ACTRESSES Lucy Benjamin and Joanne Froggatt are appealing to businesses and the public to dip into their pockets to prevent a charity from folding.

Rosie’s Rainbow Fund could face extinction unless it receives a cash boost.

It provides music and art therapy to disabled, hospitalised and terminally ill children, funds research into diseases and supports parents during their child's stay in hospital across Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire.

Former Eastenders actress and charity patron Lucy Benjamin said: “The charity is very short on funds and there is even a chance that it could close down. It holds a special place in my heart and it would be a tragedy if this happened.

“Please, please do whatever you can to help. If you are an individual, school, business, somebody running a marathon or doing any kind of event please, please do consider supporting Rosie in any way you can with their appeal.

“It could make the difference between whether this amazing charity stays open or not.”

Rosie’s Rainbow Fund was launched a decade ago by Carolyn Mayling after her young daughter Rosie died from the rare disease vasculitis.

She has become close friends with Downley’s Debbie Megson, who turned to the charity after her daughter Arlia was diagnosed with the same disease which causes inflammation and damage to the blood vessels and organs.

The urgent appeal is being launched on Friday - Rare Disease Day. Residents and businesses are being asked to donate cash and prizes for a charity raffle.

Mrs Mayling from Maidenhead said: “It has been a tough year for the fund & in three months we will be operating on fumes. My biggest fear is that we will have to close.

“To date, we have done what we can, when we can, but resources have been limited and current funds only scratch the surface of what we need. I hope we can get the fund to the next level without it closing.”

Downton Abbey star Joanne Froggatt added: “If RRF was forced to shut down many families and children would not get the amazing support that it offers. Please, please do what you can to help this amazing charity remain open.”

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