Supporting sick and disabled children in hospital, school and in the community
Rosie’s Rainbow Fund runs music therapy sessions at the John Radcliffe Children’s Hospital Oxford, the Royal Berks Hospital in Reading and Stoke Mandeville Hospital.
We offer bereavement support for families after the loss of a child. In the
John Radcliffe Children’s Hospital, we have an aromatherapist working three days a week, treating the extremely stressed parents of long stay children.
In the community we provide music therapy for special needs children in schools and centres around Berks, Bucks and Oxon. We also support disabled children in schools and respite centres with essential equipment.
The trustees of Rosie’s Rainbow Fund have personal experiences of the stress families undergo when a child is seriously ill and in hospital for months on end, and have personally experienced the loss of a child. The charity emerged from an identified need to support children and families in distressing circumstances and to try to alleviate some of the strain.
Why we support this charity
When we first arrived at Oxford John Radcliffe Hospital we had come from 6 weeks almost entirely isolated in hospital in Birmingham, we were shell shocked, exhausted, terrified, and about to face the second round of toxic chemotherapy for George.
So far as parents we had entirely immersed ourselves into his treatment, survival, nutrition, meds, and also been fighting to keep the rest of our children well and safe, sleeping on camp beds whilst passing like ships in the night between each other. As we sat waiting to find a room for the next few weeks surrounded by boxes of toys, bedding, home comforts for George, writing our folders full of all our research and meal charts we had made, a smiling, beautiful, happy face appeared…..Amanda from Rosie’s Rainbow fund. Dressed in purple, smelling of wonderful aromatherapy oils and offering a loving hand and a shoulder to cry on. Someone not medically trained, not in charge of Georges treatment, She asked us if we wanted a massage and time out. For George we assumed, “no for you and Richard!” Well what a brilliant, seemingly small but totally enriching experience for us. To a small room we were taken one at a time whilst play carers played with George. We talked and relaxed and tested different oils to see which would relax and help us the most. We spent an hour each nearly every 2 weeks having a massage and talking in a safe quiet space with Amanda. These escapes became the only time for 6 months I ever didn’t think about George, the only time I didn’t feel overwhelmed, or consumed by hospital life. A little safe haven! Amanda even made smells for Charlie, Isabelle and Henry, Georges brothers and sister who were going through their own battles and worries too. She gave George a pot of oils to help his nausea and add to his bath. We made friends with the kindest soul at a time when we needed that so so much.
Rosie’s Rainbow also had a music therapist at the ward for George. We first met Andy when George had been on high doses of morphine for 2 days in agonising pain and hadn’t eaten or sat up at all. Andy came in and asked if he could just play a tune to George. Suddenly George sat up, grabbed a keyboard and began to play and sing along with Andy. I have never cried more tears of happiness and relief in my life. My little boy was taken from this hellish nightmare he was living and transported for half an hour each week into a safe, calm, happy, uninhibiting world. He came alive, confident relaxed and unafraid in those sessions. George was anxious and angry a lot of the time as he progressed through treatment and these music sessions were invaluable.
Find out more here: http://www.rosiesrainbowfund.co.uk/