Milton Keynes charity wins gold award for supporting bereaved parents
It was formed by couple who tragically lost their five-year-old son
MK's Harry's Rainbow charity has won a gold award for the help it gives to bereaved parents.
The charity was voted Community Business of the Year in the SME MK & Buckinghamshire Business awards.
Its founder Odette Mould also won a separate gold award for Lockdown Leader because of how she kept the vital help going during the Covid crisis.
Odette and her husband Lee formed Harry's Rainbow after losing their son Harry 13 years ago. They had found it difficult to find the bereavement help and support they needed for Harry's twin sister Jessica and pledged no other family should have to go through the same.
Over the past 10 years, they have supported more than 450 children and their families. They run regular support groups, activities and trips as well as giving individual tailored support..
Their services are designed to ensure that bereaved children are supported in the grieving process, from provision of books and resources and individually tailored memory boxes to activities that promote wellbeing by building confidence and self-esteem.
The awards come at a poignant time for Lee and Odette as this autumn marks the 10th anniversary of Harry’s Rainbow, which coincides with Jessica's 18th birthday.
Odette said: "The past 18 months have been a challenge for us all and attending the awards evening alongside the other finalists was a special way for us to celebrate and be proud of not just facing those challenges but using every opportunity to turn a negative into a positive.
"We truly believe that this is how we have survived and thrived though this period of uncertainty by adapting existing services, creating new ones and exploring other means of establishing income to ensure our beneficiaries remained supported. We also re visited and changed our Mission, Vision and values, and our strategy which led to a transfer of legal structure to prepare us for the future."
Facing an increase in registrations of 25% this year, the charity employed a Family Liaison Officer to directly support all beneficiaries and plan for its post-pandemic phase of transforming and extending its groups and services.