Dozens of people help raise £175,000 to save Fareham-based centre

Jamie-Lee McGuinness (HMS Collingwood) Lucy Docherty (chair of the Rainbow Centre) Fareham Mayor and Mayoress Cllr David and Pamela Norris, Lara Bull (director of Rainbow Centre) and James Robertson (HMS Collingwood)

Jamie-Lee McGuinness (HMS Collingwood) Lucy Docherty (chair of the Rainbow Centre) Fareham Mayor and Mayoress Cllr David and Pamela Norris, Lara Bull (director of Rainbow Centre) and James Robertson (HMS Collingwood)

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Political reporter

THANK you.

That was the message at a special event held to thank the dozens of people who saved a vital Hampshire charity.

When The Rainbow Centre launched an urgent appeal to save the charity from closing the public responded by reaching the target of £150,000 in just two months.

Thanks to the generosity of dozens of people and businesses the Fareham-based centre, which offers pioneering education methods for teaching disabled children and adults, has seen more than £175,000 donated since March.

And the charity held a special event on Saturday to say a big thank you to everyone that has helped bring the centre back from the brink.

Held in glorious sunshine at the centre in Palmerston Drive the open day featured a host of family-friendly activities, including crafts, a bottle tombola, face-painting, story-telling, musical performances and a barbecue.

A number of businesses and organisations also offered their services free of charge, including Jungle Buddies Play Bus, Nando’s and Laser Quest Arena, while 30 caterers from Royal Navy training base HMS Collingwood were on hand to help out.

The event was attended by the mayors of Fareham and Gosport, the Commanding Officer of HMS Collingwood, Captain Steve Dainton, the Deputy Lieutenant of Hampshire Nigel Atkinson and Fareham Borough Council leader Sean Woodward, as well as more than 300 other members of the public.

Centre director Lara Bull said the amount raised since the appeal now stands at £175,500.

She said: “We really wanted to be able to show the community the centre they have helped to save for the region and say thank you very much.

“It was great to engage with the community and show them what conductive education is all about.

“There was so much for everyone at the event – it was a really fantastic day and we were blessed with the weather.

“My hope is that the day could become an annual event, which will get bigger and bigger.”

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