Rainbow Trust concludes 25th Anniversary year with star studded reception at Downing Street hosted by Samantha Cameron
Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity rounded off a celebratory 25th anniversary year with a Downing Street reception hosted by Samantha Cameron.
The reception was attended by Rainbow Trust supporters and families as well as some well known faces including Eddie Redmayne, Steve Coogan, Austin Healey, Al Murray, Annabel Croft and Sue Cook.
11 year old Ben Morris and his family attended the reception. Ben has Spinal Muscular Atrophy and his family is one of 1,200 currently being supported by Rainbow Trust. Ben and his sister Emily joined Samantha Cameron and Rainbow Trust Chief Executive Heather Wood in making speeches at the event. They talked about the difference Rainbow Trust makes to them and their mum and dad and how much they always look forward to seeing their Family Support Worker.
During the reception Samantha Cameron also spoke movingly about the work of Rainbow Trust and how they make so much difference to the lives of families with a sick child.
Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity provides tailor made emotional and practical support to the entire family of a child who has a life threatening or terminal illness. The Charity’s vision is that one day every family in this situation will have access to a Rainbow Trust Family Support Worker. They currently support 10% of those families and it is only a lack of funding that prevents them from supporting more.
Rainbow Trust has celebrated their 25th anniversary through a number of events including a special Silver Jubilee Ball, a glamorous fashion show and an evening with one of their long standing patrons, Alan Titchmarsh.
Heather Wood said “We are very grateful to Samantha Cameron for hosting this reception at Downing Street which was a wonderful end to our 25th celebrations. It provided us with the opportunity to celebrate all that Rainbow Trust has achieved over the last 25 years. We are uniquely placed to set the standard and agenda for children’s social palliative care because we work with families in desperate need and we are committed to make sure they receive the essential support vital to them. Everyone had a fantastic evening and was touched by the way Ben and Emily Morris spoke about the support their family have received”.
Pictured, left to right (back row): Heather Wood (Rainbow Trust Chief Executive), Eddie Redmayne, Samantha Cameron, The Hon Richard Stanley (Rainbow Trust President), Bernadette Cleary (Rainbow Trust Founder) and John Phizackerley. (Front row): Emily Morris and Ben Morris
From the May 2012 Link magazine
Ben bombs down the Olympic track to collect gold
Ben Morris from Middleleaze, whose movement is restricted to controlling his powered wheelchair with his left thumb, became the centre of attention at the London Olympic stadium on 1 April when he made a trip down the 100 metre track at 4mph in front of cheering crowds.
The youngster who attends Westlea Primary School was invited with his parents Doug Morris and Sandra Young and sister Emily by the Rainbow Trust to take part in the Gold Challenge day which brought together people involved in charities around the country, sports champions and entertainers Blake and Spelbound. There was an Olympic themed parade as well as a series of 100m sprints and relay races.
Right, Ben with mum Sandra and sister Emily
Ben has spinal muscular atrophy which means signals from his brain don’t reach other parts of his body. But with the help of his family and support at school he enjoys a wide range of activities.
Doug said the family were thankful to the Rainbow Trust for an amazing day. “The stadium is awesome and it is easy to imagine how the athletes of the Olympic and Paralympic Games will be performing on such a magnificent stage. The crowds will have a great view from all vantage points; having watched Ben from the front row we were envious of the people who will be in those seats in August when Usain Bolt thunders past.
“Ben had a great time as he was able to show that coming last has its advantages. He was the only wheelchair racer and had former England rugby player and Strictly dancer Austin Healey in his race; the others finished in 12 to 15 seconds leaving Ben on the track enjoying it all to himself. His image was shown on the big screen and the commentator got the whole stadium on their feet applauding Ben as he crossed the finishing line.
“There are many things Ben won’t be able to achieve because of his disability but he has the chance to do things other people can’t as a result. It was a proud moment for mum and dad.”
Ben described his moment of glory as ‘awesome.’