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Harold Wood volunteers reach £1million target for children’s charity

PUBLISHED: 07:08 08 March 2018 | UPDATED: 14:40 14 March 2018

Harold Hill Rainbow Trust volunteers celebrating completing their One Million Campaign one month ahead of schedule.

Harold Hill Rainbow Trust volunteers celebrating completing their One Million Campaign one month ahead of schedule.

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Volunteers at a children’s charity are celebrating after reaching their £1million fundraising target.

Harold Hill Rainbow Trust volunteers celebrating completing their One Million Campaign one month ahead of schedule. Pauline Obee, Pat Johnson, Valerie Wood, Barbara Cornish, Pat Bates and Nelly Wadley are the longest standing volunteers Harold Hill Rainbow Trust volunteers celebrating completing their One Million Campaign one month ahead of schedule. Pauline Obee, Pat Johnson, Valerie Wood, Barbara Cornish, Pat Bates and Nelly Wadley are the longest standing volunteers

The Harold Wood Volunteer Group launched a campaign in September to increase the amount of money raised for Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity from £950,000 to £1m.

And now members have reached it!

The Harold Wood group began in 1993 after Pauline Obee heard a radio interview with Rainbow Trust’s founder Bernadette Cleary.

Inspired by what she heard, she and friend John Penrose established the Harold Wood Friends Group to support the charity.

The Rainbow Trust enables families who have a child with a life-threatening illness to make the most of their time together.

It pairs each family with a support worker who helps them at home, in hospital and in the community, for as long as it is needed.

The group started fundraising when it was offered an empty shop for three months where it initially held jumble sales a couple of times a week.

On Wednesday, March 7, the deputy mayor of Havering, Councillor Dilip Patel, and volunteers from the shop popped the champagne to celebrate reaching their target.

Harold Hill Rainbow Trust volunteers celebrating completing their One Million Campaign one month ahead of schedule. Deputy Mayor Cllr Dilip Patel with founder Pauline Obee Harold Hill Rainbow Trust volunteers celebrating completing their One Million Campaign one month ahead of schedule. Deputy Mayor Cllr Dilip Patel with founder Pauline Obee

Rainbow Trust patron and Harold Wood shop founder and manager Pauline was thrilled and thanked everyone involved.

She said: “I am absolutely delighted.

“My only regret is that the shop’s co-founder, the late John Penrose, isn’t here to see it.

“John and I had always said we would make a million or make 25 years. We made it our goal so I felt relieved and elated to have achieved both.

“The loyalty of the people who have stuck by me since the beginning is incredible and the love and dedication they show towards the work we do is second to none.

“Every penny raised in the shop helps Rainbow Trust and we are proud of that.”

Donagh Goodman, director of fundraising and marketing at Rainbow Trust, said: “What an absolutely fantastic achievement.

“Raising such a phenomenal amount over the years is testament to their dedication and makes a vital difference to families caring for a seriously ill child.”

Hornchurch and Upminster MP Julia Lopez told the Recorder: “It is fantastic news that the Harold Wood Volunteer Group have reached this whopping million-pound milestone. Their efforts will have made a huge and lasting difference to families trying to navigate through their darkest days.

“By sustaining the Rainbow Trust shop for so many years after Pauline first heard Bernadette Cleary speak on the radio about the charity, she and her fundraising team have shown what amazing things can grow from simple sparks.”

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