08:05AM, Thursday 27 February 2014
A desperate plea for donations has been launched by Maidenhead based bereavement charity Rosie's Rainbow Fund (RRF).
RRF, which celebrated its 10th birthday in November, has three months to boost its finances or face giving its eight contracted members of staff their notice.
Founder Carolyn Mayling, who set up RRF after her 11-year-old daughter Rosie died from a rare blood disease in 2003, says terminating the charity would be 'heart-breaking'.
The shortfall in finances follows a decline in donations from the public, deemed by the charity as a 'sign of the times', as well as missing out on larger grants.
This includes a grant of £150,000 from Children in Need RRF was holding out for last year.
The charity says a lack of resources have prevented it from putting in the work required to obtain further funding.
Its last grant was £5,000 from the Louis Baylis (Maidenhead Advertiser) Charitable Trust more than a year ago.
Tomorrow, on national Rare Disease Day, the charity is embarking on a campaign to help boost support.
It needs a minimum £90,000 to run for a year."This is Rosie's dream," said Carolyn, who lives in Lock Avenue, and set up RRF to honour Rosie's wish to improve the lives of children experiencing lengthy stays in hospital.
She added: "In hospital Rosie said, 'when I am better I am hoping to make these children's lives better'."
"When she didn't get better I decided I would do it for her."
RRF supports families in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire affected by illness, disability and bereavement
Services include music therapy sessions in hospitals and schools as well as massage and aromatherapy for children and parents.
Over the years it has helped hundreds of families.
Mother-of-two Carolyn, who runs Redroofs Theatre School in Bath Road, says saving the fund is a case of 'all or nothing.'
She is urgently appealing for help from businesses including sponsorship and raffle prizes and for schools to raise money through cake-sales and non-uniform days.
Backing the campaign are Redroofs alumni and RRF patrons ex-Eastender Lucy Benjamin and Joanna Froggatt, who plays Anna Bates in Downton Abbey.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to donate.
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