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The East Midlands’ only children’s hospice has launched a fundraising appeal as its running costs soar due to the cost of living crisis.

Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People in Loughborough supports children and young people with a serious or terminal illness which means that their lives will be shorter than most.

To give the best care and support to East Midlands families, Rainbows needs over £6 million a year to provide its services at the hospice, in hospitals, and at home. Getting around only 15 per cent of government funding, the charity relies almost entirely on donations.

But in the current climate, the charity is seeing huge hikes in running costs. Because Rainbows’ current special low fixed-rate deal is coming to an end, it expects energy bills alone to rise by over 100 per cent in the next few months at its Loughborough hospice and five shops.

Picture: Rainbows Children’s Hospice

The charity is also feeling the pinch of the sharp increase in fuel costs, which is an essential factor for staff visiting families at home using a Rainbows vehicle. And food costs in the hospice kitchen, which provides meals for children, young people, and their families, are also on the rise.

Raj Dasani, individual giving manager at Rainbows, said: “We know times are difficult for everyone in the current economic climate, and we are all affected, but we really do rely on donations and all of these increases are pushing our fundraising targets higher.

“We deliver so many vital services to ensure our families going through the worst possible time can make precious memories together and we must continue to provide that care and support.

“A donation of £10 will help put petrol in a car so a family support worker can visit a family. A donation of £20 would pay towards our increased gas and electric costs and help keep our hospice warm over the winter.

“At Rainbows, we are not just there for the children and young people, but also their parents, carers, siblings, and wider family. By supporting us, you are ensuring we provide continued specialist care for these families, like Orla’s, as well as helping them to create treasured memories.”

Orla Alfano has Hydrocephalus, which is a build-up of fluid on the brain and is unlikely to survive past childhood. Orla, who has a twin brother, Luca, suffers seizures, which are exhausting and a constant worry for mum, Laura.

Laura said: “They are terrifying and getting more frequent and I don’t know when they are going to happen. Most parents kiss their children goodnight until the morning, but I am constantly monitoring my little girl living in fear that she might not make it through the night.

“It is at times like this when Rainbows becomes our world. When we stay at Rainbows, it is almost like coming to a sanctuary. When it gets a bit too much, I know there are always people there who I can turn to.

“At Rainbows, we know our little family is not alone and they help us make the most of the precious time we have together. The support all three of us get there is invaluable.”

To support Rainbows, visit: