Date published: 28 May 2016 by Anna Jackson
This year Rainbow Trust is celebrating 30 years of care. In this time our name and mission has never changed. We believe that every family caring for a child with a life threatening or terminal illness should have the support they need from a Rainbow Trust Family Support Worker and it’s with the help of our amazing volunteers that we can continue to support over 2,000 families.
“The only reason I’m able to walk out the door to work is because Rainbow Trust is walking in to support us.” A dad Rainbow Trust supports.
A child was asked why they look forward to Rainbow Trust visiting their sick brother twice a week they simply answered “Because it makes Mummy smile again.”
These are the words from a family Rainbow Trust has supported. With feedback like this I think it’s fair to say that what Bernadette Cleary set out to achieve works and works well, we just want to reach more families who need our special support.
Back in 2006, I joined Rainbow Trust and began helping out, offering a few hours of my time at various events. Little did I know that 10 years on I would be the person that now looks after our team of amazing volunteers, all 400 of you! In the time I have been here the hours donated by our volunteers has increased by an incredible 82%. You all play your part in helping us to achieve our goals and as our volunteer numbers grow so does the number of families that we can help.
The hard part about writing this blog is trying to recall all of the amazing things that volunteers have achieved during my time here; it’s a difficult task and one that in all honesty I have worried about – in case I miss something or someone out. We have a number of volunteers who have been with Rainbow Trust since the beginning, many for over 20 years and some that are just starting their journey with us. It would be impossible to mention everyone, but what I will say, is we could not do all the things we do without each and every one of you.
Over the years, I have been proud to witness our volunteer numbers grow and go on to support all areas of the charity. I think one of the highlights for me is when we started a pilot in 2010 to look at recruiting volunteers to work alongside Family Support Workers, directly supporting families. Six years later and I am delighted to say that our first 3 volunteers in care have recently celebrated 5 years with us – amazing!
One of our Family Support Volunteers in Swindon said,
“Rightly or wrongly I find volunteering for Rainbow Trust a huge reality check on life. I tend to moan about the everyday things but after meeting families that are going through such painful times I realise my life is not so bad after all. I would recommend Rainbow Trust to anyone thinking of volunteering. It’s a great community to be with. Go out and do it.”
I just want to say another huge thank you to you all for your continued support and will end with a quote from a family supported by Rainbow Trust.
“A volunteer is a very special person because they are giving up their own time to be with families because they want to. It is dedication in my eyes.”
Andrea Kelley (the one in the green coat!)
Volunteer Development Manager