Yesterday afternoon we attended a fund-raising event for Rainbows Children’s Hospice, based in the East Midlands. It was organised by Karen, of ‘Bramble Garden’ blogging fame!
We were given a moving synopsis of Karen’s own recent history, and how she came to be involved with Rainbows. There was also a short talk by Pat and John Stanley, owners of Blackbrook Longhorns, where we met for the occasion. Karen has worked as the garden designer there, hence the link. It was interesting to hear about the history of the Longhorn cattle, an ancient breed going back to medieval times. On the verge of becoming extinct, the breed is now surviving well, thanks in part to this couple who have worked with a passion to promote not only their survival, but enable farmers around the world to have access to the genetics needed for breeding this animal.
The main purpose of course was to raise money for Rainbows, and we were given a clear and helpful presentation of the hospice’s work, by Gareth, one of the fund-raisers there. They provide, along with family and sibling support, respite care, short residential breaks, symptom control and end of life care for children from birth up to young people of the age of 30. We watched a short, but powerful and moving video telling the story of a couple who had lost two children to a rare, degenerative condition. I can’t imagine what it would be like to lose one child, yet alone two; absolutely heart-breaking! However, the parents spoke courageously about the help and support given by Rainbows hospice and the excellent facilities there. It seems a very happy place to be, despite the accompanying sadness, where staff help the children continue to enjoy life as much as possible, right up to the end. There is a lot of support given to families during this time, and continuing on through the bereavement process.
We also had a guest speaker, the author Barbara Segall, who gave a very entertaining presentation on selected gardens in East Anglia. This was based on her recent book, ‘Secret Gardens of East Anglia’, the sale of which contributed to Rainbows. It’s a beautiful book, with lovely photographs by Marcus Harpur (who sadly died last year), bringing these amazing gardens to life in a part of the country renowned for it’s light and big, open skies.
This was followed by an afternoon tea, with an impressive array of donated sandwiches and cakes. With a ‘goody bag’ to take home as well, what’s not to like! Overall, a stimulating, enjoyable, yet poignant event, for a very worthwhile cause.
For further information:
Rainbow’s Children’s Hospice: https://www.rainbows.co.uk/
Bramble Garden: https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/73240772