Doncaster woman’s fundraising wins place in Lord Mayor’s Show

Rachel Dowse.

Rachel Dowse.

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Rachel Dowse, from Harworth, joined the fun and festivities at this year’s spectacular Lord Mayor’s Show parade in London on November 14, having won a place in the show in recognition of her fundraising efforts.

Rachel, who is an operations manager at Sheffield Meadowhall Premier Inn, was chosen to represent the UK’s top rated hotel chain on the Premier Inn float in support of Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity after being nominated by colleagues. Rachel helped the team at the Sheffield hotel to raise over £2,800 over the past year with activities including a bungee jump, sponsored walk around the city, bush tucker challenge, car wash, raffles and more.

The float was designed to highlight the partnership between Premier Inn and the charity and featured characters from Peter Pan flying over the London skyline alongside artwork by children from the hospital, who helped decorate it with pirate ships, birds and sea creatures. Peter Pan has a special connection to Great Ormond Street Hospital as J M Barrie gifted the rights to the play to the hospital in 1929.

Whitbread Hotels & Restaurants, which runs Premier Inn, is aiming to raise £7.5 million by 2017 towards the Premier Inn Clinical Building, a brand new, state-of-the-art centre at Great Ormond Street Hospital. The world class facilities will provide more space, privacy and comfort for patients and their families. Over £5 million has already been raised through a combination of employee fundraising, customer donations, company match funding and corporate events.

Rachel was joined on the float by patients from the hospital and fundraisers from Premier Inns across the UK. The group was cheered on by a crowd of around half a million people as the procession moved through the streets of the capital.

Rachel said: “It was a real honour to be selected to be a part of the Premier Inn and Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity float. The day was really fun and everyone was in great spirits knowing that we were helping to raise awareness of such an amazing charity. I’m so pleased to have helped raised over £2,800 for a really worthwhile cause!”

Amit Aggarwal from Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity, said: “Great Ormond Street Hospital treats children from across the UK with some of the rarest and most complex conditions. The money raised by Premier Inn fundraisers like Rachel will help us make a real difference to patients and their families, and we were thrilled to see her recognised with a place in the Lord Mayor’s Show.

“We’d like to thank Rachel and the whole team at Sheffield Meadowhall Premier Inn for their incredible fundraising efforts.”

The UK’s oldest street party, the Lord Mayor’s Show has floated, rolled, trotted, marched and occasionally fought its way through 800 years of London history, surviving the Black Death and the Blitz to arrive in the 21st century as one of the world’s best-loved pageants. The parade featured over 7,000 participants, 20 bands, 150 horses and hundreds of other carriages, carts, coaches and vehicles.

For more information about Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity go to GOSH