This week I was delighted to see my community office transformed into a Children’s Activity Centre as The Rainbow Trust hosted a play session for some of the wonderfully inspiring families that it supports.

Most of us cannot even begin to comprehend just how heart-breaking it must be to have a child with a life-threatening or terminal illness. The Rainbow Trust does amazing work to provide practical and emotional support to children and families going through this incredibly difficult time and most importantly, the charity enables these families to make the most of the time they have together. Particular emphasis is also put on sibling support as the trust helps with maintaining school attendance, organising trips to the zoo & the cinema and hosting arts & crafts sessions.

Yesterday’s play session included a craft table where the youngsters could let their artistic side run free, a number of board games, a game of skittles, a parachute game, and even an underwater themed cardboard play house. The youngsters were thrilled and it was extremely moving to see just how much enjoyment they were having despite what they and their siblings were having to deal with. If these children can be so brave in dealing with such an unimaginable situation; it really does put things into perspective and highlights just how much we all take for granted. I want to say a big thank you to the Rainbow Trust for helping to create fun and laughter, and allowing families to spend such precious time together.

Looking forward to next week, and I am very excited to be going to the screening of The Silent Child, a short film starring Swindon’s very own Maisie Sly. For those who aren’t aware, The Silent Child is about a profoundly deaf four year old girl named Libby (played by Maisie) who lives in a world of silence until a caring social worker teaches her how to communicate. The film has been nominated for a short film Oscar at next month’s award ceremony in Hollywood, a huge accolade in itself.

According to the film’s producers, Maisie was picked to be the star of the film the moment she walked into the casting room. Her dad Gilson has also played an active part in the films production and he is quite rightly exceptionally proud of Maisie. Next week’s screening takes place at Swindon Arts Centre on Monday 19th February with some tickets still available. It’ll be a fantastic way for us as a town to demonstrate just how proud we are of Maisie’s achievements. Move over Meryl, Maisie is on her way to Hollywood!