Raising funds for Rainbows Children’s Hospice and Garden

Photo:A young supporter runs a fund-raising sponsored “hand print” wall at Rainbows open day.

Regular readers will know I’ve been mulling over ways to use my gardening skills to raise money for Rainbows, our local children’s hospice. And I’ve come up with a plan. I’m giving slide shows and talks to local garden groups. And I’ve asked some of my garden design customers to open their gardens for afternoon teas and guided tours – with all proceeds going to the hospice. Within a week of announcing my plans, I’ve got two talks booked, and one open garden. Times, dates and further details to follow! It’s a start!

Rainbows recently held their annual open day. Hundreds of people turned up to support the charity, and I joined them on a tour of the facilities. With Rainbows’ permission, I’m sharing photos here, to show you why I’ve decided to raise money for this amazing charity. The hydrotherapy pool, above, is used by children, their siblings and families. The key message I learned on my first visit is that Rainbows is a place to have fun. All members of the family are welcome. Aunts, uncles, grandparents, brothers and sisters come to the centre to spend time with poorly children. They all benefit from specialist care and support so they can spend precious time together- and make memories.

A key part of Rainbows’ work is symptom control and pain relief. This helps children enjoy and make the most of the time they have left. Rainbows provides a wide range of therapies and there are a number of dedicated rooms to help relieve pain and improve comfort. The multi-sensory room, has interactive light tubes, floor pads, and fibre optic features.

For children in wheelchairs, there’s a chance to take part in a cycle ride with this specially adapted bike.

Young people have their own rooms where they can chill out, use computers, watch tv, do some cooking or use a sewing machine with specially adapted equipment and aids.

No matter how small a movement a child is able to make, there’s a special piece of equipment or an instrument which will allow them to make music. Music therapy is accessible to all. Again the emphasis is on having fun, building memories for families, and enabling children to express themselves and relieve frustration.

The rainbows garden is a place for fun and games for children- and for peace and quiet and contemplation for parents, relatives and staff. I would be really pleased if some of the money I raise goes towards maintaining and developing the garden.

Rainbows provides respite, palliative and end of life care for babies, children, teenagers and young people who have life-shortening conditions. It’s every parent’s worst nightmare to be told their child will die before them. But for the families who come to rainbows, and an estimated 20,000 families across the uk each year, this is a reality.

I have pledged to do all I can to support the work of this amazing hospice.

Wherever I went within the hospice and surrounding gardens, I found a positive attitude -and plenty of smiles. The staff are fabulous and deserve all the help we can give them. Overwhelmingly there’s a message of love and hope.

I found this sunflower in the Hospice garden. I think it sums up the sunshine spread though their fantastic work.

I’ve never launched a fund-raising campaign before- and I’m not sure how good I will be at it. But I believe every little helps. Just by reading this blog you have helped. You can spread the message about Rainbows and help to raise their profile even further.

I still panic at the sight of an audience. I am terribly shy at heart, and quietly spoken. I shall need a loud microphone and plenty of Bach Flower remedies to calm my nerves. Wish me luck!

Read more about the hospice at www.rainbows.co.uk


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