows is fantastic, we are really grateful.”

    Amisha Patel (15) is unable to talk or walk and her development is delayed. She also has epilepsy, is unable to feed and is blind in one eye. She also went to the party. Mum Meena said: “It was just a beautiful day, we really loved it. And it is something we never thought we would do. Amisha loved meeting Santa and she was also very excited to meet the Prime Minister.”

    Jo Sims, head of family support at Rainbows, added: “This was a wonderful day for the families who attended the Christmas party and they all said it was a magical and a once in a lifetime opportunity. We are delighted to have been given the chance to attend such a prestigious occasion and it is a memory our families can treasure.”

  101. Reece is first in line to meet Father Christmas at one-day grotto in aid of Rainbows

    5 December 2014

    FotorCreated Reece

    Reece Bruce, six, and his mum Yvonne were VIP guests at the one-day Santa’s grotto at Carillon Court which raised over £1,300 for Rainbows – a special place for Reece and Yvonne.

    Baljit Kooner, Carillon Court Centre Manager, said: “We are bowled over once again with the amount of money our shoppers have helped us to raise for Rainbows, which we have been supporting for some time now.

    “It has been really special this year to have Yvonne and Reece as our VIP guests and Reece was all smiles when he met Father Christmas which was lovely to see.

    “The festive season has well and truly started now at Carillon Court and having our grotto with a special visit from Yvonne and Reece has really got us all feeling excited about the big day itself which is not too far away now.”

    Yvonne relies on the vital care and support which we provide for Reece. Yvonne said: “Reece absolutely loved meeting Father Christmas. He had the biggest smile and as soon as he saw him, his face just lit up.

    “We were made to feel very special on Sunday and we are just pleased to be part of anything which helps to raise money and awareness of Rainbows which is so special to us.”

    Yvonne added: “Reece is such a happy child, especially when he is at Rainbows. He is very sociable and mischievous and very, very determined. He is very loving and he loves to be cuddled.”

    For more information on our Christmas events, visit www.rainbows.co.uk/christmas2014

  102. Rainbows volunteer is calling on all Santas

    2 December 2014

    Rob Haylock

    A Rainbows volunter is encouraging people to put on their white beard and red hat and join in the Loughborough Santa Run on Sunday (7th).

    Rob Haylock (60) of Newton Linford, is taking part in the 5km Loughborough Santa Run – which is organised by the Rotary Club of Loughborough – at 11am in Loughborough Market Place.

    Rob has been volunteering with us for three years along with his wife,Val. Rob spends his time as a School’s Ambassador visiting schools across the region to talk about the work of Rainbows. This is the first time he has taken part in the run and is hoping to raise around £500 for the charity.

    Retired head teacher Rob said: “Rainbows is a fantastic place that provides unique care for children and young people. I run anyway and I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to do something additional for Rainbows.

    “I would encourage other people to sign up and take part in the event for Rainbows. You don’t even need to run, you can walk if you want and it is all about getting Christmassy and drawing attention to, and raising money for Rainbows.”

    Entry starts at £6.50 for children and £13 for adults and includes a Santa suit. To register go to www.rainbows.co.uk/Christmas2014contact 0800 952 1133 or email fundraising@rainbows.co.uk

    To sponsor Rob, visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/RobertHaylock1

  103. Rainbows has launched its Christmas appeal.

    21 November 2014

    Light up a life

    The Light up a Life appeal invites people to celebrate the memory of a loved one who has sadly passed away, or to acknowledge a treasured person by dedicating a light on the special Tree of Lights at the hospice.

    Each dedication will be acknowledged with a commemorative Christmas card and we will add the name of loved ones to its Book of Remembrance, which is on display at the hospice during the festive period. We will also send people a special Light up a Life pin badge.

    Katie Baxter, events and community manager at Rainbows, said: “Christmas is a time to think about those people we love and we invite you to dedicate a light on our special Tree of Lights at the hospice that will shine brightly during the festive period for them.Your light can be to celebrate the memory of a loved one, to acknowledge a special person in your life or as a special Christmas gift. At Rainbows, we care for more than 309 children and young people. We also support 278 bereaved families and 522 siblings and all the money raised will go towards supporting them.”

    A donation of £10 could help to fund two days’ worth of oxygen for a child, £25 could help fund one hour of physiotherapy and £50 could go towards one day of care for a child or young person.

    There is no minimum donation for a light and all money raised will go to support the work of Rainbows. For more information, visit www.rainbows.co.uk/lightupalife or contact 01509 638000.

  104. Santas needed for Rainbows runs

    4 November 2014

    Bowbear_SantaRun_2014

    East Midlands Santas are needed to don their red suits and take part in a festive run for Rainbows.

    The Santa Runs will take place in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire in December and distances vary from 2.2 miles to 5 miles. All money raised at the sponsored events will go towards our vital work.

    Katie Baxter, events and community manager at Rainbows, said: “Christmas is almost here and these events are a perfect way of having some festive fun with your friends and family. We can’t guarantee there will be snow, but we do guarantee there will be a brilliant atmosphere and the camaraderie among all of our Santas is fantastic.
    “So not only are you having a great time and keeping fit, you are also helping to fund Rainbows and the hundreds of families we support every year. We hope to see you there.”

    The Santa Runs will take place at:

    • Derby – 11am on Sunday 7 December at Elvaston Castle.
    • Loughborough – 11am on Sunday 7 December in Loughborough Market Place.
    • Nottingham – 11am on Sunday 14 December at Rushcliffe Country Park.

    Entry starts at £6.50 for children and £12.50 for adults and includes a Santa suit. For more information, visit www.rainbows.co.uk/christmas2014  contact 0800 952 1133 or email fundraising@rainbows.co.uk

  105. Derby man raises almost £6,000 for Rainbows

    3 November 2014

    rolls royce 012

    A Derby cyclist has raised almost £6,000 for Rainbows.

    Rob Rowan (49) has been fundraising for us by staging an annual bike ride from Derby to Skegness.

    For the past 10 years, Mr Rowan and his colleagues and friends from Rolls-Royce Turbine Blade Facility, in Wilmore Road, have been fundraising for Rainbows and to date have reached a massive target of £59,710.

    As well as the bike ride, which this year saw 45 riders take part, Mr Rowan organises a raffle and in 2007, he staged a 10 mile rowathon. Throughout his fundraising, Mr Rowan has been supported by a team of friends and colleagues as well as Derby businesses which contribute to the raffles.

    Mr Rowan said: “I have a great time organising this bike ride and supporting Rainbows. It is always a lot of fun and I am so proud to have raised funds for Rainbows. The work carried out at the hospice is incredible and I am delighted I can help. I would also like to thank everyone who supports the bike ride and everyone who gets involved and supports me as I couldn’t do it without their help.”

    Katie Baxter, events and community manager at Rainbows, added: “I would like to thank Rob for holding this event every year and for supporting Rainbows. Without the support of people like Rob, we would not be able to continue running the hospice, which brings care and support to life-limited children, young people and their families every day.”

    For more information about supporting Rainbows Hospice, visit www.rainbows.co.ukor contact 01509 638000.

  106. People could win £3,000 in Rainbows Christmas raffle

    24th October 2014

    Superdraw 2014png

    We have launched our first ever Christmas raffle and people could scoop £3,000.

    Tickets are now available for our annual Superdraw. Now in its eighth year, Superdraw plays a crucial part in raising the necessary funds needed to keep Rainbows running each year. Last year’s Superdraw raised £23,500.

    As well as the top prize of £3,000, cash prizes of £500, £250 and £50 are up for grabs. The draw will take place on Friday 19 December, and tickets, which cost just £1, can be purchased until Monday 15 December.

    Gill Smitherman, Rainbows lottery manager, said: “We usually run the Superdraw in summer but because it is our 20th birthday year, we wanted to hold the draw at Christmas, making it extra special for people. The design on the tickets has been made by some of our children, who used their fingerprints to make the robins; it’s also one of our Christmas card images this year.

    “At Rainbows, we care for hundreds of families and by just buying one ticket; you’ll be making a difference to lives of the children, young people and families we support each and every day. Buying a Superdraw ticket would make a wonderful Christmas gift to the children here at Rainbows.”

    To buy tickets, contact Gill on 01509 638056, email lottery@rainbows.co.uk, or visit www.Rainbows.co.uk/superdraw. Tickets can also be bought in the Rainbows shops in Melton, Market Harborough, Blaby and Matlock.

  107. Rainbows hosts annual fireworks extravaganza

    10th October 2014

    FOF Homepage slider

    Tickets for our Spooky Festival of Fireworks, at Leicester Racecourse on Sunday 1 November, are now on sale.

    As well as a huge bonfire, event goers will be treated to two fireworks displays, a funfair, refreshments and stalls. And this year, we are encouraging people to don Halloween fancy dress, with prizes awarded for the best under 16s costume. There will also be music and entertainment from BBC Radio Leicester’s Jim Davis, Jo Hayward and Rupal Rajani.

    Katie Baxter, events and community manager at Rainbows, said: “This is one of our most popular events and we are expecting it to be very busy so we recommend people secure their tickets before the night.

    “This year, we are celebrating 20 years of care and all money raised at the event goes to ensure we are able to open our doors to some of the region’s poorliest children.”

    The gates and funfair open at 5.30pm followed by a children’s firework display at 7pm. Lighting the bonfire will be at 7.30pm and the main firework display will take place at 8.15pm.

    Tickets in advance are £5 per person and £20 for a family ticket (two adults and three children). Children under five are free. On the night, tickets will be £7 and £25.

    For more information, visit www.rainbows.co.uk/bonfire, contact 0800 952 1133 or email fundraising@rainbows.co.uk

  108. Hospice Care is Everywhere

    6th October 2014

    Family support worker Dannii Donovan with Dylan Roundhill

    We are joining forces with more than 100 other hospices across the UK this week to help raise awareness about the diversity of hospice care.

    This year Hospice Care Week, which runs from October 6 to 12, has the theme of Hospice care, everywhere!

    And Rainbows is no exception to that. We are much more than a building in Loughborough, we are a service where families can benefit from care and support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The care offered by the charity to many families is invaluable; however, it doesn’t stop at the hospice.

    As well as providing care to life-limited children and young people at the hospice, we deliver expert support by a diverse team of professional staff who are instrumental in ensuring families can reach those vital services in their own homes and the wider community.

    Hundreds of families across the East Midlands have benefited from the broad spectrum of services offered by the family support team, a key facility in the community. The team is there for families throughout the life of their child and through bereavement. A clinical nurse specialist for palliative care is also on hand to visit families at home to assess a child’s symptom control needs.

    The Rainbows family support team helps families find their own ways to cope and offers emotional support, which frees families to talk about their fears and worries as well as empowering them to make decisions about their child’s care.

    They work as a critical link between the information and practical support that’s available to families caring for a child with a life-limiting condition. And at the same time, they’re a familiar and trusted figure who offers true support when times are difficult, particularly through to the end of their child’s life and bereavement.

    “Some of our most important support is offered immediately after death,” explained Jo Sims, head of family support. “There are many practical things that need to be done at this time, nobody expects to have to do these things for their children and most of the families would never have had to organise a funeral before.

    “We show them the process and help them through the chaos at the time when they are incredibly distressed; it is about joining the family on their journey. There is no time limit on things, the door is always open. We aim to work with families to get them to a point where they don’t need us anymore and they are able to continue with their life and move forwards.”

    One group, described as a ‘lifesaver’ by some parents is the monthly Parent Carers Group, which is an opportunity to meet other mums and dads in similar situations and share thoughts, ideas and experiences over lunch.

    The family fun days led by Rainbows’ outreach play specialist are an amazing experience for families to get together to take part in activities crafts and stories. It is a time for families to relax, be silly and have fun even when times are difficult. The play specialist will also visit children at home to support them to access play.

    Music therapy, which is also available at home, is an opportunity for a child, young person or their whole family to experience very special moments through music and sensory therapy.

    Siblings are never forgotten at Rainbows. A sibling support worker ensures brothers and sisters are included in activities, taken on trips and visited at their home or school. The Rainbows youth worker also works closely with teenagers to 30 year olds, both at and away from the hospice.

    “Our family support workers liaise closely with each family to uncover their individual needs and how best to provide the support that will really make a difference,” said Jo. “They also work together with other professionals and organisations involved in the child’s care, whenever they feel this would help. We are very flexible, families can utilise our services within the hospice or we provide the valuable support they may need at home.

    “The families we care for and support often just need that reassurance and advice. Although it might seem that sometimes we are a million miles away, we can go to them, and we are always at the other end of the phone; we will always support them. Our families know that we are here for them no matter what.”

    Caring for a child with a life-limiting condition changes a parent’s life forever. It is exhausting, rewarding, positive and painful.

    Edward Olweny (five), was born with Partial Trisomy 9, which means he has an extra chromosome and Cerebral Palsy. Edward suffers from hypermobility, meaning his joints are loose and unstable. He is also visually impaired, so his parents, Gemma and Jamie, cannot take their eyes off him as he is constantly tripping and falling. He has severe breathing difficulties and is unable to talk.

    Gemma said: “Our family, especially Edward, love going to Rainbows but for us, Rainbows is so much more than a hospice. For me, I know that there is always someone at the other end of the phone if I need them, no matter when it is or what it is about. I also know that I am able to talk to my family support worker about things that I feel unable to discuss with anyone else and I will be totally supported. The Parent Carers Group gives me a chance to be with other mums and dads who are in similar situations and you don’t feel judged. Together, we enjoy the family fun days, they are just great fun and very soon, Edward’s sister Anya will be benefiting from the sibling support services.”

  109. Women join Rainbows for a birthday party

    30 September 2014

    Loughborough Midnight Walk

    Dungarees and Tie-dye were out in force on Saturday night (27th) as Leicestershire ladies stepped back to the 90s and strolled five miles around the streets of Loughborough.

    More than 100 ladies were taking part in the Moonlight Walk, organised by Rainbows. And because we are celebrating 20 years of care, we asked supporters to time hop back to 1994 – the year the hospice was officially opened.

    As well as the walk, the ladies were treated to a midnight feast, a TLC bus on route and music from 1994 before they set off.

    Katie Baxter, head of community and events at Rainbows, said: “It was fantastic to see so many ladies coming out on a Saturday night to support our hospice. There were some fabulous outfits and everyone made a real effort to get into the 1990s party spirit. On behalf of our children, young people and families, I would like to say a huge thank you; your support really does make a difference.”

    To find out more about Rainbows events, contact 0800 9521133, email fundraising@rainbows.co.uk or visit www.rainbows.co.uk/events

  110. Rainbows Open Day is a success

    22nd September 2014

    Willie Thorne, Fiona Cairns and Harry Moore cut the birthday cake

    Around 1,000 people joined in with our 20th birthday celebrations when they visited the hospice’s open day on Saturday 20th September.

    Visitors attended our annual Open Day to learn more about the work carried out to provide care and support to children and young people with life-limited illnesses and their families.

    As we are celebrating 20 years of care, there was a special birthday cake made by Fiona Cairns who shot to fame after bakery Fiona Cairns Ltd was commissioned to make the royal wedding cake for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

    Rainbows Patron Willie Thorne presented our volunteers with special awards and people also toured the special facilities at the hospice, as well as browsing at stalls and enjoying a BBQ and refreshments.

    Harry Moore and his wife Gail founded Rainbows. Their daughter, Laura, had died of Leukaemia in 1989. Laura’s favourite thing in the world was a rainbow. Harry said: “I feel immensely proud of what has been achieved at Rainbows over the last 20 years. The quality and the range of staff over the years has taken it beyond the vision we had; it makes me feel very overwhelmed. Rainbows is about the care and support we are giving and about the children. At Open Day, people can see that Rainbows is a happy place and they can see where their money goes; they also feel like they are part of the Rainbows community and that is very important.”

    Geoff Ellis, chief executive at Rainbows, added: “Our 20th birthday Open Day has been a great success and we would like to thank everyone who came along to view our facilities and find out more about what we do at Rainbows. We hope visitors were inspired by what they saw and continue to support us to deliver high quality services to children and young people with life-limiting illnesses as well as their families.”

  111. Huge funds raised at star-studded Tony Jacklin CBE Wentworth Charity Invitational

    6th September 2014

    Champions photos

    Welcoming a host of celebrities and professional golfers, the inaugural Tony Jacklin CBE Wentworth Charity Invitational was a fantastic success that helped to raise vital funds for charity Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People.

    Hosted by two-time Major winner Tony Jacklin, the event took place at Wentworth, one of the world’s most exclusive courses and home to the BMW PGA Championship. Some of the other professionals competing on the famous West Course included former Ryder Cup Vice-Captain, Peter Baker; fellow Ryder cup stars David Gilford and Phillip Price, European Senior Tour star, Gary Wolstenholme MBE; and multiple European Tour winner, Paul Broadhurst. The course is particularly special to Jacklin as it is the scene where he twice won the British PGA Championship in 1972 and 1982.

    The all-star cast of celebrities in attendance included: legendary cricketing all-rounder, Sir Garfield Sobers; five-time Olympic Gold medallist, Sir Steve Redgrave; World F1 Champion, Damon Hill OBE; actor, Jimmy Nesbitt; Rugby World Cup winner, Mike Tindall; MasterChef presenter, Gregg Wallace; Football Focus presenter, Dan Walker and Ashes-winning cricketer, Matthew Hoggard MBE.

    After the golf, guests enjoyed a delicious three-course meal back at the Clubhouse. Entertainment was provided by comedian and entertainer Kev Orkin, as well as musical legend Merrill Osmond and Boyzone singer Keith Duffy who sung a duet of ‘Love Me For A Reason’ much to the delight of the audience!

    Organised by brand agency Champions (UK) plc, the event also presented a fantastic opportunity to raise significant funds for Midlands-based Children’s Hospice, Rainbows, through a number of activities including a charity auction conducted by TV auctioneer, Charlie Ross. Prizes included a round of golf with Tony Jacklin CBE at Lytham St Annes and a one week stay at Royal Westmoreland Golf Resort in Barbados. The charity offers children and young people with life threatening and life limiting illnesses specialist hospice facilities at their base in Loughborough and money raised ensures that they can continue their important work.

    Jacklin was overjoyed with the event, he said:

    “This is the first year of many I hope for the event, I would like to say a big thank you to all the professionals, celebrities, sponsors and Wentworth for helping us to put together a truly special day for all who came. Most importantly we managed to raise a fantastic amount for Rainbows which I am delighted about!”.

    Guests enjoyed accommodation at the beautiful Pennyhill Park, situated in nearby Bagshot. Lyle and Scott generously donated all the players’ shirts for the day and there was also an exclusive whisky tasting on the first tee kindly provided by luxury Scottish whisky brand, Glenmorangie. The event was generously supported by sponsors: Farmfoods, William Hill, Glenmorangie, Lyle and Scott, Pennyhill Park and the Barbados Tourist Board.

  112. Forest’s Chris Cohen meets one of his biggest fans at Rainbows

    5th September 2014

    Chris and Josh edit

    Nottingham Forest captain Chris Cohen visited Rainbows and met one of his biggest fans.

    Chris and his wife, Jessica, made a special trip to our hospice. The couple, who got married in June, decided to support us by asking for donations to Rainbows instead of having wedding gifts. They also had special Rainbows favours for their guests. In total, they have donated more than £3,000 to us.

    During his visit at the end of last month, Chris met 23-year-old Josh Hall, of Beeston – a lifelong Nottingham Forest fan.

    Josh suffers from Congenital Muscular Dystrophy (CMD) – a condition that leads to him having significantly weakened muscles and impacts on his breathing. Currently there is no cure for CMD.

    Josh relies on a respiratory ventilator which three years ago, became a permanent part of his everyday life following a bout of pneumonia. Since the age of seven, Josh has spent his days in a wheelchair but being confined to the chair means his joints get stiff and painful.

    The one thing he wishes for is to have a family of his own but he realises it may never happen.

    “When I was younger I felt very conscious about using my ventilator in public,” said Josh. “But I found that people respected me more when they knew more and they understood where I was coming from. I do still get people that treat me differently. When I am out and about, I get a lot of stares and people whisper and point.”

    Meeting Chris was the perfect treat for Josh. “He is my hero,” said Josh. “For him to come to Rainbows and to chat to him about football was just amazing. I am so happy. It was fantastic.”

    Josh’s parents first feared their son was facing a difficult road ahead when he began to walk and kept falling backwards. After more than a year of testing, Josh was diagnosed with CMD.

    He said: “When we first got the news it was such a shock. I was given the life expectancy of 20 years but as medicines have improved, that has obviously extended.”

    When he was 19, Josh started visiting Rainbows and has been part of developing the day-care service, which is now running five days a week.

    “Rainbows is brilliant. I couldn’t think of coming anywhere better than Rainbows,” said Josh. “I have good relationships with everybody. There is such strong support for me if I need it and it also helps my family out. Going to Rainbows is almost like going on holiday.

    “I have made some good friends here and had some amazing opportunities, like meeting Chris. The only downside is that I have had friends who have passed away but you just have to deal with that the best you can.

    “I just take each day as it comes. Why fret about the past, you can’t change anything and there is no point worrying about the future.”

    Chris added: “Jess and I loved our visit to Rainbows, it was incredibly overwhelming and we thought it was a wonderful place. Rainbows has such a happy atmosphere and it was great to be able to meet lots of the children, young people, parents and staff. Everyone was very inspiring and I look forward to visiting again.”

  113. Rainbows opens its doors to the community

    1st September 2014

    Print

    We are celebrating our 20th birthday year and people can join the party on Open Day as Rainbows opens its doors to the public.

    We are holding our annual Open Day on Saturday, 20 September between 10.30am and 3pm.

    The Open Day, which only happens once a year, offers the opportunity for people in the community to visit Rainbows and discover more about the work we do providing care and support to children and young people with life-limited illnesses and their families.

    This year’s Open Day will be a birthday celebration for us because we have provided care for 20 years.

    Leicestershire baker Fiona Cairns shot to fame after bakery Fiona Cairns Ltd was commissioned to make the royal wedding cake for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. She also made a television series The Home of Fabulous Cakes.

    Fiona is creating the 20th birthday cake for us, which she will cut – along with snooker legend Willie Thorne – on Open Day. She will also carry out a cake decorating demonstration.

    Fiona said: “I was honoured to be asked to make the special Rainbows Birthday cake. It is wonderful that the hospice is celebrating 20 years of care and every birthday party needs a cake! I won’t reveal what I will be making but I promise it will be a special treat.”

    Willie Thorne, who is also a Rainbows Patron, will present our volunteers with awards.

    Visitors can take a tour of the hospice, viewing facilities such as the Hydrotherapy Pool, Music Room, Multi-sensory Room, Cinema, Arts and Craft Room and Soft Play. Members of our care team will also be on hand to give detailed information on the therapeutic treatments each room is used for.

    As well as learning more about the hospice, visitors can browse at stalls and enjoy a BBQ and refreshments.

    Geoff Ellis, chief executive at Rainbows, said: “Open Day is a fantastic opportunity for people to come along to Rainbows and see the work that is carried out at the hospice. And this year, it will also provide people the chance to wish us a happy birthday and join in with our celebrations.

    “At Rainbows, we care for 309 children and young people. We also support 278 bereaved families and 522 siblings, and we wouldn’t be able to open our doors without the backing of the community. We hope that visitors to the hospice will be inspired by the work we do and continue to support us to deliver high quality services to life limited children, young people and their families throughout the East Midlands.”

    Visitors are welcome to arrive at Rainbows on Lark Rise, Loughborough, LE11 2HS at any time during the Open Day. For more information, call 01509 638000 or visit www.rainbows.co.uk/openday

  114. The Chase Celebrity Special: Matthew Hoggard wins thousands for Rainbows

    Matthew Hoggard

    Matthew doing his red #RainbowsSelfie

    Former cricketer Matthew Hoggard MBE scooped £21,000 for Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People by taking part in a game show.

    Hoggard appeared on ITV’s The Chase Celebrity Special on Saturday night winning £42,000, which was equally split between Hoggard and Fern Britton.

    Hoggard, who is a Patron of Rainbows, dedicated his prize fund to the East Midlands’ only children’s hospice.

    He said: “I am delighted to have been able to raise £21,000 for Rainbows from my win on Celebrity Chase.  I had great fun taking part in the show and to be able to help such a good cause at the same time is a bonus.”

  115. Rainbows shines in Market Harborough

    29th August 2014

    IMG_3406

    Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People has arrived in Market Harborough with our new shop in Coventry Road.

    To celebrate our return to the town, snooker legend Willie Thorne officially open the shop. Our mascot Bow Bear also joined in the celebrations and shoppers enjoyed refreshments and cupcakes.

    The store is the fourth outlet for Rainbows, which has other shops in Melton, Blaby and Matlock.

    Karen Bilsby, head of retail at Rainbows, said: “It is fantastic that we have been able to open our fourth shop, alongside our other premises. Market Harborough has a fantastic community spirit and we are very excited to be here.

    “We used to have a shop in the town but unfortunately due to the economic climate, we had to close eight years ago. We are now delighted to be back.”

    Willie added: “It is great to see a Rainbows shop in Market Harborough and I was thrilled to open it.”

    To help keep stock replenished, we are always looking for clothing, toys, games, bric-a-brac and books to sell in the shop.

    Selling clothes worth £10 could help to fund two days’ worth of oxygen for a child, £25 could help fund one hour of physiotherapy and donating clothes worth £50 could go towards one day of care for a child or young person

    The Market Harborough shop would not be able to run without the support of volunteers and we need around 25 volunteers for each of our shops. Anyone who is interested in finding out more on volunteering can turn up on the day or contact Paul Holden on 01509 638059.

    For more information about Rainbows shops, visit www.rainbows.co.uk/shops

  116. Youngsters at Rainbows are just so “Happy”

    19th August 2014

    Bowbear Happy

    Some of our young people have re-created Pharrell Williams’ hit video ‘Happy’ because they wanted to tell everyone what a happy place Rainbows is.

    More than 100 young people, staff and volunteers take part in the fun video, which is also a celebration of our 20th birthday.

    Currently, 309 children and young people with life-limiting and terminal illnesses are supported and cared for at Rainbows. Although there are inevitably sad times, we pride ourselves on being a happy place filled with fun and laughter, where special memories are made.

    A group of young people aged 19 to 30, who currently come to Rainbows for respite and day care, came up with the concept and were involved in choosing the locations, formatting ideas, choreographing dances, as well as editing and directing.

    Music therapist Neil Eaves said: “The young people told me they would love re-create the video, based on the one by Pharrell Williams, and we tried to get everyone involved.

    “It is something they have come up with themselves and taken it on. The young people have seen their idea right through from conception to an end product and they have been involved in it every step of the way.

    “It has been so much fun; they have enjoyed it and rightly feel very proud.”

    Creating the Happy video took six months and licencing fees were funded by a donation from a supporter.

    Neil added: “A lot of the young people involved in the video have been here for many years and have seen Rainbows expand and grow, while they themselves have grown from children into young adults. They know Rainbows is a happy place and they want to celebrate happiness.

    “It wasn’t about Rainbows the building; it was about what Rainbows stands for and to show that it is the people who make it such a special place to be. Quite often people who visit Rainbows are amazed at how happy and full of life it is, and not the sad place they maybe thought it would be.”

    To watch the Happy video, visit www.rainbows.co.uk/happy If it makes you happy, you can donate to Rainbows by visiting www.rainbows.co.uk/donate or text RAIN114 to 70070 and donate £4.

  117. Step back to the roaring 20s for Rainbows Glamour and Glitz Ball

    15th August 2014

    20th ball press

    We want party goers in Leicestershire to sparkle with pizzazz for our Glamour and Glitz Ball.

    The event, held at the Athena on Saturday 11 October, promises to be full of laughter as guests are entertained by award winning comedian and ventriloquist Nina Conti.

    Snooker legend and Rainbows Patron, Willie Thorne, will be the host for the evening which will have a Roaring 20s theme to tie in with our 20th birthday celebrations, which are taking place this year.

    Katie Baxter, head of community and events at Rainbows, said: “This is a very special year for us as we are celebrating 20 years of care so we wanted to organise a very special event.

    “To tie in with the 20s theme, we thought it would be great to give the ball a 1920s theme. The dress code is formal wear with the option of 1920s attire, so anyone wanting to dress as a gangster or a flapper and show off their Charleston moves, is most welcome!

    “Over the last 20 years, we’ve helped thousands of terminally ill and life-limited children, young people and their families, through the toughest days of their lives. Right now, we’re caring for more than 300 children and young people – that’s more than ever before and we really do need your support.”

    Tickets for the ball, which is sponsored by Morningside Pharmaceuticals, are £50, which includes a three course dinner and a welcome drink. For more information, contact 0800 952 1133 or visit www.rainbows.co.uk/ball

  118. Willie Thorne leads the quest for volunteers for Rainbows

    4th August 2014

    Fotor0807145335

    Snooker legend and Rainbows Patron Willie Thorne is helping lead the quest to recruit more volunteers for us.

    And we are especially looking for more men after figures revealed that only 26 percent of our volunteer base was male. We currently have 373 volunteers, of which 277 are female and only 96 are men.

    Willie said: “Rainbows does a tremendous job for a great many children with very dedicated staff and volunteers and I am very proud to be a Patron for this very worthy charity. I know they rely heavily on volunteers to help carry out their wonderful work so I hope that people feel encouraged to give some of their time and support Rainbows.”

    Volunteers are invaluable to the running of Rainbows and over the last 10 years, they have given valuable hours of time, saving almost £500,000.

    Paul Holden, volunteer coordinator at Rainbows, said: “It would be great to see more men getting on board and supporting us in whatever way they can. Of course, this doesn’t mean we don’t want the ladies also, they are always welcome!”

    We always needs people to lend some time to gardening, housekeeping and volunteering in the kitchen as well as assisting in the shops and also helping out at fundraising events.

    To get involved, contact Paul Holden on 01509 638059, email paul.holden@rainbows.co.ukor visit www.rainbows.co.uk/volunteer

  119. Leicestershire woman attempts another record breaking swim

    5th August 2014

    Julie Bradshaw

    Leicestershire swimmer Dr. Julie ‘Madfish’ Bradshaw MBE is making a splash to add an extra world record to her collection this summer by taking on another tough challenge.

    On Monday 11 August, Julie (50), of Loughborough, will lead an international team aiming to complete the world’s longest lake swim by a standard relay team of six. Between them, they will swim 147 miles non-stop in just 86 hours – which is 21 miles further than the current record set in 2011.

    If successful, this will be the 21st personal long distance swimming world record that Julie has secured. The team will also be seeking sponsorship for the challenge for Rainbows in memory of Susan Taylor. Susan lost her life while attempting to swim the English Chanel for us last year. Susan, who was also a close friend of Julie’s, had planned to be part of the team.

    Julie said: “I am really excited about this challenge and have a great team, having coached all of the swimmers. The swim will take place over three days which means we are in and out of the water overnight and will get little sleep whilst staying on the boat for that time. I have done various long relays in the past and know how tiring it gets. But teamwork will get us all through.

    “Although Susan isn’t around to swim with us, I know she will be there in spirit and I will be thinking of her all the way. The relay swim will also be an extra birthday present for me as I turned 50 this year. Fourteen Ways of Windermere in 2014, the lake where I began my swimming career back in 1977. It will certainly be a Happy 50th.”

    Other team members are Bridgette Hobart, USA; Georgina Tuffin, Daniel Bryson, Andrew Koval, and Lisa Auchinvole, Each participant will swim for one hour in relay succession until 14 laps, starting from Ambleside to Lakeside return, are complete.

    Julie added: “The relay will be done under Channel Swimming Association and British Long Distance Swimming Association rules which only permit a standard swimsuit, hat and goggles. There will be no wetsuits.”

    Katie Baxter, Events and Community Manager at Rainbows, added: “I would like to thank Julie and the team for taking on this remarkable challenge and for supporting Rainbows. They are doing a wonderful thing raising funds to help us run the hospice – fundraising efforts make such a huge difference to both the children at Rainbows and their families.”

    To sponsor Julie and the team, visit www.justgiving.com/relayworldrecordswim

  120. Rainbows is on the hunt for new Chief Executive

    31st July 2014

    Geoff Ellis

    We are on the hunt for a new Chief Executive as Geoff Ellis retires.

    Being chief executive at a children’s hospice is a far cry from where Geoff started as a knitwear manufacturer, managing factories across Leicestershire. As the factories began to disappear in the 1990s Geoff undertook an accounting qualification which brought about his first role at Rainbows.

    In 2002, Geoff,of East Goscote, joined us to support the accounts department. It was only meant to be for a short time but Geoff quickly become passionate about Rainbows. In 2004 he was appointedas Director of Operations and to the Chief Executive’s role in 2008.

    “I only planned to be at the hospice temporarily on a short term contract”, he admitted. “Before I came to Rainbows, if you had said I would be working in a children’s hospice, I wouldn’t have believed you, especially if you said I would end up being the Chief Executive. But now I wouldn’t change a thing.

    “It has been a real privilege to work for Rainbows and I have had the opportunity to meet some amazing people. I have had more job satisfaction in the last 12 years than in anything I had previously done, and feel incredibly lucky. Our work at Rainbows is well known, and the hospice is well respected in the community. We make a huge difference to the children, young people,families and their lives, and that is very rewarding. It’s a great feeling knowing that the job you do really makes a difference. I have also met some incredible parents and their children over the years. Their strength, courage and their appreciation for Rainbows, even in their darkest hours, always overwhelms me.”

    During his time in the job, Geoffled his team in the successful £4million Building for the Future appeal, which enabled us to build a new therapy wing, ensuring the hospice continues to care for young people in age appropriate surroundings. The hospice has almost doubled in size since Geoff first walked through the doors.

    “When the fundraising team moved to Lark Rise from the original office in Tower Street, I literally shared a cupboard with the Human Resource manager as there was nowhere else for us to sit,” Geoff reflected. “Rainbows has come such a long way since then and I am very proud of that.”

    As well as successfully leading Rainbows, Geoff has often stepped out from behind his desk to join in with fundraising efforts and events. He is certainly no stranger to the stage once singing the Gerry and the Pacemakers classic ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ with Shawaddywaddy and also dressing up and performing as Lady Gaga for a company fundraising event.

    For someone whose working background had been in the city’s knitting factories, Geoff’s rise to such an important role at Rainbows came as some surprise to him.

    Despite initial reservations that he did not have a clinical background, the former engineering apprentice puts his success down to appointing “good people to vital posts”.

    “I have been blessed with an incredibly talented board of trustees, a hugely supportive senior management team as well as a committed workforce across the whole organisation; I will miss them all greatly,” said Geoff.

    “I must also say a special thank you to all of the individuals, companies, and organisations who support Rainbows every year; the generosity of the people from across the East Midlands never fails to amaze me. Without them Rainbows would simply not exist.”

    Geoff’s final challenge is to assist the Board of Trustees to find a new Chief Executive who will continue to drive the charity forward.

    He added: “Healthcare is changing so much right now that this seems like the ideal time for someone new to lead the charity through our next five-year plan and beyond.”

    Geoff plans to kick off his retirement by touring around Europe with his wife, Jane, in their caravan as well as spending more time with his grandchildren.

    Patricia Brookes, director of fundraising at Rainbows, added: “Geoff’s contribution to Rainbows has been incalculable. He has been a brilliant Chief Executive, overseeing an unprecedented growth in the hospice with the expansion of our facilities. During the Building for the Future Appeal, I don’t think I saw him without his hard hat for about two years. Geoff will be sadly missed by those who have worked with him over the years and it has honestly been a privilege to have worked with him.”

    To find out more about vacancies at Rainbows, visit www.rainbows.co.uk/the-hospice/currentvacancies/

  121. Amy on Ice

    30th July 2014

    Amy on Ice

    Before she was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour, Amy Howarth was passionate about ice skating.

    “I loved to skate, I enjoyed it so much,” said 20-year-old Amy, whose world was crushed last year when she was diagnosed with a rare and very aggressive type of brain tumour. In April 2013, Amy was given just six months to live. She is also on a strong daily dose of medication which zaps her energy, leaving her feeling drained. She struggles to walk and the medication also meant Amy put on weight, going from a size 10 to a size 28 within months.

    But this week Amy was able to get back on to the ice thanks to a special trip arranged by us and the National Ice Centre and Capital FM Arena Nottingham. She hasn’t skated since three months before her diagnosis.

    Amy was pushed around the ice in her wheel chair and, along with her family and friends, she was entertained by a special ice dance show from Slovakian solo skater Alexandra Kunova.

    Since her diagnosis, Amy has been cared for regularly at Rainbows, a place she says has given her independence back. “Rainbows is my lifeline,” said Amy. “Going there gives me my independence back which is so important to me. Rainbows is my world. I can’t believe they have arranged for me to get to ice skate again, it is unbelievable and it has made me so happy. It was just amazing. I did spins and all sorts. It was brilliant.”

    Amy suffers from Glyoblastoma Multiform Wildtype Grade 4. The tumour is attached to her spinal cord and major nerves meaning it is inoperable she considers every day to be a blessing.

    Lizzie Wright, a family support nurse at Rainbows, said: “To think that all  that Amy is going through and she still wants to lead the way for others who might be in the same position, is amazing. She is very positive and inspirational. We are delighted that we could work with the National Ice Centre and Capital FM Arena to provide this treat for Amy and we are so glad she enjoyed it.”

    Ruth Terry, Deputy Marketing Manager at the National Ice Centre and Capital FM Arena Nottingham said: “When we heard about Amy’s condition coupled with her love for skating and her positive attitude, we wanted to do something special for her. We’re thrilled that giving Amy some private ice time with her friends and family made her feel happy and put a huge smile on her face.”

  122. Happy 90th Birthday to Doug

    29th July 2014

    Doug

    A war veteran who has volunteered at Rainbows for 20 years is celebrating his 90th birthday.

    And Doug Knight believes the secret to reaching the momentous milestone is being positive. “If you make someone else happy, then you are happy,” said Doug.

    “This is one of the reasons I wanted to volunteer at Rainbows. I drove past the hospice one day and I knew that I wanted to help.”

    That was 12 years ago and Doug has been volunteering with us several times a week, tending to the gardens, ever since.

    When Doug first arrived at Rainbows, we had not long opened and it was just a small building surrounded by three fields. Over the years, Doug has helped to design the outdoor space, hosting a variety of tranquil and beautiful spaces which are enjoyed by the children, young people and their families.

    Doug said: “I have always loved gardening so Rainbows is perfect for me. I have literally seen the gardens blossom. I will keep going at Rainbows until I can’t do it anymore. The children and young people make it worthwhile. It is very rewarding knowing that I have helped to create a bright and lovely area for them to play in and enjoy. There are also nice quiet parts for when their families just want to go and sit somewhere in private.”

    Doug was born in Thurmaston in 1924 and grew up in Sileby. In 1942 he joined the army and spent six years serving in the Special Forces where he was posted all over Europe serving in World War Two.

    In 1942, Doug was given leave and returned home to marry his childhood sweetheart, Ruby, who sadly passed away in 1988. “We were together from the age of 16,” said Doug. “I had to get permission for leave to come home and get married. It was really hard when I had to return to the War as you said goodbye and you didn’t know if you were ever going to see each other again.”

    When he was 23, Doug returned home and took on a job as a driving instructor, a career he held for 57 years. “I really enjoying being a driving instructor. I met a lot of different people,” he added.

    “That is what I love about Rainbows, I get to meet a lot of people. I have seen people come and go over the years and I have made a lot of friends. There are some really nice characters and I enjoy talking to the children and young people, who are all amazing.

    “I wouldn’t change anything in my life. I have lived my life to the full and have lots of memories from over the years.”

    Doug celebrated his milestone birthday with his family – son Michael, daughter, Marion, and two grandchildren James and Michael. He was also treated to a surprise cake from everyone at the hospice.

  123. Every day is precious to Amy

    Friday 25th July 2014

    Amy

    When 20-year-old Amy Howarth of Bilborough began bumping into doors and dropping things, she put it down to being clumsy.

    But within a week, her whole life had been shattered as she was diagnosed with a rare and very aggressive type of brain tumour called Glyoblastoma Multiform Wildtype Grade 4. The tumour is attached to her spinal cord and major nerves meaning it is inoperable and Amy was given six months to live. That was in April last year and now Amy considers every day to be a blessing.

    “I live for today and tomorrow is a bonus,” said Amy. “I was independent and everything was fine. And then this happened and my world came crashing down. I was gutted. The hardest thing is knowing that my mum and dad are upset. The hardest thing is seeing my mum and dad cry, knowing that I am not going to be there. I know that I could go any time. I want to tell people to not take life for granted and enjoy every single day.

    “I was devastated. It all happened so fast. A week before my diagnosis, I was in my kitchen and I dropped my purse and couldn’t pick it up. I then walked into a door. I thought I was just being clumsy but my mum said I had to go to the doctor.”

    Shortly after her diagnosis, Amy discovered Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People. She is now cared for at the hospice regularly and describes the charity as her lifeline. “I love everything about Rainbows, it is like my home now,” said Amy. “At Rainbows, I have my independence back, which is so important to me. Everyone there is like family and they have been great to me. Rainbows has really helped me. I have seen so many changes in myself and everything is different to what it was. When I am at Rainbows, I can be me.”

    At Rainbows, Amy enjoys relaxing and spending time with the care team. Her parents, Len and Jo, and also the family dog, Roxy, are regular visitors.

    Amy added: “Rainbows is now my world and it is so important they get funding to help others like me. I would encourage people to donate if they can. I also want to tell others that Rainbows is there for them if they need it and not be afraid, it is an amazing place.”

    Since her diagnosis, Amy has been trying to do as many things as possible but she had to endure intensive chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Amy is also on a strong daily dose of medication which zaps her energy, leaving her feeling drained. The medication also meant Amy put on weight, going from a size 10 to a size 28 within months.

    Before her diagnosis, Amy worked as a carer for the elderly. Now she relies on round the clock care for herself. As a fiercely independent person, Amy feels her condition has taken away her freedom. “I used to work, I went out with my friends, and I can’t do any of that now,” she said. “As time goes on, I feel more tired. Just walking is like trying to run a marathon. But I am 21 in September and I am determined to stick around for the party.”

    Rainbows provides support for more than 100 families from Nottinghamshire. To find out how you can get involved, contact 01509 638000, email fundraising@rainbows.co.uk or visit www.rainbows.co.uk

     

  124. David Walliams calls on East Midlands people to support Rainbows Hospice in its World Record attempt

    Thursday 24 July 2014

    Website Homepage Banner

    Comedian and author David Walliams wants people to help create the world’s biggest rainbow for the East Midlands’ only children’s hospice by adding a splash of colour.

    Mr Walliams, who is a patron of Rainbows, wants people to celebrate our 20th birthday milestone by helping to smash a world record. To get involved, people can share a bright photo selfie online or write a birthday message on a special coloured postcard.

    The selfies and postcards will then be laid together to create the giant rainbow, which will be displayed later in the year at a venue in the East Midlands. We hope to break the record for the world’s biggest postcard mosaic, which currently measures 453.37 m² and was created by students from The Camford International School in India.

    Kicking off the World’s Biggest Rainbow campaign, David Walliams said: “I’m very excited to be launching this fantastic appeal for Rainbows. The hospice is such an incredible place and the staff do a fantastic job making a happy environment filled with love and laughter.  I am very passionate about the work the charity does and I’m proud to be a patron. So come on, get involved and help them create the biggest rainbow ever made up of selfies and postcards; it’s a fabulous way to celebrate 20 years of caring for children and young people.  Let’s do something amazing for Rainbows.”

    People will be able to add their bit to the World’s Biggest Rainbow as it tours the East Midlands as part of a special roadshow and people will be able to take photos and write messages on birthday cards at those locations.

    Geoff Ellis, Rainbows chief executive, added: “This year we are celebrating 20 years of care and we want to make as much noise as possible about it. We hope that by creating the world’s biggest rainbow, we will raise a lot of awareness about who we are and the work we do. We haven’t decided where we will reveal the rainbow yet as we just don’t know how big it is going to get.

    “We are very grateful to David for supporting this campaign and we know that our other famous patrons and ambassadors will also be getting involved so look out for their photos. Anyone can get involved in this and if enough people join in, we will create the biggest rainbow ever.”

    To join in, share a bright photo of yourself using backgrounds or accessories matching one of our special rainbow colours – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple or pink. Then, using the hashtag #RainbowsSelfie, post it onto Twitter or our Facebook wall.  Visit www.rainbows.co.uk/birthdayrainbow for more information and to order coloured postcards.

  125. Leicestershire ladies needed for a moonlit party

    7th July 2014

    Team from 3M

    We want women in Leicestershire to take a trip back to 1994 for this year’s Loughborough Moonlight Walk.

    We are calling on mums, daughters and sisters alike to help celebrate our 20th birthday by going retro and strolling five miles around the streets of Loughborough.

    In an era that bought us Pulp Fiction; The Flintstones; Four Weddings and a Funeral; Cheryl Crow; Tiffany Mitchell and Bianca Jackson, we wants people to get into the party spirit and dress as film characters, singers or TV stars from 1994.

    The women only sponsored walk, on Saturday 27 September, starts at Loughborough Endowed Schools in Burton Walk. The party starts at 8pm and the ladies will begin their walk around Loughborough town centre at 10pm. Women taking on the moonlight adventure will be treated to a midnight feast after the walk at a celebration party.

    Last year more than 150 people took part raising over £12,000.

    Katie Baxter, community and events manager at Rainbows, said: “Last year’s Moonlight Walk was a resounding success and this year, we want to make it bigger and better. Because we are celebrating 20 years of care, what better way to party than by taking everyone back to 1994. Of course fancy dress is optional but there are many great looks you could go for if you did decide to step back in time.

    “This event is a really fun way of supporting the hospice, spending time with the girls and raising funds for Rainbows. So, tell all of your girlie friends and relatives and come and join us for what promises to be a fantastic evening.”

    Although this is a ladies only event, men are needed to volunteer their services by helping out with marshalling and refreshments.

    Entry is £12. For more information, contact 0800 9521133, email fundraising@rainbows.co.uk or visit www.rainbows.co.uk/moonlightloughborough

     

  126. Hundreds take on Rainbows walk

    Tuesday 1st July 2014

    WOL Collage

    More than 500 people and dogs enjoyed the sunshine at the weekend and helped to raise thousands of pounds for Rainbows.

    People came from all over the county to take part in our Walk of Life. At a brand new venue for this year, walkers completed a one, three or 10 mile route around Watermead Country Park. Families were also entertained with a children’s fairground, live entertainment, stalls and boat rides.

    We hope the event will raise around £20,000. Katie Baxter, community and events manager at Rainbows, said: “As always, the Walk of Life was a fantastic event at this wonderful new venue. We would like to thank everyone who took part, all those who supported the walkers and all of our volunteers. As ever, your backing is invaluable and the Leicestershire community are always so supportive of Rainbows and our cause.

    “We look forward to next year’s event and hope that you will join us.”

    For more information about Rainbows’ events, call 0800 9521133, email fundraising@rainbows.co.uk or visit www.rainbows.co.uk/events

  127. Rainbows stage World Cup wheelchair tournament

    25th June 2014

    World Cup Day - Press copy

    England may be out of the World Cup but the final whistle hadn’t blown at Rainbows as children and young people took part in a football extravaganza.

    Youngsters, staff and volunteers joined together to compete in a wheelchair football tournament at the hospice.

    As well as the game, the children and young people, who all have life-limiting or terminal illnesses, were treated to face painting, half-time oranges, ice-creams and food from all over the world. There were also lessons in drumming and cheerleading.

    England legend and Rainbows Patron Peter Shilton said: “Football is a wonderful way of uniting everyone, no matter what their ability is. It is fantastic to see that Rainbows held a World Cup Diversity Day where everyone could get involved. As a Patron, the work of Rainbows is so important to me and if I hadn’t had my own World Cup commitments, I would certainly have been there enjoying the fun and games.”

    Marion Borg, head of HR at Rainbows, said: “As well as creating wonderful memories for the children and young people, yesterday also brought people together. At Rainbows, we believe in getting diversity off a piece of paper and in to reality and this type of event is the perfect opportunity for us to do that while everyone has a great time.”

  128. Support Rainbows by doing 20 good deeds

    20th June 2014

    Do 20 good deeds

    Youngsters can support children and young people at Rainbows Hospice by taking on 20 good deeds this summer holidays.

    We have launched our Do 20 for 20 campaign to coincide with our 20th birthday celebrations this year. Throughout the summer, children are encouraged to raise vital funds by doing 20 good deeds in return for a donation from their family. Every time a good deed is carried out, a sticker is earned for children to complete a challenge sticker sheet.

    Katie Baxter, community and events manager at Rainbows, said: “This is a great way for youngsters to get involved and support Rainbows, as well as helping out at home and keeping entertained over the summer. There are lots of things they could do such as going without something, cleaning, selling things or gardening or they may have plenty of their own ideas.

    “People can donate whatever they think the deed is worth and everything raised goes towards supporting the work of the hospice. Raising £10 would pay for an hour’s worth of care, £20 would fund one hour of physiotherapy and an hour of external bereavement support would cost £50.

    “It would be great to have the support of youngsters in the East Midlands, especially in what is such an important year for us.”

    To order a sticker pack, call 0800 9521133, email fundraising@rainbows.co.uk or visit www.rainbows.co.uk/do20school

  129. Mansfield Moonlight Walk hailed a success

    13th June 2014

    B&Q team Mansfield Moonlight Walk

    More than 160 people donned their PJs and Onsies to take to the streets of Mansfield for the town’s first Moonlight and Memories Walk.

    After a day of horrendous rain, the skies were clear last Saturday as participants took part in the 3.7 mile moonlit walk to raise funds for us and John Eastwood Hospice

    Paula North, Rainbows Fundraising Coordinator, said: “It was wonderful to see so many people coming out at night to support us; walkers and volunteers. Everyone has made such a brilliant effort by dressing in nightwear and really getting in to the spirit of the event. A lot of people also walked in memory of someone and wore special t-shirts. On behalf of our children, young people and families, I would like to say a huge thank you; your support really does make a difference.”

    The event, which was sponsored by Eatons, Mansfield Town Fc and Mansfield 103.2,was also supported by Mansfield Town FC and started and finished at the One Call Stadium. It is hoped it will raise £10,000, which will be divided between the two hospices.

    Ian Greatorex, employment advisor at Ingeus, an employment and training services company in Commercial Street, took part with his colleagues. He said: “This was a great event. The weather was very kind and we all enjoyed some of the hidden delights of good old Mansfield Town. To date, our online sponsorship is showing £335 against our target of £250 so thank you to all who have supported us by contributing.”

    Pictured are staff from B&Q from Sutton-in-Ashfield

  130. Market Harborough family support Rainbows in daughter’s memory

    10th June 2014

    Lauren Kilby 5

    The family of a Leicestershire girl who died when she was just five-years-old are taking on a 10 mile trek in her memory.

    Lauren Kilby, of Market Harborough, was diagnosed with Monosmy 21, an extremely rare chromosome disorder shortly after birth. Lauren was profoundly disabled and unable to talk. She was fed through a tube and relied on medication and specialist equipment to keep her alive. Lauren lost her fight for life in January 2004, just 11 weeks before her sixth birthday.

    “When Lauren was diagnosed in 1998, there were only seven cases in the world,” said her mum Claire. “There was no information on her condition and because it was so rare, doctors couldn’t give us a prognosis, they just said we would be lucky to have her for a year so we were privileged to have her for so long.”

    Ten years on, her family – mum and dad, Martin, sisters, Hannah (23), Teigan (12) and brother, Mitchell (20) – are taking part our Walk of Life at Watermead Park on Sunday 29 June.

    Lauren spent time at Rainbows and it was a haven where the whole family could stay for respite care.

    Claire said: “We have done the Walk of Life in the past but we wanted to do it this year as it is a special anniversary and we want to honour Lauren’s memory.

    “Rainbows was so brilliant for all of us, not only when Lauren was alive but also with bereavement support after she had died. The sibling support Hannah and Mitchell, who were 12 and nine, received when Lauren died, was also fantastic.

    “Caring for Lauren 24 hours a day, I found that the lack of sleep was the most debilitating thing. So just to be able to come to Rainbows and sleep, knowing she was being cared for, was fantastic. And when we were at Rainbows, we could be a family and we could do normal things with our other children. And Lauren loved it at Rainbows, especially the music therapy.”

    The family, took part in the Walk of Life in 2005 and raised £1,300. This year, they are calling on other people in the community and join them in supporting us. The Kilby’s will be taking on a 10 mile trek but participants can choose between a one, three or 10 mile route. There will also be a children’s fairground, live entertainment, stalls and canal boat rides.

    Claire added: “We know that Lauren will be so proud of us for taking part in the event and it helps to keep her memory alive. Lauren was a very, very smiley little girl who gave so much love to us all.

    “Rainbows was so important to us and it is important that people support the hospice so they can continue to help children like Lauren and support families like ours.”

    To support the Kilby family, visit www.justgiving.com/Kilby-family

  131. Families and staff at Rainbows thrilled as Anne Davies becomes patron

    6th June 2014

    Anne Davies for press page

    We are delighted to announce TV presenter Anne Davies as our newest patron.

    Anne has pledged to support our work because she has always been a big fan of Rainbows. Having spent time at the hospice filming a special feature several years ago, it is a place that has become close to her heart.

    As a Rainbows Patron, Ms Davies will be supporting us in whatever way her schedule allows, which will be invaluable in raising our profile. Earlier this year, Anne entertained diners at our Celebrity Luncheon with her ‘Television Tales of the Unexpected’.

    Anne said: “It is a great honour to be asked to become a part of such an amazing organisation and I look forward to helping Rainbows in whatever way I can.”

    Patricia Brookes, Director of Fundraising at Rainbows, added: “Anne is very popular with our supporters and we are delighted that she has agreed to become an official Patron of Rainbows. Anne has supported Rainbows for many years and she was a wonderful speaker at our Celebrity Luncheon this year. We are very pleased that she will be joining our other Patrons and Ambassadors and we are grateful to all of them for the wonderful work they do for Rainbows representing and promoting the charity.”

  132. Rainbows launches popular walk

    9th May 2014

    Walk of Life pic

    Rainbows wants people to lace up their walking shoes and join in with our 20th birthday celebrations by taking part in the Walk of Life.

    Our popular Walk of Life is back for 2014 with a brand new venue. Instead of traditionally taking place on the streets of Leicestershire, this year’s event will be held at Watermead Country Park on Sunday 29 June. Walkers can choose between a one, three or 10 mile route. There will also be a children’s fairground, live entertainment and stalls.

    More than 500 people took part in the event last year raising £27,000.

    Katie Baxter, community and events manager at Rainbows, said: “This year is very special for us as we are celebrating 20 years of care and we are doing more than ever before. This annual event is extremely popular in the Leicestershire community and we hope that people will join us and be part of our celebrations.

    “We decided to change the location this year to make the event more exciting and different for our regular supporters, as well as hopefully interesting new walkers. We are also providing activity packs for children to entertain them on the way round the course and dogs are also welcome; there really is something for everybody. So dust off those walking shoes or trainers, sign up and help us to raise that extra £100,000 and support those families who need us the most.”

    Entry for the event, which starts at 10.30am, is £5 for adults and £3 for children.

    For further information visit https://www.rainbows.co.uk/walkoflife

  133. Make a Will and support Rainbows

    8th April 2014
    MAW Banner2014

    East Midlands solicitors are offering a saving of more than 50 percent when making a Will to encourage people to leave a lasting legacy to Rainbows.

    We have launched our Make a Will Month and want residents in the area to make a difference by supporting the campaign which runs throughout May.

    For the month, selected solicitors will write a new single simple Will or update a current Will for £45 plus VAT. In recognition of the offer, we hope that people may wish to leave a gift to us when writing their Will.

    Last year the care of one in five children at Rainbows was funded through gifts in Wills. If every one of our supporters left £100 in their Will, it would add up to more than £4.5million, enough to run the hospice for a whole year.

    Patricia Brookes, director of fundraising at Rainbows, said: “We understand that people will most likely be thinking of their family and friends when making a Will, but by leaving a donation to Rainbows too, it can help us to continue providing care for the children and young people who rely on the Hospice.

    “Even if you have a Will, which less than half of the UK population currently do, perhaps you would consider adding a codicil leaving a gift to Rainbows. All of the legacies we receive add up, no matter how small, and without your support, we simply wouldn’t be able to open our doors.

    “The typical cost for writing a single Will is around £120 plus VAT so people who take part in our Make a Will Month will make a huge saving from the offset.”

    Leaving a gift of £25 could pay for a music therapy session, giving a child or young person the opportunity to express themself through music, while a donation of £100 could help fund one day’s bereavement support for a family.

    For more information on how you can support Rainbows Make a Will Month and to find a discounted solicitor, contact Helen Graham on 01509 638027, email Helen.Graham@rainbows.co.uk or visit www.rainbows.co.uk/wills

  134. Join us for a great birthday bake

    4th April 2014

    Rainbows Great Birthday Bake

    We are calling on people to help bake a difference and raise some dough by holding a cake themed event.

    As part of our 20th birthday celebrations, we have launched the Rainbows Great Birthday Bake and need budding chefs or enthusiastic sweet tooths to hold baking fundraising events.

    Katie Baxter, community and events manager, said: “This year we are celebrating our 20th birthday so what better way to join in with our party than to bake a cake. Your event can be as little or large as you like, the only limit is your imagination. If you want to do something more unusual, you could organise a bucket collection dressed in caked-themed costumes, have a cake icing competition or stage a good old cake fight.

    “Over the last 20 years, we’ve helped thousands of terminally ill and life-limited children, young people and their families, through the toughest days of their lives. Right now, we’re caring for 288 children and young people – that’s more than ever before. So whether you’re a cake baker, or just an eager cake eater, do your bit and help us to bake a difference.”

    For more information on how to get involved, visit www.rainbows.co.uk/bake contact 0800 952 1133 or email fundraising@rainbows.co.uk

  135. Northampton boxer visits children’s hospice

    28th March 2014

    Opus and YPedit

    Northampton boxer Chantelle Cameron took time out from her busy training schedule to visit Rainbows.

    Olympic hopeful Chantelle (22) spent time talking to youngsters at Rainbows as well as touring our facilities.

    Chantelle, who was inspired to take up boxing after watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, said: “It was really nice to visit Rainbows and meet everyone. I didn’t expect it to be like it is; it is so homely, nice and bright. It has been an amazing experience for me and an eye opener.”

    Annamarie Petsis Jones, HR director for Opus Energy – which sponsors Chantelle and supports Rainbows, added: “We are happy that Chantelle could join our volunteers today and help deliver our annual donation. She is so lively and personable and we hoped that the children and young people would enjoy getting a chance to hear her story and to ask her questions. Our employees have really enjoyed raising funds and volunteering for Rainbows and we look forward to continuing our support in 2014/15.”

  136. Mansfield FC gear up for pyjama party

    28th March 2014

    Mansfield Moonlight Walk Press 1

    Footballers from Mansfield Town swapped their kits for their onesies as they called on people to take part in our moonlight walk.

    The players helped us and John Eastwood Hospice to launch our Mansfield Moonlight and Memories Walk, which will take place on Saturday 7 June.

    Miss Mansfield, Grace Turner, also joined the footballers to promote the event.

    The 3.7 mile sponsored walk starts at the One Call Stadium, in Quarry Lane, at 10pm. Walkers will make their way around the residential streets before finishing back at the football club. Those taking on the night time adventure will be treated to a midnight feast after the walk, with entertainment provided by Mansfield 103.2.

    Players Ryan Tafazoli and Ollie Palmer showed their support. Palmer said: “Although we are unable to take part in this event, we know it will be a lot of fun and we hope that people in the community are as supportive of Rainbows and John Eastwood Hospice as they are of us. It is really important that people back our local charities while keeping fit and doing something fun at the same time.”

    All money raised at the event will be split between Rainbows and John Eastwood Hospice.

    Katie Baxter, community and events manager at Rainbows, said: “This is the first time we have held an event like this in the town and we want as many people in Mansfield to join us for this moonlight adventure in our 20th birthday year. So, tell all of your friends and relatives grab your PJs and come and join us for what promises to be a fun evening.”

    Diane Humphreys, hospice trust manager at John Eastwood Hospice, added: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Rainbows Hospice and this s a fantastic opportunity for people in our local community to come together for this major event and show their support for our vital work.”

    The event is sponsored by power management company Eaton MEDC. General manager Chris Stubbins said: “We are happy to participate in and contribute to local initiatives that improve the quality of life in the communities where we live and work.”

    Entry is £10 with a minimum sponsorship target of £20. For more information, contact 0800 9521133, email fundraising@rainbows.co.uk or visit www.rainbows.co.uk/moonlightmansfield

     

     

  137. Medical director of Rainbows receives MBE

    26th March 2014

    IMG_2136 Press

    The medical director of Rainbows has received his MBE from Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge.

    Dr Satbir Jassal, who is also a general practitioner in Loughborough, has been recognised for his services to palliative care for children and young people. In 1993, he set up the role of Medical Director at Rainbows from nothing and has developed it into a role model for others worldwide.

    After he accepted the accolade at Buckingham Palace, Dr Jassal, of Loughborough, declared it as a very special recognition for children’s palliative care.

    He said: “I am very proud of the work Rainbows does and I couldn’t help but be proud to receive the MBE. The experience was as great as you could imagine it to be. It was beautifully done, everyone was very friendly and it was very grand.”

    Rainbows is celebrating its 20th birthday this year. In 1995, His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales officially opened the hospice. Last year, The Duchess of Cambridge supported Children’s Hospice Week by recording a special video message.

    Dr Jassal added: “The Duke of Cambridge said to me that his wife would be absolutely delighted to hear I was receiving the award. There was a lot of recognition for children’s palliative care throughout the event and it was such a wonderful day to remember.”

    Dr Jassal was a founder member of the Association of Paediatric Palliative Medicine and is one of two GP members of the group developing the curriculum for paediatric palliative care. He is a co-author and contributor for many text books, including the Oxford Handbook of Paediatric Palliative Medicine, as well as developing the first ever Rainbows Children’s Symptom Control Manual, which is now published through Together for Short Lives and is in its 9th edition. Dr Jassal also delivers training on paediatric palliative medicine to the wider children’s palliative care community.

    Despite the fact that he is not a paediatrician, Dr Jassal is highly respected as an expert in the field of children and young people’s palliative care. His work has raised the profile of Rainbows, which cares for over 280 children and young people as well as supporting 249 bereaved families and 521 siblings. In 2009, Dr Jassal was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health in recognition of his contribution.

  138. Rise to the cash challenge

    25th March 2014

    Accumulator Image

    Rainbows is asking companies, groups and schools if they can be nifty and thrifty with a fifty.

    Organisations across the region are being encouraged to sign up this year’s Accumulator Challenge and support us.

    For three months, from Monday 5 May until Monday 4 August, we are setting the challenge to groups, schools and companies to be creative, have fun and raise money. The teams will be given £50 and challenged to turn it in to as much cash as possible, which will go towards supporting us in our 20th birthday year.

    The rules are simple; raise money by whatever means, as long as it is safe and legal.

    Katie Baxter, community and events manager at Rainbows, said: “We give you £50 and during three months we ask you to raise as much as you can for Rainbows in whatever way you choose.

    “There are so many different things that people can do from staging a cake sale to organising an event. By taking part, the money you make will help to fund specialist care

    for children and young people with complex needs, provide sibling support services so brothers and sisters can meet others who are facing similar challenges to their own and it will ensure we can continue to be there for families when they need us most.

    “The challenge also has benefits for your company or group as it can help to strengthen team spirit, provide great PR opportunities and demonstrate social responsibility.”

    We are looking for teams to register before the Accumulator Challenge launches on Monday 5 May. For more information, visit www.rainbows.co.uk/accumulatorchallenge contact 0800 952 1133 or email fundraising@rainbows.co.uk

  139. Rainbows launches Nottingham’s first ever Rainbow Run

    21st  March 2014

    Rainbows Run 2014

    The happiest 5k is on its way to Nottingham as we launch the city’s first ever colour run.

    The Rainbow Run will take place at the Forest Recreation Ground on Sunday 4 May from 11am. Participants will experience an explosion of colour as they make their way around the 5k circuit, getting showered with brightly coloured powder.

    The crazy, colourful day will raise vital funds for us. Katie Baxter, community and events manager at Rainbows, said: “We want as many people to come along wearing a white t-shirt, and running gear they don’t mind getting messy, and we guarantee they will leave with a smile and every colour of the rainbow!

    “You don’t even have to run. It’s not about speed or fitness, it’s about celebration, having crazy fun with friends and raising a smile for your local children’s hospice.

    “This is the first event of this kind to happen in Nottingham and we need the community to sign up. We are also delighted to have the support of Capital FM’s Drivetime presenters Claire and Tom, who will be at the event.”

    As well as participants, we also need volunteers armed with coloured powder to throw at the runners as they make their way through the colour stations.

    Entry for the event, which is supported by Capital FM, is £10. For more information, visit https://www.rainbows.co.uk/rainbowrun/

  140. Loughborough mum launches challenge for Rainbows

    13th March 2014

    Alison Birkin - Biskitty Challenge edit

    A Loughborough mum whose daughter attends Rainbows has come up with a sweet idea to raise funds for us.

    Alison Birkin isn’t taking the biscuit with her simple plan to raise more than £1,000 for Rainbows as we care for her daughter Chloe Flanders (19).

    Alison has set up the Biskitty Challenge and is hoping as many people as possible get involved. The challenge is easy; all people have to do is save used biscuit wrappers which can then be recycled to raise money for us.

    Alison has set a £1,000 target but if the Biskitty Challenge is a success, it will continue. She said: “I heard about a similar scheme and I thought it would be an easy way to raise money for Rainbows.

    “I decided on biscuit wrappers as most people eat biscuits and there aren’t many places that recycle wrappers. I set up a Facebook page and I have had so much interest from people wanting to get involved. Parents at Rainbows, schools, community and groups and businesses all want to join in. It’s been wonderfully overwhelming.”

    Alison’s daughter, Chloe, has been visiting Rainbows for the past decade. When she was nine, Chloe was diagnosed with a severe form of Childhood Idiopathic Primary Dystonia – a movement disorder that leads to painful involuntary sustained muscle spasms and involuntary movements – which affected every function of her body.

    Four years later, Chloe endured Deep Brain Stimulation, pioneering surgery which helped bring her symptoms under more control. She has a battery pack inside her chest which constantly sends electrical impulses to the part of the brain which controls movements to block out the signals which cause the symptoms of Dystonia. But her family never know when her symptoms will come back or in what force.

    Alison added: “Rainbows is such an important place and it is great for me to be able to give something back. It’s fantastic for Chloe; it’s somewhere she can go, have fun and just be herself.”

    Katie Baxter, Events and Community Manager at Rainbows, added: “I would like to thank Alison for setting up this challenge and for supporting Rainbows. She is doing a wonderful thing raising funds to help us run the hospice – as Alison knows, fundraising efforts make such a huge difference to the children at Rainbows and their families.”

    An average biscuit wrapper weighs around 2.4 grams, which is worth two pence. Inner individual wrappers and outer wrappers of any sweet biscuit are accepted, excluding foil and paper.

    Volunteers have set up drop off points for donations and more information can be found at http://on.fb.me/1qsyfxg, by searching for ‘Biskitty’ on Facebook, or email biskitty.challenge@gmail.com 

  141. Families and staff at Rainbows thrilled as David Walliams becomes patron

    10th March 2014

    David_Walliams_at_Rainbows

    We are delighted to announce David Walliams as our newest patron.

    David visited us last month, and was so moved by the families he met and the work we do, he wanted to get on board. The children, young people, families and staff at Rainbows are all overjoyed to have his valued support.

    As a Rainbows Patron, David will be supporting the hospice in whatever way his busy schedule allows, which will be invaluable in raising our profile. Ahead of his last visit, he donated personally signed copies of his books to the children and their siblings and said that he looked forward to visiting again.

    David said: “I am thrilled to become a patron for Rainbows. It’s a very special place with incredibly inspiring people. I have recently been to the hospice and met some of the children and their families. They have to deal with so much and Rainbows is there for them with smiles, laughter and lots of care and support. I was so moved by the positive atmosphere, that I wanted to get involved. It will be my pleasure to help raise awareness of this charity to help all of the children, young people and families.”

    Geoff Ellis, chief executive at Rainbows, added: “To have David on board is very exciting and we are extremely happy that he has pledged his support to us; we are delighted to welcome him as our newest patron. We are very grateful to all of our patrons and ambassadors for the wonderful work they do for Rainbows and for promoting the charity all over the UK. When David visited last month, everybody loved him and we appreciated him spending valuable time with our children, young people and their families.”

    David first heard about Rainbows when Susan Taylor very sadly lost her life swimming the English Channel for Rainbows last year. Although he didn’t know Susan personally, he was very touched by her story and donated to Rainbows through her Virgin Money website as well as sending messages to Mrs Taylor’s family.

  142. Our lottery raises over £2 million

    21st February 2014

    10 years

    Since we launched our lottery 10 years ago, more than £2.3 million has been raised.

    The Rainbows lottery has now been running for a decade and delivers a valuable source of income for us. And for a donation of just £1 a week, it is a simple way for people to support Rainbows. Since 2004, we have awarded more than £700,000 worth of prizes, with thousands being donated back to the hospice each year.

    Starting out with 659 members, our lottery now has around 8,500 people who take part each week. Now in its 10th year, we are calling on new members to sign up.

    Rainbows Lottery Manager Jas Dosanjh-Sidhu said: “Supporting the Rainbows Lottery is a great way of helping us to raise funds which enable us to continue providing vital care and support to hundreds of children and young people in the East Midlands. The Rainbows Lottery has been a fantastic source of income over the past decade and unlike the National Lottery, tickets are still only £1.

    “At Rainbows, we’re much more than a hospice. We’re an incredible team of people who bring hope and support to life-limited children, young people and their families every day. By joining us, you will be doing something amazing and showing you care.”

    Chris Leeson, of Woodhouse Eaves, is a volunteer at Rainbows and has been in the lottery since its very first draw. She added: “I joined the Rainbows Lottery because it is a worthwhile cause. I wanted to help get it up and running as it was a brilliant idea so I got all of my friends and family involved. I have since won the £1,000 prize twice.”

    Please visit the Rainbows Lottery page to find out more.

  143. Our shops need volunteers

    12th February 2014

    Rainbows Opening42

    Rainbows needs people in the East Midlands to get the feel good factor by volunteering in one of our shops.

    We have welcomed research which revealed that 80% of people said volunteering improved their self-esteem and confidence with the same percentage saying they valued learning new skills. The survey, carried out by Demos, also highlights that people say volunteering has a positive impact on their physical and mental health.

    Our shops, in Matlock, Melton and Blaby, need volunteers to help with sorting stock, dressing the shop windows and serving on the till.

    Karen Bilsby, Rainbows retail manager, said: “We welcome this survey which highlights what a positive experience volunteering is and we know that our existing volunteers really do enjoy it. We’re always looking for new volunteers, so if you have spare time, need a new challenge or simply wish to support Rainbows in a different way, please do get in touch. You can be a real part of something that brings support, love and laughter to children whose lives are sadly too short.

    “Becoming a volunteer in our shop is so simple. You can work the hours that suit you; why not come in to our shop and have a chat with us?”

    Ann Mills, of Melton, has been volunteer at the Rainbows Melton shop since it opened in 2012. She said: “I enjoy it immensely and find it very rewarding. It is a lovely group of people to work with and I have made some wonderful friends. If anyone was thinking about volunteering, I would tell them to give it a try, they will enjoy it.”

    To get involved, please visit our shops page.

  144. David Walliams visits Rainbows

    10 February 2014

    Lucy, David and Ellie edit

    TV personality David Walliams visited Rainbows on Thursday to meet the youngsters and read them some of his book.

    After touring our facilities and learning more about the work we do, Mr Walliams described the hospice as “inspirational”.

    He then set up a story time session where he read the Slightly Annoying Elephant as well extracts from Gangsta Granny to the overjoyed youngsters.

    Mr Walliams also paid his respects to the family of Susan Taylor who tragically died while attempting to swim the English Channel for us last year.

    Susan, 34, of Barwell, Leicestershire, took on the Channel swim challenge to raise money for Rainbows, where she was a much loved ambassador and fundraiser. Susan sadly suffered acute cardio respiratory failure and died just one mile off the French coast on July 14.

    Mr Walliams, who was an inspiration to Susan, completed the Channel swim himself in 2006 when he was the same age as Susan. Just hours after her death, he tweeted messages of sympathy, as well as donating £1,000 to Rainbows, stating “Sending all my love to Susan’s family and friends.”

    Speaking after his visit to Rainbows, Mr Walliams said: “’I first heard about Rainbows Hospice when Susan Taylor very sadly lost her life swimming the channel last year. I didn’t know Susan personally, but I was very touched by her story. Susan was a great supporter of Rainbows, and she was raising money for the hospice when she died. Having visited yesterday I can see why Susan would undertake such a huge challenge for the hospice. Rainbows is very special. If you think a children’s hospice has to be a sad place, you need to think again. The young people are brilliantly looked after by a very loving and caring team of staff. There is a real family atmosphere, and there was much fun and laughter when I visited. I absolutely loved my day at Rainbows, and I look forward to returning soon.”

    Susan Taylor’s brother David added: “We are so pleased to be able to personally express our gratitude to Mr Walliams for the support he showed in the days following Susan’s death.  It was comforting to know that someone who inspired Susan to follow her Channel Swim ambition was thinking about her and her family.”

    Geoff Ellis, chief executive at Rainbows, added: “We would like to say a big thank you to David Walliams for visiting Rainbows and spending time with the children and young people, everybody loved him. We were delighted to show him around the hospice so that he could see for himself the vital work that we do at Rainbows to care for hundreds of children with terminal and life-limited illnesses. This year we are celebrating 20 years of care and to have the support of personalities like Mr Walliams is invaluable to us.”

  145. Mother creates business in memory of her daughter

    29th January 2014

    Rainbows Aug 12-1087

    A mother whose three-year-old daughter died of a rare genetic condition in February has set up a new business venture in her memory.

    When Maralise Van Wyk was born, her parents Becky and Jenico, of Nottinghamshire, knew there was something wrong as their daughter struggled to feed and wasn’t growing. At six weeks old, an MRI scan revealed there were problems with part of Maralise’s brain.

    Then at 18-months-old, Maralise was finally diagnosed with Pontocerebellar Hypoplasia, a group of related conditions that affect the development of the brain. At the time, there were only 12 children worldwide who had the same condition and unfortunately, Maralise was at the severe end of the spectrum.

    Becky and Jenico were told the devastating news that their daughter would probably not live past five-years-old.  As she grew older, Maralise didn’t sleep, was unable to move and was tube fed. She was also on more than 20 medications a day and suffered from painful spasms. Sadly Maralise died on February 26, 2013 in hospital.

    “She was the most beautiful little girl and had the most gorgeous smile,” said Becky. “She couldn’t walk or talk but the life lessons she taught me in her three years were forever lasting. She has taken me on a completely different path. Everyone loved her. To see your little one in so much pain and not be able to do anything about it was awful. We felt so hopeless. It was the best and most difficult three years of our lives.”

    To keep Maralise’s memory alive, Becky and her friend, Ashleigh Drew, have set up a business venture called Maralise’s Magical Stories. Becky and Ashleigh create sensory packs to allow children with life-limited conditions to enjoy songs and stories in their own way.

    Becky said: “Maralise couldn’t access a story in the way a healthy three-year-old would. I put little props together to create different senses in the story. It is wonderful to turn a story in to 4D; Children can hear, smell and touch the experience.

    “I decided I wanted to do this for other children. It is Maralise’s legacy; I need to do something with all that she taught me. If we can make one child smile then it will be worth it.”

    Maralise started visiting Rainbows when she was nine months old for respite care. This year, we are celebrating 20 years of care and to commemorate our birthday, we want to raise an extra £100,000 over the year to help fund more children’s nurses.

    Becky added: “The support we had from Rainbows was incredible and the respite care was invaluable.  Coming to Rainbows was a little piece of heaven, my life was normal at Rainbows. I wasn’t a nurse or a physio, I was a mummy and we could be a family.

    “When she died, Maralise was taken to Rainbows and she stayed there until her funeral, it was like we were taking her home. I couldn’t bear the thought of my little girl being on her own so at Rainbows I knew she was with her second family. For us, it is not possible to put in words what it meant to us to have Maralise at Rainbows. I honestly don’t know how I would have coped without the team.”

    Maralise and her family have carried out fundraising for Rainbows over the years and in time, Becky hopes Maralise’s Magical Stories will benefit others at Rainbows.

    To find out more, visit http://www.maralisesmagicalstories.co.uk/

     

  146. People urged to support Rainbows’ 20th birthday

    21st January 2014

    20startpic

    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.

  147. Challenge yourself for Rainbows this New Year

    9th January 2014skydive

    Rainbows is calling on people to take to the road, the water, the skies, the desert or the mountains to support youngsters with life-limiting and terminal illnesses.

    We have launched our 2014 events calendar and we are encouraging people to beat the post festive blues by signing up to a challenge. There is a wide range of activities to suit all ages and abilities for those whose New Year’s resolution is to get fit or do something really exciting.

    Local challenges include the Loughborough Moonlight Walk; the Leicester 10k, an East Midlands Skydive and an abseil down Derby Cathedral.

    Some of the more extreme challenges include riding through Mongolia on horseback; cycling from Yosemite to San Francisco; rowing through the testing waters of the Zambezi River; sailing in the Channel Islands; motor biking through Northern India and the Century Cycle Challenge – a unique ride across Northern France and Belgium to commemorate and pay tribute to the fallen heroes of the First World War.

    People can also sign up to national events such as the Virgin London Marathon and the Bupa Great North Run, all in aid of Rainbows.

    Katie Baxter, community and events manager, said: “This year we have some new and really exciting challenges. The New Year is a perfect time to focus on setting a personal challenge as we often feel guilty about indulging over the festive period.

    “This year we have challenges for walkers, runners, cyclists, sailors, swimmers and our events range from across the continent to here in the East Midlands. Some of the events are a lot tougher than others and people will need time to train so we would encourage them to sign up as soon as possible.

    “All of our events are a fantastic opportunity to take on a challenge, get fit, meet other like-minded people and raise funds for us.”

    For more information, contact 0800 9521133, email fundraising@rainbows.co.uk or click here.

  148. Let Rainbows benefit from Santa’s mistakes

    8th January 2014

    _MG_9196

    Did Santa get it a little bit wrong at Christmas? Have you ended up with an extra pair of slippers or a jumper three sizes too small? You can salve your conscience for not loving every present you’ve received by donating unwanted gifts to one of our shops.

    By donating unwanted gifts to us, people will be helping to fund the specialist care we provide to more than 280 children and young people across the East Midlands.

    Karen Bilsby, head of retail at Rainbows, said: “We’re grateful for anyone’s unwanted gifts. You may not love the leopard print scarf and glove set from granny, but someone else might have been looking for one for months. People often receive gifts that may be the wrong size, are duplicates or just not to their taste.

    “Donating presents to Rainbows helps you make space in your wardrobes and cupboards, and helps us raise money. And you’ll be happy knowing that instead of gathering dust in a corner; your unwanted gift is helping a local child.”

    An item worth £10 could help to fund five days’ worth of oxygen for a child. Goods selling at £25 could help fund the cost of one week’s play materials and a sale of £50 in the Rainbows shops could help fund part of the charity’s emergency pharmacy bill for a month. And if you are a UK taxpayer, your donation could be worth 25% more at no cost to you thanks to gift aid – please ask for more details in store.

    Click here for more information on Rainbows shops.

  149. Medical director of East Midlands children’s hospice recognised in New Year’s Honours

    31st December 2013Dr Satbir Jassal, Medical DirectorEDIT
    The medical director of Rainbows has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours.

    Dr Satbir Jassal, who is also a general practitioner, has been recognised for his services to palliative care for children and young people. In 1993, he set up the role of Medical Director at Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People from nothing and has developed it into a role model for others.

    Accepting the accolade, Dr Jassal (52), of Loughborough, was completely overwhelmed. He said: “When I found out about this MBE, I was totally shocked; I really wasn’t expecting anything like this. But I am thrilled to have received such a high accolade and it is something that I will always treasure. I have been with Rainbows Hospice for over 20 years and it is a fantastic place. It really is like an extended family and working with the children and young people, their families and the staff has been truly inspirational. I am very passionate about my work, the education and training of healthcare professionals in this field, both in the UK and abroad, which has been an honour and privilege in itself.”

    Dr Jassal was a founder member of the Association of Paediatric Palliative Medicine and is one of two GP members of the group developing the curriculum for paediatric palliative care. He is a co-author and contributor for many text books, including the Oxford Handbook of Paediatric Palliative Medicine, as well as developing the first ever Rainbows Children’s Symptom Control Manual, which is now published through Together for Short Lives and is in its 9th edition. Dr Jassal also delivers training on paediatric palliative medicine to the wider children’s palliative care community.

    Despite the fact that he is not a paediatrician, Dr Jassal is highly respected as an expert in the field of children and young people’s palliative care. His work has raised the profile of Rainbows. In 2009, Dr Jassal was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health in recognition of his contribution.

    Alison Cooke, director of care at Rainbows nominated Dr Jassal for the award. She said: “Dr Jassal thoroughly deserves this award. He is one of the pioneers of children’s palliative care and has been a leader in the field from the outset. His expertise is recognised by colleagues worldwide, for example, Rainbows recently had a visit from the manager of a children’s hospice in Australia who told me that she felt privileged to meet him and had a copy of his symptom control manual on her desk at work. His achievements are all the more incredible because he is not a paediatrician; he is a GP and he has done so much of this work in his own time on top of his full time job.

    “Dr Jassal is an extremely humble man who is always the first to recognise the achievements of others whilst playing down his own contribution. His work has been of immense benefit to the children and young people at Rainbows, and he has helped to improve the lives of children and young people with palliative care needs across the world. I am proud to work alongside him.”

    In 2010, 12-year-old Harry Smith sadly passed away of neuro-degenerative condition. Harry had been visiting Rainbows since 2006 and Dr Jassal was instrumental in his care.

    Harry’s mum, Lucy, said: “It is fair to say Harry’s health needs were very challenging and on occasions, Dr Jassal contacted his colleagues both nationally and internationally to discuss Harry’s symptoms. Nothing was too much for Dr Jassal where Harry was concerned, and he was always available at the end of a phone when problems occurred at home.

    “Harry’s last four years would have been so much harder, he would not have been able to have so much fun and his quality of life would not have been anywhere near as good without the marvellous support from Rainbows and in particular, that of Dr Jassal.”

  150. Rainbows welcomes positive charity shop research

    6th December 2013

    Rainbows Shop

    Research carried out by a leading think tank showing that charity shops boost the high street has been welcomed by us.

    Rainbows, which has shops in Forge Corner, Blaby; Sherrard Street, Melton; and Firs Parade, Matlock, has praised the report by Demos, released last week.

    The report states there is no evidence that the growth of charity shops is causing high street decline, in fact it is the opposite. Its findings reveal charity shops are exerting a stabilising influence on ailing high streets – maintaining footfall, catering to specific local needs, and filling shops that would otherwise be empty. It is also suggested that they can prevent increases in crime and anti-social behaviour by occupying vacant premises.

    Karen Bilsby, head of retail at Rainbows Hospice, said: “It is great to see this report out there. Charity shops often fall target of bad publicity, which is undeserved as we do such a great job.

    “It is really nice to see evidence which backs up what charity shops collectively have been saying for years. It shows that we are boosting high streets rather than being detrimental as well as providing lots of opportunities for volunteers. Overall charity shops have been shown to be having a positive impact on the community.

    “In the past year, our shops have proven very popular and we have been made to feel very welcome and supported by the community. I would like to appeal to people who have never been in one of the Rainbows’ shops to come in and see what we do; I think you will be surprised.”

    For more information about our shops and how you can get involved, visit www.rainbows.co.uk/shops

     

     

  151. Loughborough students raise cash for Rainbows

    5th December 2013

    Welbeck 3

    Active students at Welbeck Defence Sixth Form College are hoping to raise £500 for us by taking part in a Swimathon and a Santa Run.

    Upper and Lower 6th students from Welbeck Defence Sixth Form College are donning their swimwear and Santa suits in aid of Rainbows.

    On Sunday 1 December, the students took a dip in their college pool as part of the Make a Splash event organised by GEM 106 to bring the East Midlands together in memory of Susan Taylor.  Susan was a much loved ambassador and fundraiser of ours. Sadly she lost her life in July while aiming to swim across the English Channel for Rainbows.

    The students had aimed to swim the distance across the channel, 1,352 lengths, but smashed this goal by swimming 3,743.

    On Sunday 8 December, the students will swap their swimwear for Santa suits to take part in the 5k Loughborough Santa Fun Run, which is organised by Rotary Club of Loughborough at Loughborough University.

    The student charity committee at Welbeck selected us as one of their charities to support this year.  Welbeck students were taken aback by the fantastic work that is carried out at the hospice after they visited and had a tour. The students have also been and volunteered at with us and feel we are a very worthy cause to support.

    Sophie Mitchell, head of the charities committee at Welbeck, said: “The work carried out by Rainbows is incredible and we want to do anything we can to help brighten the lives of life-limited children and their families. We hope that people will support us by sponsoring us or even signing up to the events themselves.”

    Jennifer Leach, community fundraiser at Rainbows, added: “I would like to thank everyone at Welbeck for supporting Rainbows. They are doing a wonderful thing raising funds to help us run the hospice – fundraising efforts make such a huge difference to both the children at Rainbows and their families. I hope people feel inspired to support them.”

    Entry for the Santa Run is £13 or £6.50 for under 16s and includes a Santa suit. To register or for more information visit www.santa-fun-run.co.uk

     

  152. Rainbows to benefit from The X Factor Winner’s Charity Single

    25 November 2013

    The X Factor Single

    Children and young people at Rainbows will benefit from the X Factor winner’s single.

    This year’s X Factor winner’s single will be in aid of children’s charities Together for Short Lives and Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity.

    The two X Factor finalists will perform their prospective winner’s singles live during The X Factor’s exciting final at Wembley Arena, with the song available to download once the winner is crowned on 15 December.

    Syco will donate 100% of the profits from the sales of each CD single and download to Together for Short Lives and Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity. Rainbows will receive a share of the proceeds donated to Together for Short Lives from The X Factor winner’s single.

    Simon Cowell said: “Both Together for Short Lives and Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity are really important charities. Every day they do inspiring work and help a load of kids and their families, all of which need their expertise and support. I have been lucky enough to see first-hand the great work that both of these charities do and I am thrilled that we can do something to help by donating the sales of The X Factor winner’s single to them both. Thank you in advance to everyone who will help.”

    Patricia Brookes, director of fundraising at Rainbows, said: “We are delighted that the X Factor Winner’s Single is going to make a real difference to children with life-threatening and life-limiting conditions and their families. It will really help to raise awareness of the needs of children and families we support, and important funding to allow us to do even more to help them.”

    Barbara Gelb, CEO of Together for Short Lives, said: “Together for Short Lives is so thrilled to be benefiting from The X Factor winner’s single again this year. This is amazing news for us, and the UK’s 49,000 children and young people with life-threatening and life-limiting conditions and all those who support, love and care for them.  Working with the X Factor is transformational.  Through this fantastic partnership we have been able to reach out to thousands of families and the money raised has made a real difference to local services, like children’s hospices, which deliver lifeline support to children and families. When you buy The X Factor winner’s single you will know that every single copy sold will make a real difference to families across the UK, helping them to make the most of their precious time together.”

     

  153. Leicestershire teenager takes on swimming challenge for Rainbows

    22 November 2013

    Ryan in Pool

    Fourteen-year-old Ryan White, who suffers from a muscle wasting disease, is taking on a swimming challenge to raise money for the hospice that cares for him.

    Ryan, of Ashby Parva, was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) – a condition that causes all muscles to weaken over time, when he was six-years-old.

    As Ryan grew up, his parents Jayne and Ty knew there was something wrong with their son but they were unprepared for the life-changing scenario that lay ahead. Jayne said: “As a small boy, Ryan just kept falling over and getting really bad bumps and we just needed to get to the bottom of it. When we saw the paediatrician she was almost positive she knew what he had got as soon as she looked at him.

    “We were in with the doctors for ages while Ryan had tests so we had a feeling something was very wrong. When we got the call telling us they needed to come and see us at home, we knew it wasn’t good news.”

    A further muscle biopsy confirmed the news that Jayne and Ty didn’t want to hear. “When we first found out that Ryan had Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, we still didn’t really know what it was,” said Jayne. “As we started to find out more and more, it was like we were in a lift and we were getting out at different stages.

    “We were originally told that Ryan wouldn’t live past the age of 20, but that has changed now with medical advances and we don’t know what his prognosis will be. We think as time goes on, it does get easier as you just don’t have a choice; you learn to cope with it. It used to be really hard at night when I saw him sleeping in his bed. I used to cry every night and I just thought ‘why?’.”

    Ryan, a pupil at Ashfield School in Leicester, is confined to a wheel chair and has to have regular physiotherapy to ease the pain and stiffness in his lower limbs. He is also starting to lose the strength in his arms.

    But he never gives up and on Friday 29 November, Ryan is joining others in our hydrotherapy pool as part of a 24 hour Swimathon – which is being held in memory of Susan Taylor, who tragically died while swimming the English Channel earlier this year.

    Ryan’s love of swimming began when he was four-years-old. Jayne said: “We always said that Ryan and his brother, Aaron (17), could do any activity they wanted and Ryan just loved to swim. He still loves to swim now, even though it has got harder for him, he will always do 20 lengths of a pool, no matter how long it takes him.

    “It is brilliant that he is taking part in the Swimathon. Rainbows has been a fantastic place for us and for Ryan. Ryan just loves Rainbows. He really enjoys going and has friends there who are in the same position as he is. He thinks the world of Rainbows and everyone there.

    “No matter what Ryan does, he always gives 100 percent. He never wants to let anyone down. I think the fact that he is disabled himself, but wants to raise money for Rainbows to help other children is amazing.”

    Ryan also raises funds for us by selling paintings he creates. His love for art developed when he was a toddler and he did his first painting of the sky and some sheep. His art touched people’s hearts and demand grew. Soon Ryan was producing paintings for family members and friends.

    “I always call Ryan my little rollercoaster as he just trundles along,” added Jayne. “Ryan is such a fighter. He is so determined and very thoughtful towards others. He always says that he hopes they find a cure for DMD. He says he knows it is too late for him but he hopes they can do it for other people.”

    The 24 hour swimathon is part of Make a Splash, organised by GEM 106 to bring the East Midlands together in memory of Susan.

    For more information on Make a Splash and how to get involved visit www.gem106.co.uk/splash/ or if you would like sponsor Ryan and the Rainbows swimmers visit www.justgiving.com/rainbows-splash

  154. Don’t miss out on a magical musical evening in aid of Rainbows

    11 November 13

    Rock Choir

    Music lovers can still get their hands on tickets for the Rock Choir for Rainbows concert staged later this month.

    The concert, taking place on Tuesday 26 November, will bring 300 voices from across Leicester and Leicestershire together at De Montfort Hall, Leicester, to sing favourite pop classics.

    Joining Leicestershire’s Rock Choirs will be Rainbows honorary ambassadors, West End musical star Lauren Samuels and X Factor and Eurovision’s Andy Abrahams. The Rainbows Choir will also perform and the evening will be hosted by BBC Radio Leicester’s Monica Winfield and Dave Andrews.

    Dave Andrews, who is also a fundraiser at Rainbows, said: “If the concert is anything like the previous show last year it will be a fantastic evening of great songs. The popularity of the event, and the high profile singers, means tickets have sold fast and there are only a few remaining. There are also some surprise guests lined up too. I would encourage anyone who loves music to get their ticket now. Why not treat yourself and a friend or family member to an early Christmas present and raise some funds for this great charity at the same time?”

    For tickets, contact De Montfort Hall ticket office on 0116 233 3111 or http://www.demontforthall.co.uk/events/events.php/2013/1057/rock-choir-for-rainbows/

  155. Rainbows supporters take to the water in memory of much loved Ambassador

    Hydrotherapy-Pool

     

    Our families, staff and volunteers are taking the plunge in a 24 hour swimathon in memory of Susan Taylor who tragically died while swimming the English Channel earlier this year.

    For more than two years, Susan was a much loved ambassador and fundraiser at Rainbows. Sadly she lost her life in July while aiming to swim across the Channel for us.

    As a thank you for all of Susan’s work for us and to honour her memory, children, young people, families, staff and volunteers will be taking a dip in our hydrotherapy pool on Friday 29 November over a 24 hour period.

    More than 70 people are aiming to swim the equivalent of the 59 miles of the River Soar.

    Philip Yorkstone, pool coordinator at Rainbows, has organised the event. He said: “Susan was an amazing fundraiser for Rainbows and given her love of swimming, we thought this was a great way to pay tribute to her. Many people knew and loved Susan and we wanted a way to say thank you for the support she provided to everyone at the hospice.”

    Susan’s brother, David Wright, added: “Susan loved to swim and she was proud to be an ambassador for Rainbows so this seems a perfect way to commemorate her life. Susan was always first in line to do anything that was fun, especially if it was for Rainbows, so we hope lots of people will get involved and take a dip to raise money.”

    The 24 hour swimathon is part of Make a Splash, organised by GEM 106 to bring the East Midlands together in memory of Susan.

    For more information on Make a Splash and how to get involved visit www.gem106.co.uk/splash/ or if you would like sponsor our swimmers visit www.justgiving.com/rainbows-splash

  156. Leicestershire mother urges people to Light up a Life for Rainbows

    LaurynFleming2

    A Leicestershire mother who says her 12-year-old daughter is a medical marvel after she was given only six months to live is urging people to support our latest appeal.

    Lauryn Fleming, of Braunstone, suffers from Holoprosencephely, a complex brain malformation which is so rare that in most cases babies die before birth. Lauryn has hormonal imbalances caused by only having half a pituitary gland, which meant her optic nerves and discs didn’t develop properly.

    Her condition has left Lauryn blind and unable to talk, apart from the occasional word. She is in a wheelchair and is fed through a tube. Her round the clock medication means Lauryn needs 24 hour care.

    Twelve-year-old Lauryn was born by emergency C-section after her mother, Kate, had a traumatic labour. After her birth, Lauryn did not feed properly and she was shaking due to zero blood sugar levels. A brain scan revealed her condition.

    Kate, who is a single parent, said: “It was devastating. She was with me for the first few hours and she was perfect. This all came as a massive shock. Lauryn was only given six months to live; she is a medical marvel. Every day we are lucky to have her with us.”

    Since the age of four, Lauryn has been visiting Rainbows. Her brother Alex, who is two years younger than Lauryn, makes the most of our Sibling Support services.

    Thankful not only for the care Lauryn receives, but also for the support we provide for the whole family, Kate is backing our Light up a Life appeal.

    The Light up a Life appeal invites Leicestershire residents to celebrate the memory of a loved one who has sadly passed away or to acknowledge a treasured person by dedicating a light on the special Tree of Lights at the hospice. Each dedication will be acknowledged with a commemorative Christmas card and we will add the name of loved ones to its Book of Remembrance, which is on display at the hospice during the festive period. We will also send people a special Light up a Life pin badge.

    Kate added: “Rainbows lights up our life in so many ways and I hope people will support this appeal. Lauryn is a happy character with a comic personality. She is very strong willed, determined and knows her own mind and she just loves going to Rainbows.

    “At Rainbows Lauryn can relax and do things that she enjoys doing. Lauryn likes her own company and she gets the most out of one to one sessions rather than being in a group. She also loves spending time in the sensory room.

    “I have been a single parent since Lauryn was three so it is very tough. It can be stressful but when you live every day like this, it becomes normal. Rainbows helps with that. Not only is it a place that Lauryn loves going to, it gives me time off to spend with Alex.

    “Sometimes Alex finds it difficult because of the restrictions Lauryn puts on everyday life but he knows that it can’t be helped. They do have a very good relationship. With it being just the three of us, we have a very strong bond.”

    Katie Baxter, events and community manager at Rainbows, said: “Christmas is a time to think about those people we love and we invite you to dedicate a light on our special Tree of Lights at the hospice that will shine brightly during the festive period for them. Your light can be to celebrate the memory of a loved one, to acknowledge a special person in your life or as a special Christmas gift.”

    There is no minimum donation for a light and all money raised will go to support the work of Rainbows and children like Lauryn. For more information, visit www.rainbows.co.uk/lightupalife or contact 01509 638000.

  157. A monstrous effort for the Festival of Fireworks!

    Monster-edit

    The students of Stoneygate School in Leicester have been hard at work creating the guy for our Festival of Fireworks at Leicester Race Course on 2nd November. This year they have created a gigantic monster called ‘Toby Blood’.
    You can read more about the Rainbows Festival of Fireworks by clicking here
    Tickets are available here.

  158. Tony Jacklin visit’s Rainbows

    _MG_1440- low res

    Our children, young people, families and staff were all star-struck last week when golfing legend Tony Jacklin CBE visited Rainbows.

    Earlier this year, Tony was announced as our latest patron. During his visit with his wife, Astrid, the couple met children and young people as they toured the hospice, learning more about the professional care we provide and viewing the bespoke facilities in the therapy wing. They also helped Jessica Kerr, of Coalville, to celebrate her first birthday by singing Happy Birthday. Jessica suffers from a rare condition called Patau Syndrome and reaching her first birthday was a milestone her family never expected to see.

    Tony was overwhelmed during his visit. He said: “Rainbows is incredible. It is not what I thought it would be like. I am just amazed at the facilities; it seems that Rainbows has thought of everything. It is exceptionally telling of ‘how can we make it better for children and young people?’ and way beyond that for parents and siblings. Rainbows provides for the whole family.

    “I have found this to be a very worthwhile visit and I am proud to be a patron. All of the staff and volunteers are amazing.”

    Astrid added: “I think it is fascinating. Rainbows is a wonderful facility and it takes coming here to really experience the worth of it. I am absolutely blown away with it.”

    As well as promoting the fantastic work we do, Tony has helped to raise over £100,000 for us by hosting the Farmfoods British Par 3 Championship, an annual golf tournament in Warwickshire organised by Champions UK Plc.

    Patricia Brookes, director of fundraising at Rainbows, said: “Our patrons and ambassadors at Rainbows are outstanding in helping us to spread the word of the hospice and raise awareness, so it was wonderful for Tony and Astrid to visit us to see what we do first-hand. We are delighted they took the time out of their busy schedule to take a hospice tour and meet some of the children and young people at Rainbows.”

    You can see the photos on our Flickr page.

  159. We need your summer stock

    Rainbows Opening23

    As people start to drag out their jumpers, hats and scarves, we are searching for summer stock.

    We want people to clear out their summer wardrobe and donate any unwanted items to our shops in Matlock, Melton and Blaby.

    Head of retail Karen Bilsby said: “We know it is sad to say goodbye to summer and bring out the winter clothes but we are always in need of stock for our shops and we would love to find new homes for your seasonal items.

    “At Rainbows Hospice we support children with life-limited illnesses and their families across the East Midlands. We rely on raising money in our shops to be able to provide this service and stock donation is a lifeline for us. So while you are putting away your summer clothes, ask yourself if you are likely to wear the items next year and if you think not, please consider donating them to Rainbows and we will save them for next summer.”

    Selling clothes worth £10 could help to fund five days’ worth of oxygen for a child, £25 could help fund the cost of one week’s play materials and a sale of £50 in the Rainbows shops could help fund part of the charity’s emergency pharmacy bill for a month.

    For more information on Rainbows shops click here  or contact Karen Bilsby, head of retail at Rainbows, on 01509 638000.

  160. Open Day is a success!

    Cake Stall- Low Res

    Around 1,000 people visited the hospice for our Open Day on Saturday 14 September.

    Visitors attended the annual Open Day to learn more about the work carried out to provide care and support to children and young people with life-limited illnesses and their families.

    People toured the Hydrotherapy Pool, Music Room, Multi-sensory Room, Cinema, Arts and Craft Room and Soft Play area as well as browsing at stalls and enjoying a BBQ and refreshments.

    Geoff Ellis, chief executive at Rainbows, said: “We are delighted with the turn out for Open Day this year and we would like to thank everyone who came along to view our facilities and find out more about what we do at Rainbows. We hope people enjoyed themselves and were inspired with what they saw.

    “We work hard to make Rainbows a happy place and, as we support more than 280 families, we simply wouldn’t be able to do this without the backing of our volunteers, supporters and fundraisers.”
    Plant Stall

  161. The sun may still be shining but that didn’t put Santas off training for a winter run.

    Santas

    Despite the scorching summer temperatures, Father Christmas’ at Rainbows donned their trainers as they prepared to take on a Santa Run.

    Katie Baxter, events and community manager at Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People, said: “People might have thought they were seeing things when they spotted our Santas training for the festive event. But we want our Santa Runs this year to be bigger and better than before and are encouraging people to register their interest.

    “Our Santa Runs not only raises vital funds for the hospice, it is also great fun for everyone who takes part and people can either run or walk the route.”

    The Santa Runs take place in Nottingham, Derby and Loughbrough.

    To register your interest, contact 0800 952 1133, visit www.rainbows.co.uk/running or email fundraising@rainbows.co.uk

  162. Sileby mum takes on Rainbows walk in honour of son

    Edward2

    A Sileby mother is encouraging women in Leicestershire to sign up to a moonlight adventure and support the hospice which cares for her four-year-old son.

    Edward Olweny was born with Partial Trisomy 9, which means he has an extra chromosome. Although he is four-and-a-half years old, he has the development age of a one-year-old and mild Cerebral Palsy. Edward didn’t start learning to walk until he was three and suffers from hypermobility, meaning his joints are loose and unstable. He is also visually impaired so his parents, Gemma (30) and Jamie (34), cannot take their eyes off him as he is constantly tripping and falling. He has severe breathing difficulties and is unable to talk.

    Because the condition is rare, his parents do not know what the future holds for Edward.

    Gemma said: “I knew something was wrong with Edward at birth when he had an overbite and couldn’t feed; he was diagnosed with Trisomy 9 when he was three-weeks-old. We were told by consultants that they had never seen the condition before and they didn’t want to tell us he would be okay or not. They didn’t even know if Edward would make it out of hospital. They didn’t know if he would live for a year or if he would live until he was 20.

    “We were just completely devastated. There is no other way we can describe it.

    “Edward is the most loving boy you will meet. He has a hug for everyone and he is just so friendly. Edward just doesn’t stop. He has so much energy but he has no fear and a very high pain threshold. You cannot take your eyes off him; I am always having to hover over him. I can’t even leave him while I go to the toilet.”

    At three-weeks-old, Edward was transferred from the Leicester General Hospital to the Leicester Royal Infirmary for an operation to inspect his airways, which were found to be significantly narrowed and the major cause of his breathing problems. He is also on medication to keep his airways open. Then at the age of two, Edward was back in the operating theatre for heart surgery to close an open duct.

    Over the years, we have supported the Olweny family and now Gemma is taking on our Moonlight Walk, with a group of friends, to raise funds for us and is encouraging others to sign up to the event on Saturday 12 October.

    Gemma, who also has a daughter, one-year-old Anya, said: “We were first told about Rainbows when Edward was a baby in hospital. When we knew it was a children’s hospice, we panicked as we thought it meant Edward was going to die. But Rainbows isn’t like that at all. We first went for a stay in 2009, when Edward was five-months-old, and it was so nice and nothing like we were expecting.

    “Rainbows has been a godsend to us. Edward and Anya can both go there and do things together. When Edward is at Rainbows, I don’t have to worry. I know he is going to be looked after. And he loves going. He knows it is a place he likes. You can never get him past the Music Room without him wanting to go in and he loves the Hydrotherapy Pool and the Soft Play Room.

    “Rainbows isn’t just for Edward, Rainbows is for the whole family. Having a child like Edward is incredibly daunting and we get so much help from the Family Support Team and everyone at Rainbows.”

    Katie Baxter, events and community manager at Rainbows, added: “I would like to thank Gemma and her friends for taking on this event and I hope her story inspires others to sign up to the challenge and support children like Edward.”

    The six mile sponsored walk starts at Charnwood Indoor Bowls at 10pm. Ladies, who are being invited to wear their PJs, will walk around Loughborough town centre before finishing back at the bowls club. Entry is £12. For more information, contact 0800 9521133, email fundraising@rainbows.co.uk or visit www.rainbows.co.uk/moonlightwalk

  163. Golfing legend backs East Midlands Children’s Hospice

    Tony Jacklin

    Golfing legend Tony Jacklin CBE is the latest person to join our prestigious list of celebrity Patrons and Ambassadors.

    Originally from the East Midlands, born in Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire, Tony’s career began when he was 17-years-old and he is now recognised as one of the most iconic golfers of the 20th century.  He is a multiple winner on the European Tour as well as a three time winning Ryder Cup captain. Tony also won the 1969 Open Championship and the 1970 US Open, recording a landslide English victory.

    Tony said: “I am thrilled to be named as a patron for Rainbows; they are such a great organisation and do such fantastic work.  I am looking forward to helping with fundraising efforts and visiting the charity when I am in the UK.”

    In August, Tony will host the Farmfoods British Par 3 Championship, an annual golf tournament in Warwickshire, which has raised over £100,000 for Rainbows to date.

    Patricia Brookes, director of fundraising at Rainbows, added: “Our Patrons and Ambassadors at Rainbows are outstanding in helping us to spread the word of the hospice. We are very grateful to all of them for the wonderful work they do and for promoting the charity all over the UK. We are delighted to welcome Tony as our newest Patron.”

  164. Can you be nifty with a fifty?

    Groups and companies are being challenged to get nifty with a fifty to raise funds for Rainbows.

    Organisations across the county are being encouraged to sign up to the Accumulator Challenge. Teams that take part will be given £50 and encouraged to turn it in to as much cash as possible over three months.

    Katie Baxter, community and events manager at Rainbows, said: “We give you £50 and during three months we ask you to raise as much as you can for Rainbows by whatever means you like, as long as it is safe and legal.

    “Your challenge is up to you. There are so many different things that people can do from staging an Afternoon Tea to sitting in a bath of baked beans or holding a fancy dress event to organising a quiz night.

    “Taking part can help to strengthen team spirit, provide great PR opportunities, demonstrate social responsibility and help Rainbows to be there for children and families facing the most extraordinary challenges.

    “Our team of experienced fundraisers can also provide advice and tips to make your fundraising go further and promotional tools such as posters and collecting tins are also available.”

    We are looking for teams to register before the Accumulator Challenge launches on Monday 2 September. The Awards Ceremony will be on Wednesday 22 January 2014 at The Yew Lodge Hotel, Kegworth, where the awards for the most money raised, the most innovative idea and the Judge’s Choice will be handed out.

    For more information, contact 07876 500 632, visit www.rainbows.co.uk/accumulatorchallenge or email fundraising@rainbows.co.uk

  165. Join Leicestershire Hospice for a Pyjama Party

    MW1

    Leicestershire mums, daughters, sisters and females alike need to don their PJs, grab a teddy and stroll six miles around the streets of Loughborough for our Moonlight Walk.

    The six mile sponsored walk, on Saturday 12 October, starts at Charnwood Indoor Bowls at 10pm. Ladies will walk around Loughborough town centre before finishing back at the bowls club. In true pyjama party style, ladies taking on the moonlight adventure will be treated to a midnight feast after the walk at a celebration party.

    Katie Baxter, community and events manager at Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People, said: “We want as many Leicestershire ladies as possible to join us for this huge pyjama party. By taking part in this event, you will not only be having fun with the girls, you will also be keeping fit and raising funds for Rainbows.

    “Rainbows is the only hospice in the East Midlands that delivers support to children and young people with life-limited illnesses. Our team of medical professionals and specialists help relieve symptoms; improve quality of life; and care for children until the end, as well as supporting parents and siblings through their bereavement.

    “So, tell all of your girlie friends and relatives grab your teddies and come and join us for what promises to be a fun evening.”

    Although this is a ladies only event, men are needed to volunteer their services by helping out with marshalling and refreshments.

    Entry is £12. For more information, contact 0800 9521133, email fundraising@rainbows.co.uk or visit www.rainbows.co.uk/moonlightwalk

  166. Statement – Hoax donation to Rainbows

    On Tuesday we were informed by Virgin Money Giving that Rainbows were due to receive an anonymous donation of £150,000 to the fundraising page of the late Susan Taylor – who tragically died while attempting to swim across the Channel.

    This donation was removed from Susan’s online page until it had been confirmed in our bank. After liaising with Virgin Money Giving, we now believe this donation to be a hoax.

    Geoff Ellis, chief executive at Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People, said:

    “We are shocked that a person would carry out this appalling act at such a tragic and emotional time.

    “Susan devoted her life to Rainbows and since her sad passing, kind-hearted people – many of whom did not know Susan – have honoured her memory by pledging generous donations to her online fundraising page.

    “We have relayed the news to the family who are devastated that someone would exploit this heart-breaking situation.”

  167. Rainbows Thanks Donors Who Gave in Memory of Susan Taylor

    We would like to thank kind-hearted donors who have honoured the memory of Susan Taylor by contributing to Rainbows.

    Susan Taylor (34) died while she was taking part in her createaripple.co.uk challenge for Rainbows Hospice and Diabetes UK. She tragically died on Sunday in Boulogne after she collapsed on the final part of the challenge.

    Susan had been one of our Ambassadors for over two years. During that time she has tirelessly fundraised, helped out at events and raised awareness of the hospice.

    Susan even took time out of her career as an accountant to devote more efforts to her charity work and her training for her channel swim.

    When Susan embarked on her challenge on Sunday, contributions on her Virgin Money page stood at £2,700. On Wednesday, donations had rocketed to almost £57,000. Susan’s family are very touched by people’s thoughtfulness and kind sentiments.

    Geoff Ellis, chief executive at Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People, said:
    “Susan was extremely passionate about Rainbows and over the past two years she has done so many wonderful things to support us. Nothing was ever too much trouble and she was totally dedicated to fundraising for the hospice. On behalf of Rainbows, I would like to thank everyone who has honoured Susan’s memory by making a donation. The generosity of those who knew Susan, and those who didn’t, is incredible and we are very moved by everyone’s kindness.”

  168. Statement: Susan Taylor, a sad loss for us all.

    Today we heard some devastating news about our wonderful ambassador, Susan Taylor. Susan sadly died whilst trying to complete a channel swim yesterday. She was a wonderful woman who would do anything for anybody. She has been a much loved Ambassador at Rainbows for over two years, helping out at events and tirelessly fundraising for us. She was more than an Ambassador; she was part of the Rainbows family.
    Susan was totally dedicated to Rainbows, even taking time off from her career to devote more efforts to her fundraising. She was really looking forward to taking part in her www.createaripple.co.uk challenge and we are all so proud of what she achieved.
    All of the children, young people, families, staff and volunteers at Rainbows are devastated and our thoughts and prayers go out to her family. She will be sadly missed.

    Download Image of Susan Taylor at Rainbows
     
    ENDS

    For further information, please contact Karen Payne on karen.payne@rainbows.co.uk or 01509 638024.

  169. Give your threadbare sheets and faded curtains a new lease of life

    We are encouraging people to donate textiles and fabrics to our shops in Matlock, Melton and Blaby where we will give them a second life.

    As well donating unwanted clothes and household goods to our shops, we also want threadbare sheets, worn out towels and faded curtains.

    Rainbows can give the items a new life by sending them to a recycling merchant, where they are shipped to other countries or made in to new garments.

    Although each individual item may only be worth pennies, they are a valuable source of income for us. Last month, recyclable items donated to our shops in Matlock, Blaby and Melton raised £1,400 for the hospice.

    Karen Bilsby, head of retail at Rainbows, said: “We are encouraging people not to throw any fabrics but to bring them to us as they are a valuable source of income. There are always things that people don’t think about donating, such as old bedding and curtains, as they feel they aren’t in a good enough condition. But anything that we can’t sell in the shop, we can recycle and turn into much needed income for Rainbows.

    “We are committed to reusing and recycling as many of our donations as possible, and as well as supporting the hospice, you are helping us to be greener. Of course, as well as calling for your old textiles, we are always appealing for unwanted items of clothing and bric-a-brac, which we can sell in our shops. If people can bag their recycling separate to their unwanted goods and clothes, it will help us out immensely.”

    To donate unwanted items, simply take them to a Rainbows shop or visit www.rainbows.co.uk/shops for more information.

     

     

  170. Volunteers urge people to support Rainbows

    Cara and Chloe - Volunteers

    Following on from Volunteers’ Week, an annual campaign running from June 1 to June 7, we are hoping to recruit volunteers for our shops, in the community and at the hospice, especially in the telephone team.

    Chloe Bakewell (20) and Cara Allen (19) have been volunteering at Rainbows as part of a Job Centre scheme.

    Chloe, of Barrow Upon Soar, said: “Volunteering at Rainbows is very different to what I expected as when you think of Rainbows, you think it is a sad place but it is a happy place and everyone is so nice. It is great to be able to try a variety of jobs and gain valuable experience ready for me to use in life.

    “Volunteering is very fulfilling and I would definitely urge people to help out if they have any spare time. Even when I get a job, I still plan on volunteering at Rainbows.”

    Cara, of Castle Donington, added: “I am really enjoying being part of the telephone team at Rainbows and I am learning lots of good skills and gaining valuable experience, particularly in admin. It is also great experience for my CV and it feels very rewarding knowing that I am doing something that is helping such a worthwhile cause.”

    Volunteers play a vital part in our work as the only hospice in the East Midlands for life-limited children, young people and their families – and their dedication makes a huge contribution in the day to day running of the hospice.

    Paul Holden, Volunteer Coordinator at Rainbows, said: “We currently have 342 of volunteers who, like Chloe and Cara, are all essential to Rainbows.

    “Volunteering is simple and you only have to give the time you can afford – whether it’s a regular day a week or a few hours a year – and you can get involved in any way you want, from putting on your own fundraising event to working at the hospice or in one of our shops.

    “We’re always looking for new volunteers, so if you have spare time, need a new challenge or simply wish to support Rainbows in a different way, please do get in touch. You can be a real part of something that brings support, love and laughter to children whose lives are sadly too short.”

    For information on becoming a volunteer at Rainbows, please contact Paul Holden, Volunteer Coordinator, or 01509 638 059 or email paul.holden@rainbows.co.uk.

     

     

     

  171. Hundreds take on Leicestershire Walk

    Monday 20 May 2013

    wol

    More than 500 people and dogs laced up their walking boots on Sunday 19 May and helped to raise thousands of pounds for us.

    Walkers, many dressed as superheroes, enjoyed the sunshine as they took part in our Walk of Life.

    The event started at Leicestershire County Cricket Club, in Grace Road, and walkers took on a 15 mile trek or a five mile amble around the city and surrounding countryside.

    We hope the event, which was sponsored by Oak FM and Next, will raise around £30,000 for our Hospice which provides care and support to children with life-limited illnesses and their families.

    Events fundraiser Beccy May said: “As always, the Walk of Life was a fantastic event and I would like to thank everyone who took part, all those who supported the walkers and all of our volunteers. We rely solely on funds to run the Hospice and we wouldn’t be able to do it without your support.

    “Luckily the sun was shining and there was a wonderful atmosphere. We had lots of people in fancy dress and many dogs took part with their owners. We look forward to next year’s event and hope that you will join us.”

  172. Accountants in tune with charity concert

    For the third year in a row, Newby Castleman Chartered Accountants will be instrumental to the Rainbows annual Ratby 4 Rainbows concert, sponsoring the special event at Leicester Cathedral in June.

    Taking place at 7:30pm on Saturday 1st June, the fundraising event will be hosted by the Ratby Co-Operative Band in aid of Rainbows Children’s Hospice, with Newby Castleman’s very own Tax Manager, Steve Plant, playing percussion. The concert will also feature the Rainbows Hospice Staff Choir and the whole event will be introduced by Dave Andrews from BBC Radio Leicester.

    Those in attendance are promised a spectacular evening of live music in one of the finest settings in Leicestershire, with classical numbers, big band sets and a finale that will leave everyone on a high note.

    Conductor of the Ratby Co-Operative Band, Mike Fowles, comments, “We’re working harder than ever to top last year’s event, maximising the acoustics of a superb venue and presenting a musical showcase of local talent to provide a great night of entertainment. We have an array of musical treats and we can’t wait to do our bit to help such a worthy cause once again.”

    John Griffin, Partner at Newby Castleman, comments, “We are truly thrilled to once again be sponsoring this fundraising concert and continue our support for the hospice. The event promises to exceed all expectations with an evening of musical delights, as well as a few surprises and we are proud to sponsor an event that will aid the hospice in providing young people with a better quality of life.”

    Over several years, Newby Castleman have donated £25,000 to the Rainbows Appeal, as well as saving the charity over £175,000 by providing essential advice, along with donating their professional businesses services.

    Entry is £8 for adults and free for under-18s. Tickets are available through Rainbows by contacting Margo Parkes on 01509 638 009 or you can email John Griffin at Newby Castleman for more details on jbg@newbyc.co.uk.

    To learn more about Rainbows Children’s Hospice please telephone 01509 638 000 or visit www.rainbows.co.uk.

    Newby Castleman is one of the UK’s leading independent accountancy practices offering a range of specialist financial services, business and tax advice for individuals and businesses. Its head office can be found on Regent Road, Leicester and a branch office is located in Forest Road, Loughborough. To find out more about its full portfolio of services, please telephone the Leicester branch on 0116 254 9262, the Loughborough branch on 01509 263500, or visit the website at www.newbycastleman.co.uk.

    -ENDS-

    Press Information
    Please contact Hannah Elwell or Gina Edwards at
    Unsworth Sugden Advertising Ltd.
    Tel: 0116 247 1777
    Fax: 0116 254 1222
    Email: hannah@unsworthsugden.co.uk or gina@unsworthsugden.co.uk

  173. Dress like a Duchess in the East Midlands

    Press Release: 10th May 2013

    People in the East Midlands are being invited to dress like a Duchess and support an East Midlands children’s hospice.

    Emma, the Duchess of Rutland, has donated three exquisite outfits to Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People to sell in its three shops across the region.

    Using material from Joel & Son Fabrics in London and made especially for a 1920s family party at Belvoir Castle, two cocktail dresses were created for the Duchess’ daughters by Oakham-based designer Lesley Cullen. The third dress, a long two-piece evening gown, comes from a Los Angeles stylist and was worn by the Duchess.

    Each dress will be valued accordingly and displayed in the windows of the Rainbows’ shops in Matlock, Blaby and Melton from Thursday 16 May and on Saturday 20 May, the dresses go on sale on a first come first served basis. Money raised at the shops helps to fund the Loughborough-based Hospice which supports children with life-limited illnesses and their families.

    Karen Bilsby, head of retail at Rainbows, said: “We really appreciate the Duchess parting with such valuable and important outfits; it is very generous of her.  Our shops always need stock donations and we hope this gesture will encourage everyone in the East Midlands to have a look through their wardrobe for a special outfit they no longer wear that could be donated to one of our shops to raise valuable funds.”

    Over the years the Duchess, who is president of Rainbows, and her family have staged events at Belvoir Castle, visited children at the Hospice and carried out fundraising events.

    She said: “The dresses were from a collection stashed away in the tower and I am delighted to donate these creations to the Rainbows’ shops and hope that someone enjoys wearing them. Rainbows is such a worthwhile cause, which I am delighted to support. As a mother myself I can understand how fragile the health of a child can be and I hope others throughout the East Midlands will support Rainbows and think about donating clothes that they no longer wear.”

    Lesley Cullen, who has been designing for 30 years, added: “It is wonderful to design dresses for the Duchess and her family and I appreciate she can’t be seen in her outfits on too many occasions. Therefore I am delighted that the dresses I created for her family can go to a new home and be worn, and enjoyed, by others.”

    For more information on Rainbows shops visit www.rainbows.co.uk/shops or contact Karen Bilsby, head of retail at Rainbows, on 01509 638000.

     

    Ends

     

    Photo opportunity

    If you would like to take a photograph of the dress in the shop, please contact your local shop, details available here, to arrange a suitable time.

    For further information, please contact Karen Payne on karen.payne @rainbows.co.uk or 01509 638024.

      

    About Rainbows Hospice for Children & Young People

    Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People covers the whole of the East Midlands, although it is based in Loughborough, Leicestershire.

    It was founded by Gail and Harry Moore, whose daughter, Laura, had died of Leukaemia in 1989. Laura’s favourite thing in the world was a rainbow.

    Since its official opening in April 1995 by HRH Prince of Wales, hundreds of life-limited children, young people, their families, siblings, relatives and friends from across the East Midlands have used the hospice.

    It’s every parent’s worst nightmare to be told their child will die before them. But for an estimated 20,000 families across the UK, this is a reality. Some of these children will die when they’re very young, others will deteriorate slowly over a number of years.

    In most cases, full-time care falls to the parents – 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Not surprisingly the whole family is under huge emotional, physical and financial strain.

    Rainbows helps children and families in these situations with the emotional and physical challenges they face, helping them to make the most of life.

     

     

     

  174. Children’s hospice calls on walkers

    People are being urged to pull on their walking boots and raise vital funds for Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People. Rainbows is staging its annual sponsored Walk of Life on Sunday 19 May, as part of Children’s Hospice Week*, and is calling on the people of Leicestershire to sign up.

    Starting at Leicestershire County Cricket Club, on Grace Road, walkers can take on a 15 mile trek or a gentler five mile amble around the city and surrounding countryside. More than 700 people took part in the event last year raising £45,000 for the Loughborough-based hospice. Many of the walkers dressed as their favourite super hero or brought their dogs along which made a fantastic sight around the streets of Leicester. This year, organisers hope to attract 800 walkers and smash last year’s figure.

    Katie Baxter, community and events manager at Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People, said: “The Walk of Life is one of our most fun events. With the choice of two routes, there really is something for everybody and we hope that as many people as possible sign up to help us raise funds.

    “Lots of our participants don fancy dress and we can guarantee there will be a great atmosphere and wonderful camaraderie among our walkers. By taking part, you can really make a difference to the lives of seriously ill and life-limited children throughout the East Midlands.”

    Entry for the event, which is sponsored by Oak FM and Next, is £5 and all walkers will receive a goody bag and medal. Dogs can also register for £5 and bring their owner for free. All dogs taking part will receive a doggy bag.

    For further information on Rainbows’ Walk of Life or to register, visit www.rainbows.co.uk/walkoflife or contact Beccy May on 01509 638066 or email beccy.may@rainbows.co.uk.

    Ends

    For further information, please contact Scott Lea on scott.lea@rainbows.co.uk or 01509 638062 / 07980 901297.

    Notes to Editors

     About Children’s Hospice Week

    *Children’s Hospice Week is the UK’s only charity week for children’s hospices which runs from Friday 26 April to Friday 3 May.

    About Rainbows Hospice for Children & Young People

    Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People covers the whole of the East Midlands, although it is based in Loughborough, Leicestershire.

    It was founded by Gail and Harry Moore, whose daughter, Laura, had died of Leukaemia in 1989. Laura’s favourite thing in the world was a rainbow.

    Since its official opening in April 1995 by HRH Prince of Wales, hundreds of life-limited children, young people, their families, siblings, relatives and friends from across the East Midlands have used the hospice.

     It’s every parent’s worst nightmare to be told their child will die before them. But for an estimated 20,000 families across the UK, this is a reality. Some of these children will die when they’re very young, others will deteriorate slowly over a number of years.

    In most cases, full-time care falls to the parents – 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Not surprisingly the whole family is under huge emotional, physical and financial strain.

    Rainbows Children’s Hospice helps children and families in these situations with the emotional and physical challenges they face, helping them to make the most of life.

    Media

    Video:

    Print Flyer: Please Click Here

    Images: For Hi-Res Images please contact Scott Lea on scott.lea@rainbows.co.uk using images from this folder as reference

     

  175. Leicester’s Big 10k is back and organisers are confident it will be bigger and better.

    More than 600 runners took part in last year’s Big 10k Event. This year’s event, which is sponsored by Western Power Distribution, takes place on Sunday 12 May and it is hoped that more than 800 runners will take part.

    Race organiser, Threshold Events, is confident they will attract in excess of 800 runners and in turn help raise invaluable funds for its charity partner – Rainbows Hospice For Children and Young People – which helps children, young people and their families in Leicestershire who are living with life-limiting illnesses.

    Rob Minton, Race Director of Threshold Events, said: “Securing Western Power Distribution as title sponsor is a real coup for the event. I think the success of last year really helped and just proved the kind of reach this event has. Leicester was crying out for an event of this kind and we know this races will grow year-on-year and will be of great benefit to all those involved – sponsors and charity alike.”

    Stella Hayward, Corporate Communications Officer at Western Power Distribution, said: “We’re delighted to be supporting our city’s premier running event. We were very keen to be involved and support the race, so being the title sponsor is fantastic – we’re very much looking forward to the day.”

    The race starts at 9.30am at Abbey Park. Participants run along a very flat route, inside and outside of the park. All runners will receive a technical t-shirt and goody bag. There will be dedicated prizes for the first, second and third male and female finishers, plus a team prize and corporate team prize.

    Katie Baxter, Community and Events Manager at Rainbows said: “It is a great honour to have been chosen as the charity partner for Leicester’s Big 10K. We are really excited and we are hoping 2013’s race will be huge success.”

    Entries are now open. Register online at www.thresholdevents.co.uk. All entries must be received by Tuesday 7 May. No entries will be accepted on the day.

     

    Ends.  

    For further information please contact Sarah Bland sarah@thresholdevents.co.uk or Rob Minton rob@thresholdevents.co.uk / 01789 267337.

    Notes to Editors:

    Threshold Events has been organising a variety of running races for the past five years, including a summer and winter multi-terrain series which takes place in Illmington, just outside Stratford-upon-Avon.  2012 saw Stratford’s Big 10K back for its fourth year, and April 2013 sees the return of Worcester Full and Half Marathon for its second year.  New for 2013 is the H-ilmington 12 and the Cotswold Hilly 100 Cyclosportive.

    The company also organises running seminars and running weekends in Stratford-upon-Avon to enable runners to further their knowledge, meet new runners and enjoy one of the most beautiful towns in the Country.

    And in addition to event organisation Threshold Events also provides professional chip timing services.

    For more information about all Threshold Events can offer please visit the website – www.thresholdevents.co.uk and ‘like’ them on Facebook for all the latest news and updates www.facebook.com/ThreshEvents

    About Western Power Distribution

    • Western Power Distribution (WPD) is the distribution network operator for the Midlands, South West England and South Wales, and is responsible for delivering electricity to approximately 7.7 million customers in the UK.
    • WPD is not an electricity supply company and does not bill customers in the UK. Its responsibility is to distribute electricity from the point of generation to homes and businesses.

     

    For further information, please contact Scott Lea on scott.lea@rainbows.co.uk or 01509 638062 / 07980 901297.

    About Rainbows Hospice for Children & Young People

    Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People covers the whole of the East Midlands, although it is based in Loughborough, Leicestershire.

    It was founded by Gail and Harry Moore, whose daughter, Laura, had died of Leukaemia in 1989. Laura’s favourite thing in the world was a rainbow.

    Since its official opening in April 1995 by HRH Prince of Wales, hundreds of life-limited children, young people, their families, siblings, relatives and friends from across the East Midlands have used the hospice.

    It’s every parent’s worst nightmare to be told their child will die before them. But for an estimated 20,000 families across the UK, this is a reality. Some of these children will die when they’re very young, others will deteriorate slowly over a number of years.

    In most cases, full-time care falls to the parents – 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Not surprisingly the whole family is under huge emotional, physical and financial strain.

    Rainbows helps children and families in these situations with the emotional and physical challenges they face, helping them to make the most of life.

  176. Mum’s Lottery Gift Idea

    Jas-Dosanjh

    A Leicestershire woman who bought a charity lottery ticket that scooped £1,000 for her family is urging people to consider using the tickets as a thoughtful gift.

    Last Christmas, Natalia Valdivieso, of Mountsorrel, bought her sister-in-law, Clare Ennals, a £10 lottery gift voucher from Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People. The couple hit the jackpot last week winning £1,000.

    Continue Reading →

  177. Vote in Society AGM to help Rainbows Hospice

    H&R

    The children’s hospice Rainbows will benefit from every vote cast at or before Hinckley & Rugby Building Society’s AGM on March 20.

    Last year the Society donated £1,250 to the East Midlands children’s hospice. This year the Society will donate 40 pence for each online vote and 20 pence for postal votes, as well as those cast in person at the Annual General Meeting.

    Continue Reading →

  178. Rainbows Welcomes a New Honorary Ambassador After Their Appeal Star Flims for the Jeremy Kyle Christmas Show

    PRESS RELEASE

    Issue Date: IMMEDIATE

     For immediate release 18th December, 2012

    Nine-year-old Charlotte Blissett, the star of the Rainbows Twinkle Little Star Appeal, will appear on the Jeremy Kyle Christmas Show on Friday, 21st December. Whilst filming for the show, staff from Rainbows met the show’s celebrity psychotherapist and counsellor, Graham Stanier. He was so moved by the work of the East Midland’s only children’s hospice that he offered to become an honorary ambassador for the charity.

    Graham said: “Having been afforded the opportunity to visit Rainbows, I can honestly say it’s an amazing place, and the provision of love and care by carers, staff and parents is beyond dedication. It’s an honour and a privilege to be an ambassador for such a worthwhile charity and they have my unconditional support whenever they need it.”

    Rainbows is a member of Together For Short Lives, one of the beneficiaries for ITV’s Text Santa Appeal – which is all about raising money for six UK charities. Graham first visited Rainbows in November as they filmed on-site at the hospice in preparation for the Jeremy Kyle Christmas show. Unlike normal episodes, this show will have a sparkly Christmas format with gifts and stories from the Text Santa charities.

    During the special show, Charlotte Blissett wowed audiences with her amazing tale of triumph over adversity. Charlotte, who attends Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People, was never expected to speak. Through a lot of effort and dedication, she has learnt how to sing. Producers chose Charlotte to appear on the show after watching a video her singing for the Rainbows Twinkle Little Star appeal www.rainbows.co.uk/twinkle.

    Scott Lea, spokesman for Rainbows said: “Appearing on the Christmas show was wonderful for Charlotte and her family, it was a really exciting time. On top of that, it’s absolutely fantastic to have Graham’s support. He’s a really warm and friendly man and he’s very keen to use his circle of television contacts to support Rainbows. We’re all looking forward to working with him.”

    Graham visited Rainbows for a second time on the 18th December as he called in on his way to the studios. He met children, young people and staff as he had an informal tour of the hospice.

     

    PHOTOS AVAILABLE AT http://www.yousendit.com/download/WUJaZ296MGNEa1Y3czhUQw

     

    ENDS

     

    For further information, please contact Scott Lea on scott.lea@rainbows.co.uk or 01509 638062 / 07980 901297.

     

    Notes to editors:

    Graham Stanier is the staff counsellor at ITV and is a qualified and highly experienced practicing psychotherapist, known for his therapeutic skills, compassion, and good humoured warmth. He primarily helps ITV employees deal with both work and personal problems that might adversely impact on their work performance, health, and well-being.

    Born eight weeks prematurely, twins Charlotte and Lattisha were beautiful girls with a happy life ahead of them. At just six months Lattisha was thriving but life began to take a different path for Charlotte who began to have uncontrollable fits at the age of six months.  After a battery of tests, and days of nervous waiting, the family finally had an answer; Charlotte’s brain had been damaged by a freak blood clot during the early stages of pregnancy. At two years old she was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and was told she would never speak again. However, through therapy at Rainbows she has been able to find not only a speaking voice but a singing voice too.

     

    About Rainbows Hospice for Children & Young People:

    Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People covers the whole of the East Midlands, although it is based in Loughborough, Leicestershire.

    It was founded by Gail and Harry Moore, whose daughter, Laura, had died of Leukaemia in 1989. Laura’s favourite thing in the world was a rainbow.

    Since its official opening in April 1995 by HRH Prince of Wales, hundreds of life-limited children, young people, their families, siblings, relatives and friends from across the East Midlands have used the hospice.

    It’s every parent’s worst nightmare to be told their child will die before them. But for an estimated 20,000 families across the UK, this is a reality. Some of these children will die when they’re very young, others will deteriorate slowly over a number of years.

    In most cases, full-time care falls to the parents – 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Not surprisingly the whole family is under huge emotional, physical and financial strain.

    Rainbows Children’s Hospice helps children and families in these situations with the emotional and physical challenges they face, helping them to make the most of life.

     

  179. Loughborough artist helps Rainbows paint a bright future

    For immediate release 10th December, 2012

     

    Loughborough artist helps Rainbows paint a bright future

     

    A LOUGHBOROUGH artist who has raised more than £18,000 for Rainbows Hospice for children and young people by selling paintings over the last 17 years has pledged she will not stop painting and fundraising until she raises £20,000.

    Margaret Harvey, a long-time supporter of Rainbows almost since the charity’s inception, is now in her eighties. She has been an ambassador for eight years but recently gave up this status for health reasons, although she remains involved with the charity.

    Margaret paints with watercolour, acrylic and pastel. She also makes some hand-made cards using prints from her original paintings and personal photocards and cards using encaustic methods, also known as hot wax painting, which involves using heated beeswax to which colored pigments are added.  She sells her work at Daisy’s Cafe at Brookles Nusery on Loughborough Road, Rothley and through Rainbows.

    All proceeds from the cards and paintings go directly to Rainbows where the funds are used to help children with life-limiting illnesses.

    “Rainbows had only been open a year when I became involved. I worked as a primary school teacher and I wanted to continue to work with children once I retired. Here I am, still involved with the charity 17 years later! It is a wonderful charity and I am glad to be able to support them,” said Margaret.

     

    Ends

     

    For further information, please contact Scott Lea on scott.lea@rainbows.co.uk or on 01509 638062 / 07980 901297.

     

     

    About Rainbows Hospice for Children & Young People

    Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People covers the whole of the East Midlands, although it is based in Loughborough, Leicestershire.

    It was founded by Gail and Harry Moore, whose daughter, Laura, had died of Leukaemia in 1989. Laura’s favourite thing in the world was a rainbow.

    Since its official opening in April 1995 by HRH Prince of Wales, hundreds of life-limited children, young people, their families, siblings, relatives and friends from across the East Midlands have used the hospice.

    It’s every parent’s worst nightmare to be told their child will die before them. But for an estimated 20,000 families across the UK, this is a reality. Some of these children will die when they’re very young, others will deteriorate slowly over a number of years.

    In most cases, full-time care falls to the parents – 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Not surprisingly the whole family is under huge emotional, physical and financial strain.

    Rainbows Children’s Hospice helps children and families in these situations with the emotional and physical challenges they face, helping them to make the most of life.

     

  180. Rainbows Shop Opens in Matlock

     

     

    Press Release and Media Call

    What:              The official opening of the Rainbows charity shop

    Date:               Friday, September 21 2012

    Time:               10.00am for 10.30am opening

    Location:         Rainbows Hospice Shop, 19 Firs Parade, Matlock, DE4 3AS

     

    Interview Opportunities:

    • Willie Thorne, Rainbows Patron
    • Karen Bilsby, Head of Retail at Rainbows
    • Patricia Brookes, Director of Fundraising at Rainbows
    • Tamsin Grayson, Store Manager (from Derby)

     

    RAINBOWS TO OPEN ITS FIRST CHARITY SHOP IN DERBYSHIRE

     In mid September Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People will be coming to Matlock and throwing open the doors of its first charity shop in Derbyshire. Rainbows Patron and snooker legend, Willie Thorne, will be there from 10.00am to officially open the brand new store at 10:30am.

    Accompanying Willie will be William Furlong and his mum Alison, a young boy from Mickleover who uses Rainbows. They will be the first through the doors on Friday to have a browse through the clothes.

    The new shop is located at 19 Firs Parade, Matlock, and will help the Loughborough-based charity continue its incredible work in supporting life-limited children in the region through the sale of clothes, books, children’s toys, CDs, DVDs and Rainbows’ own merchandise. In addition, the new shop will serve as an information point on the services that Rainbows offers and help families that needs those services find out how to refer a child or young person.

    Speaking ahead of Friday’s opening, Tamsin Grayson – the new Rainbows shop manager – said: “With the surge in popularity in charity shopping, we are so looking forward to opening in Matlock and are thankful to all those that have rallied round and donated stock to the shop so far.

    “Every item purchased or donated will go towards making a difference to the families, children and young people that Rainbows supports each and every day and we hope to turn these rags into riches for an extremely worthy cause.”

    The Matlock shop is the third of three shops that will be opening this year. Rainbows opened its first shop in Melton Mowbray and a second in Blaby earlier this year, with plans to roll out the stores across the east midlands from 2013.

    For further information on Rainbows, please visit www.rainbows.co.uk or contact the hospice on 01509 638 000.

    For further information and photography or to attend the Media Launch, please contact Scott Lea on scott.lea@rainbows.co.uk or 01509 638062.

     

     About Rainbows Hospice for Children & Young People

    Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People covers the whole of the East Midlands, although it is based in Loughborough, Leicestershire.

    It was founded by Gail and Harry Moore, whose daughter, Laura, had died of Leukaemia in 1989. Laura’s favourite thing in the world was a rainbow.

    Since its official opening in April 1995 by HRH Prince of Wales, hundreds of life-limited children, young people, their families, siblings, relatives and friends from across the East Midlands have used the hospice.

    It’s every parent’s worst nightmare to be told their child will die before them. But for an estimated 20,000 families across the UK, this is a reality. Some of these children will die when they’re very young, others will deteriorate slowly over a number of years.

    In most cases, full-time care falls to the parents – 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Not surprisingly the whole family is under huge emotional, physical and financial strain.

    Rainbows helps children and families in these situations with the emotional and physical challenges they face, helping them to make the most of a short life.

     

  181. Rainbows Launches Charity Shops

    Media Call

    What: Rainbows Charity Shops

    Date: Tuesday, July 17 2012 (Grand Opening)

    Time: 10:30AM

    Location: Rainbows Charity Shop, 35 Sherrard Street, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, LE13 1XH

    Interview Opportunities:

    o Cheryl Hudson, store manager
    o 21-year-old Rainbows user, James Everitt
    o Rainbows’ chief executive, Geoff Ellis
    o Karen Bilsby, head of retail at Rainbows

    RAINBOWS LAUNCHES CHARITY SHOPS

    On Tuesday, July 17 Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People will be coming to the Melton Mowbray High Street and throwing open the doors of the very first charity shop in its new retail initiative. The Melton shop will be one of three shops that will be opening this year.

    Rainbows will be launching its retail offer to the delight of staff, volunteers and the local families, children and young people that use the hospice, including 21-year-old James Everett – who will be the first through the doors on Tuesday to donate some ‘pre-loved’ clothes.

    The new shop is located on Sherrard Street in Melton Mowbray, and will help the Loughborough-based charity continue its incredible work in supporting life-limited children in the region through the sale of clothes, books, children’s toys, CDs, DVDs and Rainbows’ own merchandise. In addition, the new shop will serve as an information point on the services that Rainbows offers.

    As well as James – who recently turned 21 – the mayor of Melton Mowbray will attend the opening occasion, along with Rainbows’ mascot ‘Bow Bear’ and street entertainers.

    Speaking ahead of Tuesday’s opening, Cheryl Hudson – the new Rainbows shop manager – said: “With the surge in popularity in charity shopping, we are so looking forward opening in Melton Mowbray and are thankful to all those that have rallied round and donated stock to the shop so far.

    “Every item purchased or donated will go towards making a difference to the families, children and young people that Rainbows supports each and every day and we hope to turn these rags into riches for an extremely worthy cause.”

    Rainbows’ second shop will open in Blaby during August, followed by a third in Matlock, Derbyshire, in September, with plans to roll out the stores across the east midlands from 2013.

    For further information on Rainbows, please visit www.rainbows.co.uk or contact the hospice on 01509 638 000.
    Ends
    For further information and photography or to attend the Media Launch, please contact Hayley Longdin or Caroline Spence at Grayling on 0121 265 2760 or email Caroline.Spence@grayling.com.

    About Rainbows Hospice for Children & Young People
    Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People covers the whole of the East Midlands, although it is based in Loughborough, Leicestershire.

    It was founded by Gail and Harry Moore, whose daughter, Laura, had died of Leukaemia in 1989. Laura’s favourite thing in the world was a rainbow.

    Since its official opening in April 1995 by HRH Prince of Wales, hundreds of life-limited children, young people, their families, siblings, relatives and friends from across the East Midlands have used the hospice.

    It’s every parent’s worst nightmare to be told their child will die before them. But for an estimated 20,000 families across the UK, this is a reality. Some of these children will die when they’re very young, others will deteriorate slowly over a number of years.

    In most cases, full-time care falls to the parents – 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Not surprisingly the whole family is under huge emotional, physical and financial strain.

    Rainbows helps children and families in these situations with the emotional and physical challenges they face, helping them to make the most of a short life.

  182. Rainbows Awarded Silver Medal for Their Garden at Chelsea

    22nd May, 2012

    Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People in Loughborough is celebrating after being awarded a silver medal for its garden at the Chelsea Flower Show.

    Judging commenced just before the garden was officially opened yesterday by the charity’s President, The Duchess of Rutland and new patron, TV celebrity Angela Rippon.

    News that the garden had won a much-coveted silver medal was received yesterday afternoon. The judges commented that they particularly liked the design and the excellent use of space. They said it was well on a par with the work of famous landscape architect Christopher Bradley-Hole.

    Garden designer, Chris Gutteridge of Second Nature in Leicester, commented: “We’re all absolutely over the moon that the Rainbows garden won a medal at the show. The reception from everyone who comes to see it has been extremely positive, even the Chairman of the Society of Garden Designers told me it was one of the best gardens in the show.”

    The garden, officially titled ‘Rainbows Children’s Hospice Garden’, will be on show at Chelsea all week before being recreated at the East Midlands’ hospice shortly afterwards. Producers from Blue Peter are planning to film the garden as it’s recreated at the hospice.

    Director of Care Alison Cooke said: “Obviously we’re all very excited. The attention that Rainbows is getting for the garden project is wonderful. This week is Children’s Hospice Week and our appearance at Chelsea coincides perfectly with the national awareness campaign.

    “Most importantly for me, the garden will offer a long term benefit for everyone at the hospice. It will be a quiet and tranquil place for contemplation and reflection on our daily challenges. It will also give some parents a quiet space to remember a child in happier times.”

    Bereaved parent, Lucy Smith was at Chelsea yesterday. She said: “The people at Rainbows were fantastic during my son, Harry’s, last days. Having the use of a peaceful garden, like the one at Chelsea, would have been perfect for us to just sit and reflect.”

    An interactive element of the garden, provided by De Montfort University’s Retail Lab, is also proving popular with show visitors. A hidden webcam is being used to identify people’s gender and approximate age as they approach the entrance. It then projects appropriate images designed by De Montfort student, Noora Attia, on to the acrylic screens surrounding the plot.

    Once relocated to Rainbows, the garden will be available for the public to see during the hospice’s annual open day on 15th September. More details about the garden available here  www.rainbows.co.uk/chelsea

  183. Rainbows Contemplation Garden at Chelsea Flower Show

    Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People in Loughborough is opening a contemplation garden during Children’s Hospice Week, 18-25 May at the world famous Chelsea Flower Show.

    The ‘Rainbows Children’s Hospice Garden’ will be a place of relaxation and reflection and will be recreated at the East Midlands’ hospice after the show. It will provide a tranquil place to help parents and staff deal with the extremely emotional day-to-day challenges of working and living with life-limited children.

    Alison Cooke, Director of Care at Rainbows Hospice says, “We’ve always wanted to create a garden at Chelsea Flower Show, it’s a fantastic opportunity for us to raise awareness of the important, often unseen, work that goes on at a children’s hospice to make it a happy, positive place.”

    The Rainbows Garden will highlight the important role of gardens within children’s hospices, offering adults a space in which they can reflect and contemplate. The UK’s network of 50 children’s hospices, whose main charity body is Together for Short Lives, sees gardens as important areas which enable children and families to have positive memorable experiences and gives them an open space to be during traumatic times.

    Barbara Gelb, Chief Executive at Together for Short Lives comments, “We are delighted to open the Rainbows Children’s Hospice Garden during Children’s Hospice Week. As the national charity for life limited children, we hope to highlight the importance of gardens within children’s hospices and raise awareness of the support and services children’s hospices provide. All children’s hospices rely on the generosity of the public to fund care for children and families in need.”

    With planting help given by BBC Radio Leicester’s gardening expert Ady Dayman, the garden has been created by designer, Chris Gutteridge of Second Nature Gardens. He is now working hard to ensure everything is ready for the show. He says: “The garden itself will be divided up by large sheets of frosted acrylic which allow light and shapes through – creating shadows and silhouettes. Raised walkways will form the entrance, with trees acting as a ceiling to provide a feeling of enclosure and calmness. A gently rippling water feature will sit next to planting and seating.”

    The garden will be situated in the ‘Fresh’ area of the show. Fresh is a brand new area that includes modern, inventive gardens and trade stands offering ingenious new products. To this end, an interactive element in the garden will be provided by students from Leicester’s De Montfort University. A webcam will take pictures of people as they approach the entrance, and, using software that identifies a person’s gender and approximate age, appropriate images will be projected onto the acrylic screens.

    Visitors to the world famous show will be able to experience the tranquillity of the Rainbows Children’s Hospice Garden from 22-26 May.

    All costs for the garden project have been covered by three generous sponsors from within the hospice’s community. Two anonymous donations and a contribution from PR firm, Arch Communications have enabled Rainbows to enter the Show and, more importantly, bring children’s hospice care to the attention of the nation’s press.

    There are all sorts of different gardens at the children’s hospices, wind gardens, sensory gardens, contemplation gardens; these locations are therapy for the families. The sensory environments have huge benefits for children with life threatening or life limiting conditions, helping to support interaction, discovery and communication enabling faster learning and development through increased awareness of their surroundings. Reflections gardens provide a quiet and tranquil location for adults to reflect on their daily challenges or to remember a child in happier times.

    Visit Press Page https://www.rainbows.co.uk/rainbows-contemplation-garden-at-chelsea-flower-show/

     

    –       ENDS –

    Note to editors:

    For more information about the Rainbows Hospice Garden at Chelsea Flower Show, Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People or Children’s Hospice Week contact:

    Bridget Ballantyne | Communications Officer | E bridget.ballantynel@togetherforshortlives.org.uk | T 0117 989 7863

  184. Rainbows encourages East Midland residents to make a will for charity

    RELEASED: APRIL 25 2012

    Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People has teamed up with  solicitors across Nottinghamshire, Burton, and Leicestershire to encourage people to write or update their will this May.

    The Law Society says one in three people in the UK die without having made a will, which is more than 10,000 people in the East Midlands each year.

    Patricia Brookes, Rainbows Director of Fundraising, said: “We don’t like to think about lives ending, especially not our own or those of loved ones. If we want to ensure those we care about are adequately provided for, a well considered will is vital.

    “People often think that having a will drawn up by a solicitor is expensive, but if you visit one taking part in Rainbows Make a Will Month, it will cost you less than £50 for a simple single will or amendments to an existing will. This offer is only available during May, so it is worth calling soon to make an appointment. We hope that once people have remembered friends and family they will consider leaving a legacy to Rainbows.”

    When visiting their chosen solicitor people will have the option of making an immediate donation and/or remembering Rainbows in their will by pledging a set amount or a percentage of their estate. Every donation, large or small, received by Rainbows will help support the children and young people who visit the hospice, as well as their families.

    For more info and a full list of solicitors taking part visit https://www.rainbows.co.uk/events/makeawill2012/

     

     

  185. MATT’S 300 MILE CHALLENGE FOR RAINBOWS

    MARCH 7 2012

    Matt Cartwright has set himself a challenge this year – 12 half marathons and the Coast2Coast cycle ride, and all the money he raises from this mammoth undertaking will be donated to Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People.

    This amount of running is taking a lot of training. Matt estimates he’s spending around eight hours every week out on the road or in the gym.

    When asked why he chose the Loughborough hospice Matt said: “I heard about Rainbows through my workplace, Caterpillar, and wanted to raise money for them as the work they do is so important. I also thought that the money I hope to raise would make a big difference to them.”

    Patricia Brookes, Head of Fundraising at Rainbows, said: “We are always delighted when supporters raise money for us, whether by running, cycling, boating or holding more sedate events, so we were especially thrilled when Matt told us about his challenge. We wish him all the best with his endeavours and look forward to an update after his first few events.”

    Matt is planning to run six half marathons this spring, complete the Coast2Coast cycle challenge in the early summer, then follow up with six more half marathons in the autumn.

    He has already taken part in two races, the Portsmouth Coastal Half Marathon in February and the Milton Keynes Half Marathon on 4 March. The first was no ordinary half marathon though, with portions of the course being off-road, on grass and even a shingle beach.

    Speaking after the Portsmouth run Matt said: “For a first race it was mentally and physically tough, considering the weather and terrain, but I’m pleased I completed the race without incident and look forward to my next race.”

    If you are inspired by Matt’s exploits you can take up a challenge of your own for Rainbows. Visit www.rainbows.co.uk/challenges to find out about the range of challenges on offer. From a stroll to a marathon, a skydive to a mountain climb there is something to suit adventurers of all levels of fitness and bravery.

    You can sponsor Matt by visiting www.justgiving.com/mattcartwright1

  186. BE A SUPERHERO FOR RAINBOWS

    It’s time to dust off your superhero suit, because Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People needs all the heroes it can find.

    The annual Rainbows Walk of Life is taking place on Sunday 27 May, as part of Children’s Hospice Week. You can walk a heroic 15 miles or a more sedate five around Leicester, starting at Leicestershire County Cricket Club. The theme is superheroes, so walkers are invited to come along dressed as their favourite. It is optional though, so if you’d rather keep your secret identity a mystery, you can still take part. Just don’t get changed in a phone box, as everyone will see you!

    One hero taking part again will be Chloe Flanders of Loughborough, who has been visiting Rainbows for six years. Although she had some physical and cognitive problems, Chloe’s life was relatively normal until she reached the age of nine when life changed for the worse for Chloe and her family. Doctors gave Chloe’s parents Alison and Ian the worst news they would ever hear; their little girl was diagnosed with Childhood Idiopathic Primary Dystonia, a movement disorder that leads to painful involuntary sustained muscle spasms, involuntary movements and other life threatening symptoms. They had to break the news gently to Chloe and tell her that she was never going to get better.

    Chloe had always been an active child who was full of life and smiled readily. Sadly, her muscle spasms quickly worsened and within nine months of her diagnosis, Chloe’s active life was brought to an end. Just before her tenth birthday, Chloe was forced to use a wheelchair.

    Her downward spiral continued, and by the age of 12, when youngsters are planning for all the fun of being a teenager, Chloe was confined to a hospital bed for a whole year, unable to even sit up. At 13, Chloe was to endure an eight-hour surgical procedure on her brain to receive the pioneering treatment called Deep Brain Stimulation. This fortunately brought the symptoms much more under control. She now has a battery pack inside her chest which constantly sends electrical impulses to the part of the brain which controls movements to block out the signals which cause the symptoms of dystonia. Chloe has to charge this battery pack every day.

    Gradually Chloe regained her strength and, through great determination, learnt to walk again with the assistance of a walking frame. However, the dystonia had caused a condition called Scoliosis, a severe curvature of the spine which affected her ability to balance and became increasingly uncomfortable. When she was 15, Chloe once again endured eight hours of high risk surgery to insert metal rods in her spine. Alison and Ian were warned that Chloe may never walk again. Three months later however, Chloe was again determinedly on her feet, and was soon walking once again with her frame.

    Through all of this, and even though she’s still in a wheelchair, the one thing Chloe hasn’t lost is her beautiful smile. Her happy face can light up a room. But Chloe hasn’t let her illness stop her doing her bit for a good cause. Since coming to Rainbows, Chloe and her family have been dedicated to helping the charity raise as much money as they can. Chloe has given her time to appear on leaflets, newsletters and in newspaper articles in a bid to raise awareness of Rainbows and ultimately increase income so more children in her position can be cared for. She’s even raised her own sponsorship money by regularly taking part in the charity’s annual sponsored walk. In 2011 she got out of her wheelchair to walk the last few steps over the finish line – and that’s heroic!

    If you’re inspired by Chloe’s bravery and want to help Rainbows provide much needed support to life-limited children and their families in the East Midlands then sign up now by visiting www.rainbows.co.uk/walkoflife or calling 0800 952 1133 and get that Spiderman suit off to the dry cleaners!

  187. Win a Experience Day for 2 people at Ragdale Hall Health Hydro and Thermal Spa

    Like Rainbows Hospice on Facebook  and you and a friend could Win a day at Ragdale Hall Health Hydro and Thermal Spa

    You and a friend could spend a relaxing day at Ragdale Hall on a Ragdale Experience Day to include:

    Light lunch in the Verandah Bar. Plus use of all of Ragdale’s facilities including Thermal Spa featuring candle pool, indoor/outdoor waterfall and a series of heat experiences, two further pools, including whirlpool bath and cascade, gym, exercise classes and outdoor facilities.

    Ragdale Hall Health Hydro
    and Thermal Spa
    Ragdale Village
    Nr Melton Mowbray
    Leicestershire
    LE14 3PB
    Tel: 01664 434831
    www.ragdalehall.co.uk

  188. RAINBOWS SCOOPS TWO NATIONAL FUNDRAISING AWARDS

    Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People has two reasons to celebrate as it won awards for Fundraising Team of the Year and Best Creative Use of Media at the Together for Short Lives conference.

    The conference brought together fundraisers and communicators from children’s hospices all over the UK, along with experts to help hospices raise funds and their profiles. Four awards were given out at a gala dinner and of these Rainbows won two.

    The Fundraising Team was nominated by Julie Macauley, Family Liaison Officer, on behalf of the Rainbows’ Care Team. She said: “Our fundraising team could have been nominated for all of the hard work they do to achieve their fundraising targets every year, but what makes them really special is all the extra work they do to help us create memories for the children, young people and their families. They make everything special and to us they’re not just fundraisers, they’re part of our team. That’s why we nominated them as the Fundraising Team of the Year!”

    Patricia Brookes, Director of Fundraising at Rainbows, said: “To say we are thrilled with these awards would be an understatement. At Rainbows we know what great employees and volunteers we have, but it is heartening to see that others recognise this too.

    “The award for creative use of media was particularly pleasing as I know the marketing team put a lot of work into using new media to reach more supporters without spending a lot of funds. They managed to reach millions of people in the East Midlands, increase our contacts by 12,000 and make a huge improvement to online income.”

  189. CHALLENGE YOURSELF FOR RAINBOWS

    Take to the road. Take to the water. Or take to the hills! Whether you want go to great lengths or something more modest, Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People has a challenge for you.

    You can help raise much-needed funds by taking part in a challenge in the UK or further afield. From a stroll to a marathon, a skydive to a mountain climb there is something to suit adventurers of all levels of fitness and bravery.

    Intrepid fundraisers can visit the events page on the Rainbows website to find a suitable challenge www.rainbows.co.uk/challenges. With almost 30 challenges listed there should be something for anyone who wants to get involved. Walkers can do the Walk of Life on 27 May, as part of Children’s Hospice Week; runners can take part in the Great North Run on 16 September; skydivers can leap out of a plane at a time to suit and for those looking for something more extreme, there’s the chance to climb Kilimanjaro next January. Those with a taste for travel might also be interested in challenges in Brazil, Spain, Sweden and even the Sahara Desert.

    Katie Baxter, community and events manager at Rainbows, said: “Rainbows challenge events raised more than £200,000 for the charity last year.

    “Challenges can be undertaken by individuals or groups, so why not get your work colleagues or sports team mates involved too? The Cooper Parry Business Team Challenge to run the Derby 10K on 2 April is a great way to raise money and prove your fitness within the business community.”

    For further information on Rainbows Challenge events, please contact the Rainbows fundraising team on 0800 952 1133 or
    fundraising@rainbows.co.uk.

  190. HOLLAND & BARRETT CHARITY GOLF EVENT RAISES £95,000 FOR RAINBOWS

    Holland & Barrett has handed over a cheque for £95,000 to Rainbows Children’s Hospice – the largest single amount the charity has received from a corporate event.

    The health food retailer hosted a charity golf and ball which was supported by staff, suppliers and brand ambassadors Gethin Jones and Martin Corry. In addition Leicester Tigers players Ben Kay and Tim Stimpson also attended to show their support.

    NBTY Europe (Holland & Barrett’s parent company) Chief Executive Peter Aldis paid a visit to the Leicestershire-based hospice, which serves children and their families living in the East Midlands, to have a look around, meet the children and see what a difference these valuable funds mean.

    He said: “It was wonderful to visit the hospice and see the work that goes on to provide these children and young people with valuable support and care. The facility offers much needed respite for families with children suffering from life limiting illnesses but they take this one step further and instead offer a homely environment which enables these young people to enjoy experiences they not otherwise get to participate in.

    “I’d like to thank all of our suppliers and staff who came together to make the charity day a huge success. It is the third year we have the event and it goes from strength to strength and to see how the hospice can utilise these funds is inspirational. On our tour around we were shown a special sensory room which works to stimulate the children or relax them, depending on what is needed, and to kit the room out it cost £95,000 so it is rewarding to know that we can contribute to schemes such as this.”

    Rainbows Chief Executive Geoff Ellis added: “This is the biggest contribution we have had from a single event organised by a business and we are very grateful as it will enable us to do so much. It costs over £4 million each year just to keep the hospice open and we rely heavily on the support from members of the public and businesses to help us. Holland & Barrett have worked with us for a number of years now and we very much appreciate their support.”

    All of Holland & Barrett’s suppliers were invited to attend the event which was held at the Marriott Forest of Arden Hotel. Attendees were able to participate in a golf competition, a clay pigeon shoot or a pampering spa day. The day’s events were followed by an evening ball and auction where prizes donated by suppliers raised much needed funds for Rainbows.

    Peter added: “I would like to thank the suppliers that took the time out to attend and support the charity by donating great prizes. It is a great opportunity for me also to meet everyone and I look forward to seeing them and many more new faces at next year’s event.”

    NBTY Europe CEO Peter Aldis is pictured with Rainbows clinical nurse specialist Lynne De Melo after taking a cheque for £95,000 to the Hospice as well as some natural jelly beans for the children and staff to enjoy.

     

    Media contact:
    Debbie Hughes, PR Manager, NBTY Europe
    024 7658 0778
    07538 084221
    debbiehughes@nbty.com

     

  191. CHRISTMAS CAROL CONCERT IN AID OF RAINBOWS HOSPICE

    Rainbows Hospice For Children and Young People is celebrating the festive season by inviting the people of Derbyshire to attend their annual Christmas concerts to be held on Tuesday 6th December, 7.30pm at St James the Greater, Leicester and Tuesday 13th December, 7.30pm at Emmanuel Church, Loughborough.

    The concerts will comprise of a wonderful selection of traditional and modern music. The St James’ Church concert will be performed by Lancaster Community Choir, Hall Orchard School, Barrow upon Soar and the Rainbow’s staff choir. Featuring soprano, Sarah Stephens. There will be readings by Her Grace the Duchess of Rutland and Ady Dayman, the East Midlands’ favourite gardener and radio show panelist.

    Loughborough’s Emmanuel Church service features the De Lisle School Choir, Hall Orchard School, The New Parks Hand Bell Ringers, Grace Dieu Manor School Chapel Choir and the Rainbows Staff Choir. Patricia Brookes, Director of Fundraising for Rainbows and Ady Dayman will be giving readings. The services will be compered by Dave Andrews from BBC Radio Leicester.

    Patricia Brookes, Director of Fundraising from Rainbows said ‘We are really looking forward to this event, Christmas is a wonderful time of year and we are expecting a record turnout of people to come and support the children at Rainbows. The school choirs are delightful and I can’t wait to hear them sing at the concerts’.

    Mince pies, refreshments and Christmas gifts will be available after the service.

    Tickets are priced at £5 and are available from performers or call fundraising on 0800 952 1133 or visit www.rainbows.co.uk/shop. Seats may be available on the night for people to pay on the door, but purchasing a ticket is recommended.

     

  192. RAINBOWS TO BENEFIT FROM X FACTOR CHARITY SINGLE!

     

    Rainbows Hospice For Children and Young People is due to benefit from the X Factor charity single, a cover of Rose Royce classic ‘Wishing on a Star’. Launched this Sunday, 27 November live on ITV, the single will be performed on X Factor by the last sixteen contestants as well as JLS and One Direction (who visited the hospice in October).

    All net proceeds will go to Together for Short Lives who represent all children’s hospices nationally, including Rainbows in Loughborough. The charity was handpicked by Simon Cowell, who is a patron and has supported the organisation for a number of years.

    Simon Cowell, Patron of Together for Short Lives comments on his involvement in the charity, “I have seen first-hand the invaluable care and support they offer to thousands of young people and their families, so I am thrilled that the X Factor charity single this year will benefit this charity.

    “Whenever I spend time with these children and families, I realise just how many challenges they face. And when I visit the places that help them, like a children’s hospice, it is clear to see that they are an incredible lifeline to the families that use them. But they are more than just a building and a lot of support is also given in the home. And it’s not just the kids, it’s the parents and well brothers and sisters that need help.

    “Every one of these services relies on the public’s generosity to maintain what they’re doing, otherwise they don’t exist – that’s the reality. The X Factor charity single is an opportunity to help them.”

    JLS noted: “Simon Cowell feels strongly about giving his support to Together for Short Lives, and when he asked us to get involved, we were obviously going to say yes!

    “It must be difficult trying to lead a normal life when you’re looking after a child who needs you 24/7, so the help the children and their families get is so important. That’s why it’s fantastic that the money raised by the single will help these children.”

    “Our fans are fantastic; they know how important charity work and giving something back is to us, we’re sure they’ll support us and buy the single.

    “Every single bought means more money for seriously ill kids. It means that children around the UK will be able to continue to have fun, play games and just do what kids like doing.”

    Scott Lea, spokesman for Rainbows commented: “The X Factor Single gives Rainbows an extraordinary and unique opportunity to tell the public about the issues that face the children and families we support. It’s amazing to have such an iconic patron as Simon Cowell spreading the word about children’s hospices.

    “Rainbows has been so incredibly lucky recently. The X Factor single, our surprise visit from One Direction and coverage on BBC1’s The One Show is not only helping us to get our fundraising message out there, but more importantly new families have approached us who are in need of our services. We’re so very grateful for all the support.”

    During their recent visit to Rainbows, One Direction said: “Projects like Rainbows are so important to the children and their families.”

    The single costs £3.99 and is available to pre order at HMV and Amazon now, and via download http://xfactor.togetherforshortlives.org.uk on 28 November on Syco Music and in all good high street stores (Sainsbury’s, Tesco, M&S, Asda and many more).

  193. ONE DIRECTION VISITS RAINBOWS!

    The UK’s hottest new boy band, One Direction, took time out of their busy schedule to visit Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People on Friday 28th November as part of the BBC’s One Show Children in Need programming.

    The band turned up at Rainbows to meet the children, young people and their families and treated them to an acappella rendition of their number one hit ‘That’s What Makes You Beautiful’. They then spent time meeting everyone who had turned up for this special surprise visit.

    One Direction’s visit to the local children’s hospice who are supported by BBC Children in Need was filmed as part of the charity’s appearance on BBC1’s The One Show aired on the 3rd November. Presenter Carrie Grant held interviews at Rainbows before the big surprise. These interviews help to explain the desperate need for a charity like Rainbows and give some insight into support BBC Children in Need gives the Hospice..

    One Direction said: “The work Children in Need do with projects like Rainbows Hospice is so important to these children and their families. We have grown up with Children in Need and this was the perfect chance for us to show our support. With two weeks to go we hope the public will dig deep and give generously”


    Spokesman for Rainbows, Scott Lea said: “Having a visit from such a famous band was absolutely fantastic. And keeping it a secret was probably the hardest thing we’ve done in a long time! All the boys were brilliant, they really got stuck in with meeting everyone, having their photos taken and signing autographs. Everyone who came to see them had a huge smile and took away a lasting and happy memory. It really did mean the world to us.”

    Photos of the event can be seen on the Rainbows Flickr page available here www.flickr.com/rainbowshospice

    Please specify a Flickr ID for this gallery

  194. AvailableCar’s Incredible Customer Donations, Help To Sponsor Rainbows Nurse

    Midlands well-known car supermarket group AvailableCar, have just announced that they are to sponsor a full-time nurse at their nominated charity, Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People based in Loughborough.

    AvailableCar and Rainbows feel that by sponsoring a nurse full-time, they will make a significant contribution to the day-to-day running of this much needed facility.

    Having supported Rainbows since 2010, AvailableCar have now raised more than £60,000 in total, and the figure continues to grow substantially every month meaning the can fund the nurse for a longer period of time.

    Rainbows, is a purpose-built children’s facility, which opened its doors in 1994 to meet the needs of the children and young people, who are affected by life-limiting and life-threatening conditions.

    Rainbows, although located in Leicestershire, is used by people across the whole of the East Midlands as it is the region’s only children’s hospice.

    From October, Maggie Smale who has a full-time Nurse role at Rainbows will be sponsored for the next twelve months by AvailableCar and their customers. Maggie is an essential part of the team at Rainbows and her job involves looking after children and young people who are in Rainbows for respite stays, symptom management or end of life care.

    As part of only three nurses who are working at any one time, Maggie is critical in looking after the children, working with Doctors and the Care Team and supporting family and friends, by offering knowledge and ensuring they have everything they need.

    Graham and Alison Bell, the Directors at AvailableCar visited the Hospice on the 22nd September to meet Maggie and some of the children and their families.

     

    Graham said: “The reason why our fundraising has been such a success is mainly because of our fantastic Team and our customers. When a car is bought from AvailableCar, we ask the customer for a small donation of up to £5 on top of their overall car cost and Available Car then match the donation by doubling it. On average over 70% of people kindly donate, of which we are extremely grateful as we are now able to make a huge difference by funding Maggie’s nursing role.”

    Previous to this, the AvailableCar Team have also raised thousands of pounds for Rainbows by running in marathons, taking part in organised sky-dives and sponsored cycles.

    Graham Bell continues: “We believe that Rainbows really is an incredibly important facility for children and their families in the Midlands region which needs all the help and support possible, which is why we also joined the Rainbows Business Club. We really hope the work we do, in-terms of fundraising and in-store branding helps to raise awareness of Rainbows with all our customers and visitors.”

    “We are delighted to meet Maggie in-person and the whole AvailableCar Team hope to get to know her better as we begin to work together.”

    AvailableCar are an established car supermarket group in the Midlands, having been open since 2002. They spend a great deal of time ensuring that they offer fantastic customer service and a big part of that, is ensuring they work with the local community.

    They have two supermarket sites which employ over 250 people locally, located in Castle Donington and Sutton-In-Ashfield.

     

  195. HELP LOCAL LIFE-LIMITED CHILDREN AND WIN UP TO £3,000!

    Rainbows Hospice for Children & Young People is urging people from across the East Midlands to pledge just £1 to help care for the children, young people and families it supports by playing its annual Super Draw lottery.

    The Summer Super Draw – now in its fifth year – plays a crucial part in raising the necessary funds needed to keep Rainbows running each year, and this year the prize fund has been increased to a total of £5,000, with a top prize of £3,000.

    The big draw will this year take place on the July 29 2011, and tickets can be purchased until July 25 for just £1 each. The lucky winners will receive a cheque after the draw, which could be £50, £100, £500 or the grand prize of £3,000.

    Last year’s top prize’s winner was Mrs Doust, who is from Mansfield. She said: “Rainbows is such as worth-while cause and I try to support the hospice in any way I can. What it does for the children and families it supports is incredible. When I found out I had won the grand prize of £3,000 in last year’s Super Draw I was thrilled! I’ll definitely be playing again this year.”

    Jas Dosanjh, Lottery & Cultural Fundraiser at Rainbows, said: “The Super Draw gives you a great chance of winning cash prizes whilst helping to contribute to the £3.8million we need each year to keep Rainbows up and running.

    “Whether you buy one ticket for £1 or 15, you’ll be making a difference to lives of the children, young people and families we support each and every day.”

    In addition to the annual Super Draw, Rainbows also runs a weekly lottery. Further information can be found at www.rainbows.co.uk/lottery.
    If you would like to support Rainbows Hospice and take part in the Super Draw, please contact Jas Dosanjh on 01509 638 058 or email jas@rainbows.co.uk. Alternatively, please visit www.rainbows.co.uk/superdraw to buy tickets online.

  196. RIGHT ROYAL OPENING FOR RAINBOWS NEW KITCHEN

    25 MAY 2011

    On Monday, May 23, Fiona Cairns – the highly acclaimed cake designer and baker for the recent Royal wedding – officially opened the brand new kitchen at Rainbows Hospice for Children & Young People in Loughborough.

    Fiona, who spent five weeks creating the eight-tier cake for Prince William’s wedding to Catherine Middleton last month opened the state-of-the-art kitchen by decorating cakes alongside children from Rainbows and hosting a special master class for mums and staff. And – especially for the opening – Fiona also baked a special Rainbows cake, which featured five layers of multi-coloured icing.

    The brand new kitchen is the final refurbishment to be made to the hospice following the opening of the Building for the Future £4million therapy suite earlier this year. The impressive state-of-the-art kitchen boasts brand new equipment, including ovens and fridges, a new buffet bar and even a separate, smaller kitchen for parents and families to enjoy. The kitchen has also been given a complete colour-scheme makeover with brand new bespoke wallpaper, which was donated by ohpopsi.com.

    Fiona said: “Rainbows’ new kitchen is fantastic and it was an absolute privilege to visit the hospice and officially open it. I only wish I had a kitchen like it at home!

    “It was a pleasure to meet the children, young people, families and staff at the hospice and to see the amazing work that Rainbows does.”

    Margaret Hill, Chef at Rainbows, said: “We’re really pleased with the brand new kitchen facilities, which will enable us to cater for the additional children and young people we’re able to care for since the opening of the new bedrooms and therapy wing earlier this year.

    “We are very grateful for all the donations Rainbows receives each year so that projects such as the new kitchen can be completed – each donation makes a difference to the life-limited children and young people that visit us. Having Fiona with us to officially open the kitchen was brilliant – I’ll certainly be using some of the tips I picked up in the master class in our new kitchen.”

    The new kitchen facilities – especially the new smaller kitchen area – provide additional space for the children, young people, staff and parents to be together.

    For more information on Rainbows and its Building for the Future project, please visit www.rainbows.co.uk or contact 01509 638 000.

  197. SUPERHEROES DON THEIR CAPES FOR RAINBOWS’ WALK OF LIFE

    Seven hundred walkers and superheroes from across the East Midlands descended on Leicester city centre on Sunday to raise money for Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People by taking part in the annual Walk of Life.

    This year’s walk, which was themed around ‘superheroes’, saw participants complete either a five or 15 mile route that took them alongside the river Soar and began for the first time at Leicestershire County Cricket Club. The event also provided the perfect finale to Children’s Hospice Week, which this year took place between May 14 and 21.

    Superheroes from Superman to Wonder Woman showed up to support the walk alongside cricketing heroes Claude Henderson, Matthew Boyce and Jigar Naik from Leicestershire County Cricket club.

    The sponsored event, which attracts walkers and fundraisers from across the East Midlands, is now in in its 14th year, and was this year supported by east midlands radio station Gem 106. A total of over £40,000 is expected to have been raised for the charity through sponsorships and various fundraising events during the day.

    Katie Baxter, Community and Events Manager at Rainbows said: “We have received a great response from all those who took part in this year’s Walk of Life, and a great day was had by all. The money raised through events such as Walk of Life makes a huge difference to the children, young people and families that Rainbows supports and I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who was involved.”

  198. Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire Residents Encouraged to Make a WILL for Charity

    1 May 2011

    Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People has teamed up with 20 solicitors across the East Midlands to encourage people to get their affairs in order this May, as part of Rainbows’ Make a Will Month.

    It is estimated that at least 13,000 people in the East Midlands die every year without having made a will, and thanks to the collaboration, this month people across Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire can create or update a will for just £35 plus VAT, which is more than half the average cost.

    Patricia Brookes Director of Fundraising at Rainbows comments: “We’ve been really pleased with the response from local solicitors and how many have chosen to get on board. Once provision has been made for families and friends we hope that those taking part in the scheme will consider using the power of their will to help support Rainbows – every gift will make a real difference to the children and young people who rely on the Hospice and secure Rainbows future for years to come.”

    Phillip Harvey, 59 from Shepshed Leicestershire has been highly involved with Rainbows since 2006, when he donated part of his mother’s will to the charity. Last year Phillip updated his will as part of 2010’s Rainbows’ Make a Will Month, he says: “Nobody likes to think about it, but we all know that we’re not going to last forever. Thanks to my mum having a will it took a lot of stress out of what was a really upsetting time, I know she would of wanted me to do something useful with the money so I was really pleased that I could donate part of it to Rainbows.”

    Local solicitors Barlows is one of the companies urging people to get involved in Rainbows’ Make a Will month. Barlows Solicitors – based on Berridge St, Leicester – has worked with Rainbows for two years, and is inviting people to make donations to the charity by reducing the costs of their wills for the month of May.

    Lisa Bacon, legal executive at Barlows, said: “Usually our wills cost between £80 and £100 each, however during Make a Will month we reduce the cost to just £35 plus VAT when people mention Rainbows or pledge to support the hospice, either with a one-off donation or through their will.

    “We’ve passed on many donations to Rainbows, both big and small, and it’s great that we’re able to offer the support to such an amazing place in this way.”

    Those making wills at Barlows can choose whether to make an immediate donation or to remember Rainbows in their will by either pledging a set amount or a percentage of their estate. From £100 to £100,000, every single donation received by Rainbows goes towards caring for the children that visit the hospice each and every day.

    For further information on Make a Will Month, please contact Rainbows fundraising team on 0800 952 1133 or fundraising@rainbows.co.uk.

    If you’d like to make a will with Barlows, please contact Lisa Bacon on 0116 251 8295, or to find another local participating solicitor visit www.rainbows.co.uk/get-involved/wills/.

  199. Wilkinson Store Scores Donation for Rainbows

    The Wilkinson store, on Front Road, Arnold, launched its re-branded image on Thursday 7th April, with a match made in heaven, as Steve Hodge, former England and Nottingham Forest football legend, officially unveiled the home and garden retailer’s new look to the public.

    To mark the official re-opening, pupils from Robert Mellors Primary & Nursery School, who had brought along colourful spring themed posters specifically created for the day, joined Wilkinsons’ retired chairman, Tony Wilkinson, head of buying, Frankie Adams, and store manager, Paul Jeffs, in a ribbon cutting ceremony.

    As part of Wilkinsons’ commitment to the local community, the store gave Steve Hodge a donation to the charity of his choice, The Rainbows Children’s Hospice, to help towards the cost of the ongoing running of the charity and fundraising events. As a thank you for the bright posters, which went down a storm with customers, the children from Robert Mellors Primary & Nursery School were also presented with a voucher to spend on arts & crafts products within the store.

    Steve Hodge said: “It has been an absolute pleasure joining Wilkinsons today as the store unveiled its rebranded image, and I know that the donation has been gratefully received by Rainbows Children’s Hospice.

    “It’s encouraging to see that Wilkinsons is actively helping local charities as customers like to see the businesses they use supporting the local community. It encourages greater trust and portrays a positive ethos.”

  200. A Ladies Luncheon with TV Celebrity Charles Hanson

    TV’s antiques expert Charles Hanson will be entertaining ladies at the Leicester Tigers stadium on 6th April in aid of Rainbows Children’s Hospice. Charles will be donating his time to give free antiques valuations and a talk about his experiences of working on TV shows like Bargain Hunt and Flog It.

    Rainbows Fundraiser, Dana Simons said: “We hold the celebrity luncheon every year and it’s always very popular. This year we’re really pleased to have Charles along, I’m sure he’ll have some interesting stories of what goes on behind the scenes at the TV studios. Hopefully somebody will bring along an antique that turns out to be a missing Monet or Van Gough, that would be really exciting.”

    Ladies attending the lunch time event will be treated to a lovely three course meal in a relaxing atmosphere where they can browse the stalls and chat with friends. Tickets are on sale through the Rainbows website www.rainbows.co.uk/events or by calling 0800 952 1133.

    Luncheon 2010 Invitation sm

  201. Take a Challenge for Charity in 2011

    Whether you’re a keen runner, walker or swimmer, have a love of extreme sports or are just looking to try something new, Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People is urging people in the East Midlands to take a challenge in 2011 and raise much-needed funds for the charity at the same time.

    From night time bike rides in London and dragon boat racing in Nottingham to rainforest treks in Brazil, horseback riding in Mongolia, and dog sledding in Sweden, there is a challenge for everyone and every level of fitness.

    Fundraisers are invited to sign up to Rainbows’ challenges – taking place all year long – or to take on their own challenge, which can include anything from sponsored walks, overseas skydives or even knitting or cake baking.

    Katie Baxter, community and events manager at Rainbows, said: “Last year, those taking part in Rainbows’ challenge events raised more than £700,000 for the charity, every penny of which went towards the £3.8 million is takes to run Rainbows each year.

    “The level of support that Rainbows receives from fundraisers is fundamental in the work that Rainbows does, and we’re very grateful for all those that donate money so we can continue to support the children and families that need us.”

    Nottinghamshire worker Ian Tilley has been raising money for Rainbows for the past eight years.  About to embark on training for his fourteenth consecutive London marathon, Ian has raised more than £147,000 for a number of charities since his first sponsored run.

    Ian, who is a Site Services Engineer at E.ON’s Ratcliffe-on-Soar Power Station, said: “I began running at the age of 43 and over the years I’ve supported a number of charitable causes.  Colleagues at Ratcliffe Power Station have been raising funds for Rainbows since the Hospice opened and when I started working at the site eight years ago, I couldn’t think of a better local charity to support.”

    Ian usually runs six days a week, whatever the weather, and usually does between three and six miles per day. This year, 57-year-old Ian is hoping to complete the marathon in less than five hours, though his personal best is 3 hours 51 minutes.

    Ian continued: “Rainbows really is an amazing place. When you do a marathon there is often a point when you hit a bit of a brick wall and feel like you can’t finish. When that happens I think of all the young people who are sadly terminally ill and who need specialist care and support, and this really does inspire me to carry on. What the staff at Rainbows do for these children and their families is phenomenal and I feel privileged to have been able to help them.”

    For further information on Rainbows’ Challenge events, please contact Rainbows fundraising team on 0800 952 1133 or fundraising@rainbows.co.uk. Alternatively, please visit www.rainbows.co.uk/challenges for a full list of events taking place in 2011.

  202. LIGHT UP A LIFE THIS CHRISTMAS WITH RAINBOWS

    LIGHT UP A LIFE THIS CHRISTMAS WITH RAINBOWS

    Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People is urging people in Leicestershire to Light up a Life this Christmas and remember loved ones with a light on its Christmas tree and a very special star.

    The Light up a Life campaign – now in its seventh year – invites Leicestershire residents to celebrate the memory of a loved one who has sadly passed away or acknowledge a special person by dedicating a light on Rainbows’ Christmas tree to that person. For each dedication those donating will receive a special silver star that can be personalised and hang on their own Christmas tree at home.

    Dedications will also feature in Rainbows’ Book of Lights, and in addition Light up a Life pin badges can be purchased at just £2.

    Emma Lovegrove, Community Fundraiser for Leicestershire, said: “Christmas is the time of the year when people’s thoughts turn to those they’ve lost or those that mean a lot to them. The Light up a Life campaign enables people to acknowledge those special to them whilst donating to Rainbows at the same time.”

    One Leicestershire family whose life has been lit up by Rainbows is Kelly Bullous’. Kelly’s daughter, Nevaeh, was born in September 2009, and spent her short life at Rainbows before she sadly died just six weeks later.

    Kelly, 23, from East Leake, said: “When Nevaeh was born with severe brain damage, we were told she wouldn’t live for more than a few days. Her life support machine was switched off when she was just a day old but against the odds she stayed with us.

    “The doctors gave us the option of taking Nevaeh home with us or going to Rainbows.

    “I am thankful to this day that we chose Rainbows and I believe that without the care and support we received there, we would not have got the six weeks and five days that we had with Nevaeh. The staff at Rainbows made our time with her as special as possible and for that I’ll always be grateful.”

    Kelly continued: “Without the generous donations from the public through campaigns such as ‘Light up a Life’, Rainbows could not offer the individual care and attention that each child deserves when they need it.”

    Rainbows has been there for Kelly every step of the way, and was even there for her recently when she got engaged to her partner Ben Kelly.

    She said: “Getting engaged to Ben at Rainbows’ recent Festival of Fireworks was a complete surprise and I really felt Nevaeh was there with me – I couldn’t imagine a more fitting place for Ben to propose.”

    For further information on Rainbows’ Light up a Life campaign, please contact Emma Lovegrove at Rainbows on 01509 638006 or emma.lovegrove@rainbows.co.uk.

  203. New Building for the Future Special Press Day – Tues 21 Sep

    An opportunity for members of press to get an advanced look at  the new £4m therapy wing and refurbishment at Rainbows

    The wonderful new £4m therapy wing and refurbishment at Rainbows is now complete, thanks to public generosity and funding. We have something to shout about and so we are inviting you to join us on our special Press Day on Tuesday September 21 at 11.00am.

    Our huge new building includes a hydrotherapy pool and state-of-the-art multi-sensory room amongst a long list of other rooms. Plus, all 14 bedrooms are either new or completely refurbished. We want everyone to see how it will work to enhance the shortened lives of our children and young people and make them as happy as possible. Sneak preview photos are on the attached pdf – embargoed until after 21st September please.

    This represents a unique chance for you to see and talk to the children and their families who will be using our impressive new building and facilities, as well as interview members of staff. This is the first time the families will have seen inside the building!

    There will be plenty of scope to form relationships and secure material for excellent features now and in the future.

    In order to maintain our newly extended and enhanced Hospice for children for the East Midlands, Rainbows will need to raise £3.8 million a year through public donations.

    We are the only children’s hospice serving the East Midlands region, taking in Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, and large parts of Northamptonshire and Lincolnshire, and we need to spread the word.

    There is very little government funding available for childrens’ hospices, and Rainbows relies heavily on the generosity of fundraising members of the public and sponsorship.

    On the Press Open Day, our Chief Executive will have a very important announcement to make, so we really hope you will be sending a representative from . A public open day will be held at Rainbows on the following Saturday, September 25, which we hope you will publicise for us too.

    Please let me know that you will be joining us on our press day, Tuesday September 21, between 11am and 4.30pm by phoning 01509 638062  or by e-mailing me, scott.lea@rainbows.co.uk

    If you would like a press pack with more information on the heartwarming work done by Rainbows, and more details about how our new wing will help our children get everything possible out of their shortened lives, please include your name, work address and all contact details.

  204. Midnight mums raise £14,500 for Rainbows

    Almost two hundred women including two beauty queens gathered at midnight on Saturday to create magic by raising money to help care for children and young people at Rainbows Hospice.

    The Miles for Midnight Walk began at Loughborough Town Hall, where the ladies limbered up with aerobics and a massage before setting off on the six mile round-trip by moonlight.

    A moving account from two mums of how Rainbows had helped their children and families started the evening, then the mood was raised with music from a local band as the walk started on the stroke of midnight.

    Walkers were joined in their night-time quest by Miss Loughborough and Miss Leicester Galaxy.

    Rainbows provides care for children and young people with life limiting illnesses and life threatening conditions as well as support for their whole families.

    Maggie Deere, Rainbows’ events organiser said: “The atmosphere was tremendous and we are absolutely delighted at the enthusiasm of the women and so impressed at the effort put in by all who took part.”

    “We also want to thank the band, Blue Horizon, who not only played free of charge but also gave us £300 to start the ball rolling.”

    Click Here for Photos: www.flickr.com/photos/rainbowshospice

    MumsMidnightWalk

    Ends.

    Caption: Midnight walkers await the witching hour on Saturday.

    Notes for editors: Rainbows first opened its doors in 1994 and in April 1995 HRH Prince of Wales officially opened the Hospice, which was founded by Gail and Harry Moore whose daughter, Laura, died of Leukemia in 1989.

    Since then hundreds of life-limited children, their families, siblings, relatives and friends from across the East Midlands have been cared for and supported by the hospice. They come to visit for specialist respite, palliative and end-of-life care.

    Each child receives one-to-one care around the clock from a highly skilled team of children’s nurses supported by doctors experienced in this specialised area.

    Each year it costs £2.8million to run the Rainbows with over 80 per cent of their funds coming from supporters and fundraisers.

    Last autumn Rainbows changed its name to Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People – a name they hope will better reflect the care they are able to give to the young with life-limiting illnesses.

    www.rainbows.co.uk

  205. 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.

    For more information visit www.rainbows.co.uk or log on to our Facebook Fan page http://www.facebook.com/rainbowsfanpage.

  206. World Cup Revival at Rainbows Fun Day

    World Cup Revival at Rainbows Fun Day
    Issue date: 2nd July 2010

    The drama of the World Cup will live on, when Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People holds its annual Family Fun Day on Sunday 1st August.

    Sponsored by 3M, there will be exciting events for all the family and the colourful afternoon will include a soccer village where young hopefuls can show off their skills and take part in a keepy-upy contest, with footballs as prizes.

    A hot air balloon, laser wars dome, inflatable sumo wrestling and a myriad other attractions will grace the fields at Loughborough Grammar School, from 12pm – 5pm.

    As well as stage entertainment there’s even a circus school and those who fancy themselves as a latter day Robin Hood can have a go at archery.

    Rainbows Community and Events Manager, Katie Baxter said: “We are aiming to make this a great day for all the family. For mums we have a Craft Village, for the children there are rides and inflatables, while dads will perhaps appreciate the CAMRA Real Ale tent.

    “There’s crazy golf, a barbecue and many other attractions, and we’ve tried to ensure there are lots of activities to interest everyone.”

    Tickets cost £3 per person, while children under 14 can go and have fun absolutely free.

    For more info and details please visit www.rainbows.co.uk/fun-day or contact Rainbows on 0800 852 1133 or email fundraising@rainbows.co.uk

  207. Rainbows in the Papers

    Getting media coverage is really important to Rainbows. It keeps us in the hearts and minds of people in the East Midlands, so hopefully they will think of us next time they want to support a charity. Feel free to browse our clippings…you never know, you may see yourself!!

    If you’re doing something for Rainbows, help us by telling your local paper about it.