A Great Success


Members of the ‘Rainbows Family’  from all over Great Britain gathered in the Convent of Mercy in Oldham on March 21st to mark our twenty fifth year of service to children and young people grieving a significant and often devastating loss in their lives.

From its initial beginnings in 1992, Rainbows has become a greatly respected national charity, supporting children and young people in over 1,260 schools in addition to offering high quality training in bereavement and loss to schools throughout the country.

This particular celebration focussed on the support our charity has received for all of our 25 years from so many individual people, religious communities and charity funding bodies.

In thanking so many, many people for their support and generous donations over the years, Frank McDermott, our current Chair of Trustees, acknowledged the unique contribution made by members of The Institute of Our Lady of Mercy, better known as the Mercy Sisters.

Part of the day of celebration included a sung Mass of Thanksgiving celebrated by Bishop Ralph Heskett, Bishop of Hallam. Bishop Ralph is also Chairman of Rainbows South Yorkshire, where over 125 schools operate the Rainbows programmes, including most of the fifty five Catholic schools in the region.

Many words and cards of congratulation, thanks, support and donations from all over the country helped mark the occasion along with a statement from Cardinal Vincent Nichols, leader of the Catholic Church in England and Wales:

“It is It is a huge achievement to have completed twenty five years’ service to grieving children and young people. The support you offer matters so much and makes a real difference. As you gather today, I offer you my sincere congratulations, good wishes and prayers.


I thank all those who have contributed to the ministry of Rainbows over the years: trustees, managers, staff and volunteers all over the country. Without them, and without others who have worked behind the scenes, especially members of ‘The Institute of Our Lady of Mercy’, it is unlikely that this silver jubilee would have been reached.


May God bless you all. And may the ministry of Rainbows continue to thrive, bringing those who grieve to a deeper awareness of the merciful, gentle compassion of God.”


The collage of photos was taken by Paul Cronin, Vice Chair of Trustees and our photographer for the day. Great pictures and a great day! Special thanks to Sue McDermott, Amy Howard, the Mercy Community in Oldham and all those who helped on the day.