Massive rainbow display at farm raises thousands for children's hospice

Visitors who flocked to a huge, colourful display every morning, noon and night have donated more than £4,000 to a children’s hospice.

Saturday, 23rd May 2020, 12:30 pm

Gemma Crompton, head of provision at The Hamlet, wanted to do something to help Derian House children’s hospice in Chorley when its funding was hit by the coronavirus pandemic, as she had seen the support it gives to youngsters and their families.

Along with her family, she used haylage bays to create a massive rainbow in a field at their farm on Winstanley Road in Billinge.

They were soon inundated with visitors - families walking or cycling in the area during their daily exercise or people travelling to work in the lockdown.

Gemma Crompton and family, joined by students and their families from The Hamlet

Gemma said: “The response was manic. There was absolutely fantastic community support. Everybody has been coming down. They have been doing social distancing and respecting each other’s space.

“It has been 14-hour day busy. People have constantly been coming all day long, seven days a week.”

The family added scarecrows to the display - which was named Derian’s Rainbow - to tell a story and give people something different to see each time they passed.

The story was based on the pandemic and ended with the patient recovering, thanking all the key workers who had helped and hugging them.

And the response from people in the area has been brilliant.

Gemma said: “They have said it’s brightened their day. Some children have wanted to come daily and followed the story. It’s a fantastic thing to brighten up the community and a great cause.”

The display has now been taken down, with the haylage bays from the rainbow being removed when Gemma’s father John Alker needs them on the farm.

The money raised is still being counted and will go to Derian House, to provide vital support for children and their families.

Gemma said: “I want to thank the community for pulling together and raising money for such a great hospice.”

Donations can still be made at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/deriansrainbow.

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