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Amelia's Rainbow

2023’s Main Charity – Amelia’s Rainbow

Amelia Grace Cooper was born on 27th October 2001

Amelia was athletic and loved dancing, singing and acting; she attended drama school at the weekends and was an active member of her Brownie and Cub Scouts group. So when she came to us with pain in her legs we thought it was a combination of growing pains (which we thought she had been suffering from for years), and over-activity.

The pain didn’t go away however and after numerous tests, scans and consultations; Amelia was diagnosed with stage 4 Neuroblastoma – a very aggressive form of childhood cancer. She had a large tumour which stretched from her kidney to her lung and had metastasised throughout her body and head. On the scan, the only places that appeared to be clear of cancer were her feet and hands.

This was January 2009 and Amelia was seven years old.

Throughout these first months she went through some horrendous treatments, with pain and suffering which would often bring us to tears. However we knew it was her only hope of survival – she was literally fighting for her life. Amelia took it all in her stride of course, riding around the hospital on the drip stand or on her Heeleys, with all her chemo attached. The nurses would often look on in despair and fear as she zipped past them with no hair, no platelets and her cheeky smile!

After treatment Amelia appeared to make a remarkable recovery. The medical team were amazed that she had recovered so well with such an extensive disease. In September that year she was back at school with her friends, and went into remission. With all the treatment she had lost her hair, and although she looked just as beautiful without it, it was quite a daunting task deciding how she would tackle school without hair. She decided that she would wear her wig, as she was worried that she would upset some of the other children. This lasted all of two days – by the end of the first week she was swinging from the monkey bars upside down with no wig to be seen!

Sadly, a month later we were back in hospital after the pains started again and an abnormal blood and urine result confirmed our worst fears – the disease had returned. This time we had some major choices to make. We knew that if the cancer came back there was no UK protocol for relapse, and the prognosis was terminal.

We decided to talk to Amelia about it; we were dreading the conversation as we knew how proud she was that she had beaten the disease. The options were that she had higher dose chemotherapy; or tablet chemotherapy at a lower dose; or no further treatment. None of these had anything other than a terminal prognosis; however there was a chance she could extend her time by having more treatment.

Amelia told us straight away that she did not want any higher dose chemo, and opted for the tablets. She was eight years-old and was having to make an unbelievably hard decision, but as her parents we felt it was not for us to prolong her suffering just because we didn’t want to lose her. 

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