Rainbows Hospice virtualises festive events to keep families safe this Christmas

By Jayden Whitworth

The Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People has this year adapted its usual festive events in order to abide by local COVID-19 restrictions in Leicestershire.

This year, the team at Rainbows have set up a few events to ensure not all Christmas spirit is lost this winter. 

One of the events that has been set up is a Virtual Santa’s Grotto whereby children can either receive a pre-recorded message from Santa for £5 or a zoom video call can be set up for £12, with 100 per cent of proceeds being donated to the hospice in Loughborough.

Another of the events that they are running this year is a virtual Christmas concert with a host of performances from local schools, choirs and musicians, which is taking place at 4pm on Sunday (DEC20).

There is no upfront cost for this concert however any donations to the Rainbows Hospice will be welcomed.

In normal circumstances a Santa fun run would also be set up in Derby, however this has been adjusted so families can take part remotely, with Santa suits available to buy online.

Karen Nicholson, senior PR officer at Rainbows, said: “COVID-19 has seen donations decrease.

“We are facing losses of up to £1 million.

“We’ve had to cancel our events and our shops have been forced to close down.

“Usually, a Santa run would take place at Elvaston Castle in Derby and an average of 500 people would take part.

“It would be safe to say hundreds of people have signed up to the virtual Santa fun run this year.

“In regard to whether virtual events have the same effect on children, I would say people seem to be getting into the festive spirit the best they can.”

Donations can be made by visiting rainbows.co.uk or alternatively you can call 01509 638 000.

Further information on all virtual events can also be found on the website.

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