RAINBOWS Hospice for Children and Young People is urging people from across Derbyshire to think about volunteering and make a difference to the seriously ill children and their families that it supports each and every day.
From housekeeping, gardening and administration duties at the hospice itself to events organisation, promoting the hospice and fundraising in your home town, there are plenty of ways to get involved at Rainbows.
It comes on the back of National Volunteer Week which celebrates the contribution that millions of people from across the UK make to society by offering up their free time to various charities and organisations each year.
Paul Holden, Volunteer Coordinator at Rainbows in Loughborough, which helps youngsters from areas including Derbyshire, said: “Whether you’re 18 or 78, retired, working or looking to fill a gap in your CV, there are plenty of opportunities for volunteering at Rainbows.
“All the volunteers at the hospice make a huge contribution to the day-to-day running of Rainbows, whether that’s by fundraising at home or spending their time with us. In addition to helping to support Rainbows, volunteering is a great way of meeting new people and building new skills and confidence.
“We’re always looking for new volunteers, so if you have spare time, need a new challenge of simply wish to support Rainbows in a different way, please do get in touch.”
One local person that gives up her time regularly for Rainbows is Sue Geeves, who is from Derbyshire. Sue - who tends to the hospice’s gardens - spends one day a week working at Rainbows and has done so for more than six years.
The 64-year-old, who also works at her husband’s four-wheel drive centre, said: “I’ve always been a keen gardener and it was several years ago now that I heard about Rainbows and offered to volunteer my time. Since then it has become a very big part of my life.
“It really is a lovely place to be, and the work that it does for the children, young people and families that visit is just amazing. I feel privileged to work there.”
Sue’s 38-year-old disabled daughter, Sarah and her partner David often accompany her to Rainbows too, where they spend time with the gardeners. Sue said: “Not only has Rainbows become a big part of my life, it’s become a big part of my daughter and her partner’s lives too. We all love to spend time at Rainbows and have made some great friends – it’s like being part of a big family.”
Sue, who has also worked in the kitchens and has helped out at various fundraising events for Rainbows, added: “There have been many times over the years when I’ve been in the one of the gardens and found myself chatting with some of the parents whose children visit the hospice. Being a friendly face for them when they need it most is one of the most important things, and I am constantly reminded of the amazing work Rainbows does for these families.
“I absolutely love working at the hospice, and I know all the other volunteers that give up their time feel the same way.”
For information on becoming a volunteer at Rainbows, please contact Paul Holden, Volunteer Coordinator, or 01509 638 059 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.