Uenuku Ki Te Rangi

The Comforter of All People

News and Events

Keep up-to-date with what’s going on at Rainbow Place and what we’re doing in the community, including upcoming training and events.




 Adorable New Rainbow Place Teddy Bears

Waikato Diocesan Year 10 girls (from left) Grace Reid, Nicole Xue, Taylah Warren and Selina Smith check out some of the details in the new Rainbow Place teen hang out room they designed and funded.


These gorgeous, soft bears are 13cm tall and come with a removable Rainbow Place t-shirt. Sure to be a favourite — collect one in each colour. A great gift idea at $10 each.

Click here to order your Rainbow Bear.

Waikato Diocesan gift new mascot to Rainbow Place




CHRISTEL YARDLEY/FAIRFAX NZ                        

Waikato Diocesan prefects have raised $6500 for a mascot named "Rainbow Bear" for Hospice Waikato's Rainbow Place.


A colourful fluffy brown mascot will soon be putting smiles on the faces of children and their parents dealing with serious illness thanks to the efforts of prefects from Waikato Diocesan School for Girls.

The students fundraised enough money to buy the mascot they've named Rainbow Bear for Waikato Hospice's Rainbow Place.

Rainbow Place is a centre to support children, young people and their families that are experiencing change, loss and grief due to a serious illness.

Waikato Diocesan Head Girl Anahera Nin said the idea for the mascot came about when the students hosted a mid-winter Christmas party for the Rainbow Place families.

"We brought along our school bear, Cherry, and all the kids really loved the bear," she said.

The girls fundraised throughout the year and spent around $6500 to buy the mascot.

Rainbow Place nursing team leader Zoe Fairbrother said the bear would be a great tool to have some fun with the children.

"It'll be fantastic for us to use to communicate with the children and young people," she said.

She said the team was immensely grateful.

"The children will just look at the bear and it will bring so much joy and happiness, which will make things so much easier," Fairbrother said.

Waikato Diocesan Communications and Marketing Manager Debbie Stevens said she was proud of the effort the girls had made to help Hospice Waikato.

"They're 17 and 18 year olds and are incredibly busy, so they've done an amazing job," she said.

The children and families at Rainbow Place will officially be introduced to the Rainbow Bear at the Christmas party at the end of November.

Fairbrother said they've already nominated the first staff member to don the mascot suit.

- © Fairfax NZ News





Young girl to greet the Duchess of Cambridge   

Cystic fibrosis sufferer to present flowers  

NICOLA STEWART - © Fairfax NZ News




FLOWER GIRL: Kaiya Miller, 6, of Matamata, has been selected to present flowers to the Duchess of Cambridge when she visits Hospice Waikato



Matamata 6-year-old Kaiya Miller will wear bright pink shoes and a cheeky smile when she meets the Duchess of Cambridge. 

Kaiya suffers from cystic fibrosis (CF) and has been chosen to present the duchess with a bunch of flowers during her visit to children's hospice Rainbow Place next Saturday. 

The visit coincides with the annual Gallagher Children's Party and, following a tour of the facility, the duchess will spend time with the children and their families. 

"Kaiya has been busy practising her smile," said mum Glenny Bowes. "It's all a bit exciting." 

It is a welcome distraction for the Matamata Primary student, who has spent about one-third of her life at Waikato Hospital. 

"I'm most excited about meeting her," said Kaiya. "I think she'll be nice and fun." 

The party has an Alice in Wonderland Mad Hatter theme so older brother Lachie has been roped into having practice tea parties with Kaiya. 

 "Mum let us put [Lorde's] Royals on and we drank the tea. It was actually just water, though." 

 Kaiya was born eight weeks early with a perforated bowel and was diagnosed with CF at just a few weeks old. 

CF affects a number of organs in the body - particularly the lungs and pancreas - by clogging them with thick, sticky mucus. It has caused Kaiya to develop diabetes and also affected her ability to digest food, so she is fed almost exclusively through a tube in her tummy. 

"To look at her face you would just never know that every cell in her body doesn't work properly," said Bowes. "She has a really intense day just to be a part of life and it's really difficult for her, but she's an amazing kid and she tries her best at everything." 

Kaiya's daily routine includes taking up to 20 different medications, physiotherapy, breathing treatments and feedings. 

Rainbow Place provides specialist care for children such as Kaiya and had been a fantastic support for the family, said Bowes. 

"We are really, really lucky in respect of the team from Waikato Hospital and Rainbow Place. 

 "Just the care they put into us. They treat us like family." 

CF had taken away so much from Kaiya but through the hard times had also presented her with some incredible opportunities, said Bowes. 

Already Kaiya has featured on children's show Sticky TV as Kiwi Kid of the Year and was a face of the Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal. 

 "It's really hard and day-to-day can be pretty difficult and we go through things most families don't ever have to think about but you can make the most of it you want to. And we try to," said Bowes.  "It gives you a boost. All the crazy, tough times in our lives are offset by some really fabulous experiences."  Kaiya didn't quite understand the significance of meeting the duchess but it would be a valuable memory for her to look back on, she said. 



    Every year Hospice Waikato has a shortfall and must look to the community to fill it. This year $2 million is needed to keep providing free care for people who are dying or families coping with the loss of a loved one. 

    On April 21 the hospice launches its first public appeal in six years to help make up the amount. 

    Services offered by the independent charitable trust include counselling, art therapy, in-home hospice care and emotional support. 

    To donate, visit hospicewaikato.org.nz or via Westpac bank account 03 1555 0091553 00  

- © Fairfax NZ News

Time for the princess and the fairy to meet




LIBBY WILSON- © Fairfax NZ News                                         Bruce Mercer

LITTLE PRINCESS: Bailey Taylor, 6, will meet the duchess when she arrives at Hospice Waikato.

"I am going to meet a princess," 6-year-old Bailey Taylor says with a grin. 

That's who the Duchess of Cambridge is in her eyes and she will be rubbing shoulders with her next Saturday when she visits the children's hospice, Rainbow Place. 

Actually, if Bailey has her way, they will be playing in the playhouse and maybe eating some cake, too. 

Catherine is a strong supporter of children's hospices and palliative care, and royal patron of East Anglia's Children's Hospices. 

Next Saturday, during a tour of Hamilton's Rainbow Place, she will have a chance to meet several children who benefit from the facility, then join the annual Gallagher Children's Party. 

Bailey will be in one of the Rainbow Place rooms with her counsellor, so she will have the chance to meet the duchess with few others around. 

Bailey's association with the hospice is through her mother, Jennifer Doolabh, who has terminal breast cancer which has spread through her body. 

Hospice staff are working with Bailey and her brother to prepare them for life without their mother. 

At the moment, though, Bailey has got her "princess" on the brain - even though she thinks she might be coming "next year". 

"She is going to be excited to meet me, I think," she said. "I think of how she's going to meet me and how she's going to be. I think I'm going to be excited, too." 

She expects Catherine to arrive in a princess dress, and plans to match her in a pink fairy ensemble of her own. 

And when told the duchess was from England she had a ready response - that's where her "Nonna" is from, where her baby brother would be going soon. 

Because there is an extra factor in the story of Bailey and her family. Doolabh fell pregnant last year - despite thinking it wasn't possible - and stopped her treatment until she gave birth to Matthias on December 23. Her mother-in-law came over from England to be his primary carer but her visa ran out earlier this week, so she has to return to renew it and will take Matthias with her. 


Bailey's meeting with Catherine will be a bright spot in a tough time.



Every year Hospice Waikato has a shortfall and must look to the community to fill it. This year, $2 million is needed to keep providing free care for people who are dying or for families coping with the loss of a loved one. Services offered by the independent charitable trust include counselling, art therapy, in-home hospice care and emotional support. On April 21, the hospice launches its first public appeal in six years to help make up the amount. To donate, visit hospicewaikato.org.nz or via Westpac bank account 03 1555 0091553 00 

- © Fairfax NZ News





Kimbra's place under the rainbow

Singer shines spotlight on our 'best kept secret'                DENISE IRVINE Waikato Times










Kimbra cuts a ribbon to open the Rainbow Place teen space – © Waikato Times 


The meteoric rise to stardom for Hamilton-born and raised singer-songwriter Kimbra has been closely watched by a special group of Waikato fans.


The Grammy Award-winning singer is a “friend and supporter” of Rainbow Place – a facility that provides specialised support for children and young people experiencing change, loss and grief around serious illness or the death of a family member.

Late last year Kimbra officially opened a new teenage space at the facility.


“It is a place that actually nurtures long-term support for families and children dealing with death and illness,” she said. “They are focused on creating real relationships and trust – a place where people can open up with proper networks and support.


“It’s a need I hadn’t thought of much until I visited Rainbow Place, but I now see it to be a really important part of development for young people especially.”

Last week Kimbra took time out from recording her second album in Los Angeles to speak with the Waikato Times about the past few months that culminated in her Grammy success.“I have to remind myself that it’s only been a few days since I was up on stage being acknowledged by Prince – it feels like some kind of strange dream you think up and tell a friend as a joke.” But it wasn’t a joke. It was the kind of success that has seen the Waikato girl recognised as an international star – and the kind of mentor that young people battling life-threatening conditions can draw inspiration from, according to Rainbow Place chief executive Craig Tamblyn.


“The teenagers who were able to come and meet Kimbra at Rainbow Place were blown away that someone as famous as Kimbra would take the time to visit them,” he said. “It gave them a tremendous morale boost and made their day.”


For Kimbra, spending time with the teens was equally rewarding.


“The Waikato has been a big part of my life and I feel passionate about supporting the community they have created [at Rainbow Place]. “I have known people facing terminal illnesses myself and also people who have lost a parent or child to such causes and it is a situation that affects so many and calls for great support.”

She said her visit revealed an amazing environment that was not just about short-term solutions.


“It feels like a place where you can nest and feel safe,” she said.

At the end of January, Rainbow Place had 291 clients, including 18 sick children and young people and 233 grieving children and young people aged from babies to 19, along with 40 parents and caregivers.

Mr Tamblyn said there were many misconceptions about the services it provides. “Rainbow Place is not just there to support around a cancer diagnosis,” he said. “We support children, young people and their families who are affected by any serious illness or health condition.”

As for their next visit from Kimbra, they may have to wait till the end of the year when she hopes to return home ahead of the release of her second album.

- © Fairfax NZ News



Dio teens make it happen for teens


Waikato Diocesan Year 10 girls (from left) Grace Reid, Nicole Xue, Taylah Warren and Selina Smith check out some of the details in the new Rainbow Place teen hang out room they designed and funded.


Enterprising girls from Waikato Diocesan School have created an ideal 'teen space' at Hospice Waikato's Rainbow Place.

Thanks to the group, what was a bare room is a now a bright, comfortable and inviting area.

Rainbow Place manager Penny Parsons says the space created is just 'awesome' and the Rainbow Place teenage group love it.

"The girls completed the project right at the end of last year, so we didn't have time to celebrate their achievement.

"Now we can properly thank them for their time, effort and fundraising and the amazing results."

The project adopted by the girls was to create a 'teenage lounge/hangout zone' for the Rainbow Place Teen Support Group.

As part of their planning, they met with teenagers to find out what they wanted and produced a questionnaire for them to fill in. They then came up with a plan, proposal, budget and even a model of what they wanted to create.

The girls received a Merit Award for their efforts when they participated in the BP Young Enterprise Challenge, which included $500 towards the project.

This wasn't enough to complete the project, so they also fundraised with raffles and involved local businesses in supporting the initiative.

The room - designed specifically for teens from 14 years and up affected by life threatening conditions in some way - is equipped with television and DVD units, sound system, magazines, books and casual seating.


- ©Hamilton News Live