The Laura Centre Colour Me Happy 5k run Held in Leicester on September 8

That’s just over three miles to help what must be one of the most worthwhile causes around today - supporting bereaved families following the death of a child

The COPE charity has been carrying out this vital work for 25 years, ever since being set up by Gail and Harry Moore in 1988 following the death of their daughter Laura to leukaemia.

This work led directly to the creation of the COPE children’s oncology unit (ward 27) at the Leicester Royal Infirmary, as well as the creation and funding of two children’s community COPE Macmillan paediatric nurses and contributing to haematological research.

The Laura Centre Colour Me Happy 5k run Held in Leicester on September 8
The work initiated by COPE contributed to a significant shift in awareness of families’ needs and most of these services are now funded by the NHS. Gail and Harry went on to start a separate charity that created Rainbows children’s hospice.

They opened The Laura Centre in October 1991 to provide therapeutic support to anyone bereaved of a child or young person. In 1994 their service was extended to include support for children bereaved of a parent or carer. 75% of the people referred will have experienced death of a sudden, traumatic and unexpected nature.

The centre is a professional bereavement service that believes in providing a safe, friendly and inclusive environment. It has a mixture of qualified counsellors and trained visiting counsellors and they follow the Code of Ethics of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BCAP).

In the first year it opened The Laura Centre saw 80 people and that number has grown steadily ever since, with the charity now supporting more than 500 people every year.

A quarter of a century on from losing Laura, the Moore’s and the charity they founded has helped many people come to terms with their loss.

“Although we live in a protected society in the sense that childhood death is no longer a common occurrence, the fact still remains that some children do die,” say the charity.

Supporting them also means raising funds to carry on and develop that work, which is what the Run the Rainbow event in Victoria Park Leicester was all about.

Gail Moore said 'The Laura Centre 5k colour race went amazingly well with a fantastic turn out. Colour splashing fun was had by all, with everyone having a great time and lots of money raised to support The Laura Centre’s future. Look out for The Laura Centre colour event in 2014!

To find out more, simply log on to