“WE’RE here to stay.”
That was the message from a Hampshire charity that just a month ago was on the brink of shutting its doors.
The Rainbow Centre, which transforms the lives of disabled people across the south, had set itself a target to raise £150,000 in its four-week appeal.
And although it has not reached the milestone in that time, it has raised an impressive £129,000, meaning the Fareham facility was yesterday able to re-open after the Easter break.
On March 24, the Daily Echo told how the centre had struggled postrecession and had managed to raise the £47,500 a month it needed to keep the centre running, but had no reserves.
The centre works with children with cerebral palsy and adults with neurological conditions, like Parkinson’s disease or those that have had a head injury or stroke, developing new neural pathways to undamaged parts of the brain.
Centre director Lara Bull had told how if they could not raise £150,000 by the end of the Easter holiday it might have to close and put staff on unpaid leave.
But four weeks on, the picture looks more promising.
Money raised so far will enable the centre, in Palmerston Drive, to stay open until at least mid-June and will now give the centre breathing space to bring long-term initiatives to fruition.
The centre has a guaranteed monthly income stream of regular donations from companies and individuals of £1,445.
Mrs Bull said, with their message due to go out in directories to homes across Hampshire, she was confident the centre would reach and surpass the £150,000 total by the end of May.
“Because of the re-engagement and support being shown we’ll never go back to that place again,” she added.
She said centre staff were not disappointed not to reach the full total in four weeks, but “elated” by the public response, with even a £1,000 donation coming in at the 11th hour on Monday.