Sky’s not the limit

As we welcome in 2018 and look forward to the new year ahead, Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity is calling on people to sign up for one of its sporting events or take on their own personal challenge, to raise money to support families caring for a child with a serious illness.

Each year, a wonderful pool of supporters, volunteers and fundraisers give up their time and put their best foot forward to raise vital funds. Rainbow Trust would not exist without this support.

Last year, Rainbow Trust’s energetic supporters raised £500,000 through its variety of sporting events, which took on many forms.

More than 60 people took to the skies and collectively jumped 630,000 feet from a plane; running supporters covered 6,900 miles and 48 brave firewalkers trod on hot coals to help seriously ill children and their families.

Rainbow Trust has nine care teams of family support workers across England helping families at home, in hospital and in the community however they can to make life a little easier.

There are a host of Rainbow Trust events organised across the UK throughout the year from South London to the top of Ben Nevis in Scotland and they even have international events.

Among the 2018 event highlights are the annual Brighton Marathon, which will see thousands of people take to the streets on April 15.

The coastal race always provides a lively and buzzing atmosphere in one of the country’s most vibrant cities as well as giving runners the added bonus of some glorious views.

The London 10,000 takes place every Spring Bank Holiday in which 13,000 runners start in Green Park and run 10k through the heart of the capital, passing Nelson’s Column, St Paul’s and Big Ben, before finishing near Buckingham Palace.

The London to Paris bike ride from July 25-29 is one of the most popular challenges in Europe which finishes at the Eiffel Tower.

But avid cyclists preferring to stay on home turf will relish the Prudential 100-mile Ride London event on July 29 which takes riders through Surrey and London on closed roads.

This is just a small selection of events but alternatively, why not take on your individual challenge for Rainbow Trust to meet that New Year’s resolution or beat a personal record or just to try something fun and different?

Five-year-old Gwen O’Keefe from West Dulwich did just that.

Inspired after reading testimonials from families supported by Rainbow Trust, the youngster raised £300 for the charity after walking a half marathon with her dad Jamie as part of a school project to “make the world a better place”.

The duo set off from Barnes Foot Bridge in west London and walked to the finish line at Tower Bridge where they were greeted by Gwen’s two-year-old sister Drew and Mum Rebecca.

Jamie said: “We found Rainbow Trust’s website and Gwen avidly listened to the stories of some of the children and families and decided this was the charity for her.

Gwen clearly enjoyed the challenge as well and said: “I just wanted to help ill children and give the charity some money.”

Another Rainbow Trust sporting hero is London cyclist Bernard Bunting who took on his fourth Ride London bike ride last year for Rainbow Trust, which he described as “exhilarating  and exhausting”.

Oonagh Goodman, director of marketing and fundraising at Rainbow Trust, said: “Each year, Rainbow Trust is able to support more and more families thanks to essential fundraising, for which we are extremely grateful.

“Last year, we supported more than 2,300 families and the more families we support, the closer we will get to our vision that every family in the UK who has a child with a life threatening illness receives the support they need.

“We are always very humbled by the efforts people go to in the name of Rainbow Trust across England and sometimes even in different parts of the world.

“Time is so precious, particularly for families caring for a seriously ill child and each moment our supporters give up to help us makes a vital difference to these families, for which we are extremely grateful.”

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