Poignant rainbow pin badge for Rowans Hospice is a winning design from sisters

Shukrya Saida signs up for further information and vouchers, helped by Shona Green. Picture: Vernon Nash

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THE rainbow cutting through gloomy clouds symbolises that there is hope after facing hardship.

That’s the message behind a pin badge created by Katie Sole, 10, with her sister Millie, eight.

(l-r) Darran Russell from The Rowans Meerkat Service, Katie Sole (10), Milie Sole (8) and their mum Ali Surrey

(l-r) Darran Russell from The Rowans Meerkat Service, Katie Sole (10), Milie Sole (8) and their mum Ali Surrey

They designed it for the Meerkat Service at The Rowans Hospice, which helps children who have suffered from a bereavement.

The sisters’ dad Adrian Sole died in May 2011 from cancer.

Their mum Ali Surrey, 30, of Chichester Road, Portsmouth, said: ‘Ady was putting his seat belt on when he felt lumps on his neck.

‘A biopsy revealed the primary source of cancer had been in his lung, but that now it had spread to his lymphatic system.

The meerkat service badge design

The meerkat service badge design

‘When the doctor referred us to the hospital, we knew bad news was coming. When we were told the cancer was terminal, we were honest with the girls straight away.’

In December 2010, the family started receiving help from The Rowans.

Both children have been supported by the Meerkat Service.

Last summer it decided to hold a competition for children to design a pin badge, which is being sold to raise money for the hospice.

Adrian Sole

Adrian Sole

Katie said: ‘Me and my sister thought that because we have had bad times, that’s like dark clouds.

‘But a rainbow gives hope and that takes over from the clouds.

‘We decided to enter our design and were very surprised that we won.’

The design has been created into a pin badge, and these are being sold for £2 each, with the money going to the hospice.

Darran Russell works for the Meerkat Service and has supported Katie and Millie.

He said: ‘We love the message behind this design, and it reflects the hospice’s outlook.

‘Last summer we thought about creating a badge as the hospice celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.

‘But we thought it would be better if children had a chance to design something.

‘We were so touched by the girls’ message that we picked it as the winning design.’

Ali, who is training to become a nurse, said that she is proud of the girls.

She added: ‘The girls came home very excited about the contest and worked on a design straight away.

‘I’m so proud of them, and I think they have done well.

‘It’s brilliant to see the design made into a badge.’

The pins can be brought from the hospice in Purbrook Heath Road, Purbrook, or any of the hospice charity stores in the county.