Project information

Amanda's Lifeline for Parents

We work with sick and disabled children & their families in the John Radcliffe Children's Hospital, Oxford. We will use the money to help fund our amazing caring nurse, Amanda who supports the parents of seriously ill children & babies, both emotionally and physically in their time of greatest need

January 2016 - June 2016

Charity information: Rosie's Rainbow Fund

Rosie's Rainbow Fund logo
  • Need


    The parents of children being treated for serious or life-limiting illnesses spend long, anxious hours watching their children endure painful or difficult treatments. These parents live on a knife edge of hope, torn between not wanting to leave their child alone & worrying about family members at home. They seldom leave their child's bedside, & experience intense physical, mental, & emotional turmoil.


    Rosie's Rainbow's qualified midwife and aromatherapist Amanda is an essential part of life in the John Radcliffe Children's Hospital. She liaises with the nursing staff to determine which parents will benefit most from her massage therapy in the calm & comforting Rainbow Room. Amanda offers therapeutic aromatherapy massage & a period of time for parents to share their thoughts, fears, & concerns. This restorative period helps parents to find the strength & courage to return to the bedside.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To provide a safe, soothing environment for parents of very sick children to share their feelings.


    » Invite parents of seriously ill children into the private, safe, nurturing space of our dedicated Rainbow Room to see our massage therapist, Amanda.
    » Allow parents to talk about their sick child and the issues that face them as a family with Amanda, our experienced nurse/midwife/massage therapist.
    » Allow parents to explore the more serious aspects such as the potential death of their child and how that might affect siblings and the wider family.

    What success will look like

    Keep confidential records of all individuals helped & providing testimonials & feedback, particularly via questionnaires. Parents continually tell us how helpful our services are.

    Aim 2

    To help the very stressed parents of chronically ill children to relax & have a moment of respite.


    » Offer parents the opportunity to have a soothing therapeutic aromatherapy massage with Amanda, to relax and restore them physically & emotionally.
    » Provide parents with greater physical, mental, & emotional well-being through massage techniques & therapeutic properties of aromatherapy oils.

    What success will look like

    As above, confidential records of individuals receiving our services will be kept, along with testimonials from parents attesting to the efficacy of our services.

  • Impact


    We believe that by providing supports for parents, our project will help to bring about an atmosphere of less physical, emotional, & mental stress for parents of seriously ill children within the hospital environment, enabling them to feel calmer & more focussed when communicating with hospital staff & in caring for their child in the manner necessary. We believe that hospital staff & parents themselves will provide positive feedback as to the effectiveness of our work, as is currently the case.


    Risks in actual delivery of our services are minimised by checking and training all personnel working with the charity including the trustees, all of whom hold current DBS security checks. All staff delivering our programmes have to complete the statutory training hours per annum in order to comply with both hospital regulations and the charity's regulations according to our charter. The therapist completes monthly reports on the number of people they have treated and these are logged safely.


    All donors will receive an immediate response to an actual donation & will receive updates regarding the progress of our project, including feedback & proof of the efficacy and positive results of our work from both parents as well as hospital staff.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £20,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £14,500 Aromatherapy One to one sessions for parents
      £2,800 Travel Marlow to Oxford
      £1,000 Ongoing costs Oils, laundry, unform
      £1,700 Supervision Professional development

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Deirdre Hounsom £100 Guaranteed
  • Background


    The John Radcliffe Children's Hospital is the centre within the Thames Valley where all serious cases of childhood illness are treated. Many of the children referred are life limited. For children and parents the hospital becomes a second home and they spend a considerable amount of time there. This leads to feelings of isolation for the main carer as they struggle to keep a sense of normality at home for their partners and other children whilst always wanting to be with their sick child.


    The Thames Valley includes the towns of Maidenhead, Slough, Reading, Bracknell, Thame, Newbury, Oxford and Swindon and many small towns and villages. Any child who has a serious illness in these areas will be treated at the John Radcliffe Children's Hospital in Oxford. Although largely seen as a relatively affluent area, there are many instances of deprivation and low income families, including some immigrant families living in the larger conurbations, all of whom benefit from our efforts.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Rosie's Rainbow Fund is the only charity in the Thames Valley offering this pastoral and caring support to parents of seriously ill children. We receive many letters of heartfelt thanks from grateful parents who had no one else to turn to in their time of greatest need. Rosie's Rainbow has been offering this support for twelve years and the need for our services continues to grow. Carolyn Mayling, our founder, never had this support when Rosie was so ill but Rosie's spirit lives on in our work.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Deirdre Hounsom

    Deirdre is a trustee of Rosie's Rainbow Fund with experience of working in the corporate sector. She is in charge of marketing this campaign

    Carolyn Mayling

    Carolyn continues to be the inspiration behind what we do. She identified a need and it is her continuing commitment and enthusiasm that drive us.

    Amanda Tibbels

    Amanda is our amazing therapist. She's been working with us for over 8 years and it is her work that we are inspired to support during this campaign

Amanda & Parents discuss benefits of massage.

[It's] so kind to think about the welfare of the parents when all we can think about is the health of our children.