05:12AM, Friday 02 August 2013
From providing musical therapy sessions to offering parental support, whatever service Rosie's Rainbow Fund provides, raising a smile is always guaranteed.
The charity celebrates its 10th anniversary this year after being set up in the memory of Rosie Mayling who died aged 11 from a rare blood disease.
Run by Rosie's family, the charity helps support hundreds of sick and disabled children across the South-east.
"It is such a life-saver to so many people," said Rosie's mum and founder of the charity, Carolyn.
The charity was initially set up to fulfil the wishes of Redroofs Theatre School pupil Rosie.
She had expressed her desire to support others in a similar situation while receiving treatment at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.
It helps families across schools and hospitals including Stoke Mandeville in Aylesbury, John Radcliffe, and the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading.
"It is amazing," said Carolyn of the charity's impact.
"It just proves that we were so right when we were in hospital with Rosie and identified this need."
"I know now just how right it was."
Key to the work the charity carries out is providing musical therapy sessions which provide children who are receiving treatment with a welcome distraction.
"They absolutely love it," explains Carolyn.
"It is good for motivation and good for calming them down because sometimes they have to go through very serious operations.
"Just watching the music therapist with the children, it is just amazing really."
Since the charity was started, Carolyn estimates it has managed to raise £600,000 to help support families in need.
Fundraising events have included an anniversary theatre show held at Wycombe Swan theatre earlier this year, to bungee jumps and having their own choir.
This year, the team behind the charity are touring the South-east with a refurbished VW campervan.
Having already attended events including Let's Rock The Moor music festival in Cookham in May, people are given the chance to buy raffle tickets to be in with a chance of winning the vintage van.
In addition to providing funding for research and specialist equipment, Carloyn is now hoping they will soon be able to buy a respite home to provide families a short break.
"We will find a way of doing it," says Carolyn, who runs Redroofs Theatre School on the Bath Road in Maidenhead, where the charity is based.
"We are getting there. We did a holiday in Bournemouth for eight families last year. Every parent there said it was phenomenal what we were doing."
Looking back over the past 10 years, Carolyn says she thinks Rosie would have been proud to see the charity in action.
"As a family it has been a roller coaster, it has been hellishly difficult to keep things going,” Carolyn added.
"But we have done it with the help of the charity. It has been a lifeline to our family."
For a chance to win the VW campervan, visit the Hideaway Festival at Fawley Hill, Henley on Thames on Saturday where the team will have it on show.
Watch a video interview with Carolyn below:
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