Childcare students were treated to a thought-provoking and moving presentation and talk from representatives of The Rainbow Trust, which supports families of children with life threatening illnesses, on Wednesday 9th February.
The students had run several events to fundraise for the charity, including a cake sale and competition to name a teddy, as part of a project for their NVQ course.
Trust Fundraising Manager Karen Margerison and Family Support Worker Tori, whose identity is not publicised to protect the privacy of the families she works with, visited the college to collect the funds before explaining to the students about the challenges and joys of their work in this difficult field.
Tori, whose qualifications are the same as the NVQ course in Childcare the students are working towards, spoke to the group about the circumstances facing two families she is currently working with. Students heard about the dark times families face while waiting for diagnoses, supporting a child through painful or invasive treatments or even watching their loved one die.
Tori went on to describe her job to the group and how her day can involve helping transport a sick child to hospital, cooking and cleaning for an exhausted family and bonding with siblings, who may be feeling unable to talk to their parents about their day-to-day concerns.
For Karen Margerison, the support of fundraisers, however small, is vital to the work done by the Leatherhead-based charity.
‘The key thing about us is that we support the entire family, not just the sick child,’ says Karen. ‘Families can come to us themselves, they don’t have to be referred, and our support continues through bereavement and beyond,’ she explained.
For the childcare group, the visit left them determined to do more for the charity in future fundraising drives and get involved with events like the Rainbow Ramble and Cycle Challenge, to be held this summer.
‘It’s been really informative and thought-provoking for us and the students. When you hear what the charity does it’s impossible not to want to support them,’ said tutor Manohari Jayamanna.
The college is now looking for more ways to get involved with the work of the Trust and is starting with National No Smoking Day, on Tuesday 9th March.
All funds raised on the day will go to the Rainbow Trust, in the hope that the plight of the children supported by the charity will prompt students and staff to take action to safeguard their own health.
‘I’m sure that donating to such a good cause will spur the students on and maybe make them think about how lucky they are to have their health,’ said Uchey Eze-Uzomaka, head of tutorial and enrichment for Nescot.
‘We are also looking at other ways of supporting the Trust so watch this space!’ She said.
Click the link for further information about the work of the Rainbow Trust.
Find out more about Childcare courses available at Nescot.