People of Melton can help raise funds for Rainbows Children’s Hospice by buying a Superdraw raffle ticket

Brave Leicestershire youngster Jonah Ward (2), who receives care from Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People, is the face of this year's Christmas Superdraw. EMN-151016-190450001
Brave Leicestershire youngster Jonah Ward (2), who receives care from Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People, is the face of this year's Christmas Superdraw. EMN-151016-190450001
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Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People, which provides care and support for families from Leicestershire, has launched its annual Christmas raffle and people in Melton could scoop a top prize of £3,000.

Now in its ninth year, the Superdraw helps raise vital funds for Rainbows, the East Midlands’ only hospice for children and young people with life-limited and terminal illnesses, including those from Melton. As well as the top prize of £3,000, cash prizes of £500, £250 and £50 are also up for grabs.

Last year’s Superdraw helped Rainbows to raise over £25,000. By purchasing a raffle ticket, people from Melton are helping the hospice to raise the vital funds needed to keep Rainbows running each year.

This year’s campaign is being fronted by Jonah Ward, from Leicestershire, along with his siblings Lily (8), Adam (6) and Robyn (4). In his short life, two-year-old Jonah has endured 16 operations, suffered a cardiac arrest and will need a heart transplant in the future. But his parents say you couldn’t meet a more smiley, cheeky and loving boy than Jonah.

Before he was born, Jonah was diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome – this means the left side of the heart is severely underdeveloped.

At just a few weeks old, Jonah suffered a massive bleed during surgery. He needed further operations and it became a waiting game for the family as Jonah slowly recovered. His lungs had collapsed and at six-months-old he was fitted with a life-saving tracheostomy to be ventilated.

As he grows up, Jonah will need to undergo further operations, but until that time, his family live for each day.

At Rainbows Jonah can receive specialist care, his parents can benefit from respite support and his brother and sisters are involved in sibling activities.

Jonah’s mum, Georgina, said: “Rainbows is brilliant. At first we had reservations, but it was completely different to what we had imagined. We know that end of life care is inevitable for Jonah but at least we know he loves Rainbows. We are really relaxed leaving him and we know he will be looked after by specialist carers and we can spend time with our other children.”

Gill Smitherman, Rainbows lottery manager, said: “By buying a Superdraw ticket, not only do you stand a great chance of winning a fabulous cash prize, but you’re also making a huge difference to the lives of so many children and their families. “The Ward family are the perfect example of how Rainbows help provide care and support the entire family, not just the child with a life limiting illness.”

The Rainbows Christmas Superdraw will take place on Friday, December 18 and tickets, which cost just £1, can be purchased until Friday, December 11.

To buy tickets, visit www.Rainbows.co.uk/superdraw, email lottery@rainbows.co.uk or contact Gill on (01509) 638058. Tickets can also be bought in the Melton Rainbows shop in Sherrard Street.