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Hospice celebrates honour for founder

Posted onPosted on 21st Jan

Harry Moore, who founded Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People, said he is delighted and honoured to be recognised in the Queen’s Honours List for his work.

In 1992 Harry, who has been awarded an MBE, and his former wife, Gail, stood on a field and had the dream that is now Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People. With a small team, and the support of the community, they created the hospice overlooking the Charnwood Forest.

Their daughter, Laura, died of leukaemia in 1989. Laura’s favourite thing in the world was a rainbow, which is how the hospice got its name.

Harry and Gail also founded the charity COPE to build a children’s cancer unit at the Leicester Royal Infirmary and The Laura Centre, which is a bereavement counselling service for those affected by the death of a child and for bereaved children. His MBE is for services to Young People and to Charity in Leicester.

“I found out just before Christmas and it was a real surprise. I wasn’t suspecting that I would have got anything like that,” said Harry. “I feel quite humbled by it. It is nice to be recognised in this way.

“My message about Rainbows has always been about the people rather than the facilities. It is about the quality of care and that is down to the people. Not just the care staff, but everyone who works at Rainbows and everyone who volunteers. Everyone does it in support of the children and it is the children that provide the inspiration for their dedication.”

Back in the early nineties, it took two years to raise the £1.6 million needed to build Rainbows. Now it costs over £6.5 million a year to run the hospice with its specialised niche care.

“Building Rainbows was the easy part,” added Harry. “Working out where we went from there and the day to day running of it was the challenge. But over the years, Rainbows has grown and evolved and it has always been at the cutting edge of palliative care. It has never stood still.

“I am really proud of Rainbows and delighted to receive my MBE for the recognition and value of Rainbows and the Laura Centre.”

Since opening its doors in 1994, Rainbows has cared for thousands of children and young people with life-limiting, life-threatening and terminal conditions – as well as supporting their families through the toughest of times.

Rainbows CEO Dee Sissons added: “By creating Rainbows, Harry has enabled thousands of families from across the East Midlands to have invaluable experiences and unforgettable memories with their children who have had short lives. Over the years, Harry has been a dedicated support and inspiration for everyone at Rainbows and we couldn’t think of anyone more worthy of such a deserving accolade.”

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