The Ruby Rainbow Cheque
After 17 months of fundraising BBC Radio Leicester's Ruby Rainbow Appeal has come to an end. The appeal smashed through its target and raised £600,000 - listen to the cheque being handed over to the Rainbows Children's Hospice.
In December 2006 BBC Radio Leicester set itself and its listeners the ambitious challenge of raising £400,000 for the Rainbows Children's Hospice near Loughborough.
The Birth of Ruby Rainbow
It was named the Ruby Rainbow Appeal and was to mark the 40th anniversary of BBC Radio Leicester.
Patron Engelbert Humperdinck at Rainbows
Local celebrity Engelbert Humperdinck came on board as the appeal's patron, and other well-known names like snooker-player Willie Thorne and fitness guru Rosemary Conley gave it their backing too.
The money would help to pay for a new Young Adult's unit at the hospice, so young people who had spent time at Rainbows when they were children, could continue to stay at the hospice in their late teens and early 20s.
Over the 40th birthday year BBC Radio Leicester held numerous events to raise money for the appeal, from the Walk of Life around Leicester's parks, to the Somewhere over the Ruby Rainbow musical shows around the county.
Listen: A Ruby Year
Listen to the timelines of Ruby Rainbow events from January to December 2007...
Dave gives Willie his Ruby wristband
BBC Radio Leicester listeners, local businesses, friends and users of the Rainbows Children's Hospice, local celebrities, and even the Lord Mayor of Leicester, Councillor Gary Hunt, all leant their support to the appeal.
And on the evening of the Birthday Show at De Montfort Hall on 10 November 2007, the appeal's co-ordinator, Dave Andrews, announced that the target of £400,000 had been reached - more than a month early!
The fundraising didn't stop there though - the events continued through the Christmas period and only came to a close in April 2008 when Breakfast presenter Ben Jackson rode an old-fashioned motorbike from Leicester to John O'Groats, all proceeds going to the Ruby Rainbow Appeal.
Kate and Gary Hunt with the cheque
Listen: Handing over the cheque
On 12 May 2008 the managing editor of BBC Radio Leicester, Kate Squire, and Dave Andrews went to the Rainbows Children's Hospice to hand over the amazing amount of money raised by BBC Radio Leicester listeners.
The appeal's final total is £610,000 - over £200,000 more than the target!
Listen to the moment when Kate Squire gave the cheque to the Rainbows Children's Hospice...
Kate thanked everyone who had been involved with the appeal:
"Can I just say an enormous thank you on behalf of everybody at BBC Radio Leicester to everybody who's fundraised in so many different ways.
"To all the listeners who have done so many amazing, fantastic things, they've really taken this cause to their hearts and in a way I never thought would happen.
"So it's a wonderful, emotional occasion today, it's the culmination of so much hard work."
Listen: Thank you from Harry
One of the youngsters who will benefit from the new unit at Rainbows is Harry Watson from Packington in Leicestershire.
BBC Leicester's Helen Astle went to visit him and his mum...
Harry is 12-years-old and has been attending the Rainbows Children's Hospice for five years.
Harry and his mum at the Ruby Service
He says he always enjoys himself when he goes there and thinks the new Young Adults unit will be a huge benefit to the hospice:
"It's really fun going to Rainbows because you can meet people, go on trips, really do what you like.
"You've got no limits, you can do what you want and stay up late...
"It'll be really great in the new unit because of the hydrotherapy pool and the new jacuzzi, and they're also building a larger music therapy room and a larger games room."
"It means a lot to me"
Harry says the new unit will make a real difference to him in the future:
"Thank you because it means a lot to me and other young people that go to Rainbows. I mean now they'll be able to meet up with older friends at the same time."
Harry's mum, Sharon, says Rainbows has played a big part in Harry's life and has a simple message for everyone who supported the Ruby Rainbow Appeal:
"A massive massive thank you. I know a lot of people personally that have helped raise money, and of course all of the listeners of Radio Leicester."
last updated: 12/05/2008 at 14:54