Harry's Rainbow Grief Awareness Week

Harry’s Rainbow Grief Awareness Week

It’s Harry Rainbow Grief Awareness Week on 18-25 November and we’d love for you to join us…

by Emma Gilead

We are now launching our yearly campaign. The campaign raises much-needed awareness of child bereavement. It runs alongside Children’s Grief Awareness Week.

It’s simple to take part. We will provide you with selfie props, face paint, and t-shirts. All you need to do is pick one day between the 18-25 November, yes Grief Awareness Week, then raise the awareness of child bereavement by wearing a rainbow.

After the success of last year, we want to see if we can create an even bigger and better event.  Last year, lots of companies and individuals took part, this year we would love to you to join in. Ask your employers if the business can take part. Maybe speak to your school’s headteacher to see if the teachers will join in. Alternatively, we’d love to see what you, your family, and your friends could do to help us raise awareness.

Harry’s Rainbow is a Milton Keynes-based children’s charity that gives support to children and young people. These young people have lost a parent or sibling due to bereavement.

In 2015, statistics showed that 100 parents died in Milton Keynes in one year. They left dependent children behind them. The national estimate indicates that 1 in 29 school children are bereaved of a parent or sibling. That is potentially equivalent to 1 child per school class.

For More Information

Visit Harry Rainbow Grief Awareness Week for more information

or email

About Harry

Harry was 5 1/2 when he died. Prior to his death he was a perfectly healthy little boy with a huge personality!

In October 2011, Harry’s legacy, “Harry’s Rainbow” was born. Harry’s Rainbow is committed to supporting bereaved children and their families in the Milton Keynes and surrounding areas. We know how difficult it can be to help and support your children through their pain, grief and loss at the same time as trying to deal with your own. Therefore we aim to support the children affected by the death of a very significant family member, such as a parent or sibling.

volunteer northamptonshire carers

Could You?

Could you be a volunteer?

You may ask

Why on earth would I do something for nothing when I lead such a busy life already.

by Kay Giles, Northamptonshire Carers

Yet, many people do. They volunteer for a variety of reasons and reap rewards that are far greater than the time they give.

Indeed, it’s these rewards that may explain the rise in the popularity of volunteering, especially in young adults.  It’s not just the individuals, community groups, and organisations that benefit from their assistance.

Volunteers are an extremely valuable resource for any organisation. They bring a wealth of knowledge and experience. Many charities are only part-funded so rely on the generosity of volunteers to work alongside paid staff. Volunteering doesn’t have to involve a long-term commitment. Even the smallest task can make a real difference to those in need.

So, why volunteer?
  • Of course, the main reason is to make a difference to the people less fortunate than you. It offers the chance to give something back to a community that may have supported you in the past.
Getting to Know Your Area
  • If you are new to the area, it’s a great way of getting to know your local community, meeting new people that you might not normally connect with and make friends.
Self Esteem and Being Valued
  • Volunteering makes you feel valued again and part of a real team, helping real people to improve their lives.
  • Being a volunteer can be challenging but also reward you with that real sense of purpose, great achievement, and renewed confidence.
  • It may be a chance to build back your mental health after a bereavement or low point in your life, getting you out of the house, countering the effects of stress, depression, and anxiety through increased social contact.
Quality of Life
  • It can help with understanding life from another’s perspective, enabling you to look at your own in a more positive manner.
  • It is an opportunity to spend quality time away from a busy lifestyle and see life from a different point of view.
  • It is an opportunity to use your existing expertise and build on these to develop new skills.
  • In addition, you could possibly enhance your CV. Young people, especially, grow in self-confidence, self-esteem, and self-belief whilst volunteering.
  • Practicing common skills used in the workplace shows you can take initiative and are willing to give up your own time for others.
Physical Activity
  • Carrying out volunteer work may increase physical activity and that may also reduce stress, giving you a real dose of the ‘happiness hormone.’

If you are considering volunteering think about what skills you can offer and which causes you’re passionate about as it means you’re more likely to stay committed to the work, but most of all enjoy it too!

Northamptonshire Carers

Carers Support Line: 01933 677907


stony lights

Stony Lights Need You!

We are the Stony Lights Volunteer Team and we need your help!  

by Ian Welbourne

Every year The Stony Lights Committee organise the exciting lights and events that take place during the day of the Stony Lantern Procession and Light-Switch On. 

We now need your help to make sure this fantastic event runs smoothly, efficiently and safely.

Could YOU be the Team Leader we Need?

We are looking for a Team Leader to help manage the volunteers. They are the ones who build and remove the Switch-On stage on the Market Square on the day of the event. This is a vital role and it is not arduous. The volunteers must be able to erect and disassemble the stage quickly at the beginning and end of the day.

Could you and would like to help us out?

If so, please contact me.

Other Roles

If you would like to contribute on a voluntary basis but don’t feel you can take on the team leader role, we’d also love to hear from you.

Get In Touch

Please contact Ian Welborn 

Click to find out more


Stony Stratford boasts one of the largest and most attractive displays of Christmas Lights anywhere in the country. People regularly travel long distances to enjoy our spectacular Christmas Lights and the other attractions that Stony Stratford has to offer.

The former Stony Stratford Chamber of Trade started this seasonal tradition in 1961. In 2012 we celebrated the 50th Anniversary of our wonderful Christmas Lights. Stony Stratford Business Association took over organisation, however now a separate committee Christmas Lights at Stony Stratford (CLASS) are responsible. This small and dedicated team of hardworking volunteers creates a fabulous Christmas event. In the build-up, David Odell and his team spend time in cherrypickers and up ladders erecting cables putting up lights. They also put up the Christmas trees, and a whole range of other stuff to create the Christmas winter magic.

Thank you to Stony Lights for permission to use the photograph.



Guide Dogs Volunteer Milton Keynes Visual impairment

How You Can Help Visually Impaired People

Two million people live with visual impairment and guide dogs help them to live the life they choose. Sight loss affects adults and children, it can happen suddenly or over time.

by Emma Johnson

The expert staff, volunteers, and life-changing dogs help the people affected by sight loss to live actively, independently, and well. Unfortunately, the sight loss charity, Guide Dogs has had to launch a campaign to appeal to volunteers across Milton Keynes. Volunteer help means local people with sight loss can get back out into the community, now lockdown restrictions have eased.

The charity’s volunteer ‘sighted guides’ commit to only a couple of hours a week or a fortnight. Their role is to help people who have vision impairment by guiding them around their local area. Guide Dogs charity aims to match partnerships based on common interests. This in turn helps those with sight loss to build their confidence and do the things they enjoy.

Karen Toozer, My Sighted Guide Volunteering Manager for Milton Keynes, said:

“The pandemic has led to many people with sight loss feeling isolated and losing their confidence.

This has been made worse by many social distancing measures only being marked by visual cues. We have an increasing number of people in Milton Keynes waiting for support from a volunteer sighted guide, who are keen to build their confidence again and get back out now that lockdown has eased.

Volunteers can give as much or as little time as they like – just a few hours a week can make all the difference to someone.”

If you think you could help someone living with visual impairment in your area, Karen urges you to get in touch. Volunteers must be 18 or over and you will require an Enhanced Disclosure check (DBS) as part of the role. Guide Dogs volunteers will provide full-sighted guide training.

Guide Dogs was founded in 1934, following their first partnership in 1931. The charity is almost entirely dependent on donations.

Find Out More

To find out more, contact Karen Toozer via,

call 0800 781 1444

Click to read more about volunteering for Guide Dogs

Find out more at