PATIENTS at the Oxford Children’s Hospital were treated to visits from an actress, Father Christmas and a giant Teddy bear yesterday.

The hospital on the John Radcliffe site was alive with activity in the morning as members of Rosie’s Rainbow Fund came to entertain children and their families.

The charity was set up in 2003 and provides music therapy services for sick and disabled children, as well as aromatherapy sessions for the parents of patients.

Founder of the charity Carolyn Mayling was inspired by the death of her 11-year-old daughter Rosie, who was treated at the John Radcliffe for severe vasculitis in 2003.

She said: “When Rosie was in the hospital she said that she wanted to do some fundraising when she got out, but she never got the opportunity to.”

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Since setting up the Maidenhead-based charity in 2003, Rosie’s Rainbow Fund has raised £750,000.

Patron of the charity and former Eastenders actress Lucy Benjamin said: “I went to Redroofs School for Performing Arts in Maidenhead which was set up by Carolyn’s mum, June Rose.

“I was in contact with Carolyn after Rosie died and she asked if I could get involved in the charity and eventually I became a patron.

“The work they do is very important as the kids light up when they’re involved in music.”

Minister for Civil Society Rob Wilson presented Ms Mayling with a ‘Points of Life’ award on behalf of Prime Minister David Cameron.

The award is given to community fundraisers for outstanding achievements in charity work.

Children and families got the opportunity to hear the Redroofs School choir perform, as well as receive presents from Father Christmas.

Katie and Robert Bedford, parents of in-patient 18-month-old Freddie, said: “It’s a great distraction for him and for us. It’s lovely for the other kids as well.”

Later, the Children’s Hospital was also visited by community football fundraisers and Barry Bear.

Fundraisers from Didcot-based Play2Give came to the hospital to donate £8,590 to the Children’s Hospital, alongside the cuddly life-sized mascot of Newbury Building Society.

It is the biggest annual donation that the charity has raised for the Children’s Hospital since it set up in 2007.

The fundraising group hold an annual football tournament for children’s teams across Oxfordshire, and donate the proceeds to various charities.

Founder of the group, and a volunteer at the hospital, 26-year-old Andrew Baker, from Didcot, said: “It’s brilliant that we’ve raised so much money for the hospital and it’s nice to give something back.

“I was treated for various conditions at John Radcliffe when I was a child, and started fundraising for them when I was at St Birinus School in Didcot.”

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