Kind-hearted readers come to the fundraising aid of vital Rainbow Centre

Donna Smith with son Samuel

Donna Smith with son Samuel

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

Donations have been flooding in to help save a vital Hampshire charity from closure.

Everything from £5 to £100 has been handed over to the Rainbow Centre, which announced that it faces closure if it cannot raise £150,000 in the next four weeks.

But the charity, in Fareham, which works to improve the lives of disabled children and adults, has warned that the battle is far from won.

The centre, in Palmerston Drive, works with children with cerebral palsy and their families across the south, and adults, particularly those with conditions like multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and recovering stroke or head injury victims.

As reported in the Daily Echo, the recession-hit centre has been raising £47,500 a month to keep it going, but needs £150,000 to get it back on track.

If it cannot raise this by the end of the Easter bank holidays, it may have to close and put its 15 staff on unpaid leave while fundraising continues.

Staff said the public response had been “unbelievable” and the phones had not stopped ringing with people offering to do charity skydives, karaoke discos, triathlons or simply donate.

Families who use the centre have also been recording video messages for the charity’s Twitter feed.

“Everyone has rallied to our call,” said centre director Lara Bull, who hopes the appeal will be a “catalyst for good” by raising awareness of the service.

However, Mrs Bull said it was important that fundraising continued long-term and called on businesses to join the charity’s 100 Club, giving £100 a month.

One person moved to help was Donna Smith, from Eastleigh, whose nine-year-old son Samuel suffers with cerebral palsy.

Although she does not need the centre, as Samuel’s condition is mild, she is putting on an event outside her salon Titanium Hair in Eastleigh on Saturday.

The mother-of-two will hold a barbecue, cake sale and raffle from 9am to 4pm along with discounted haircuts and treatments and staff at the salon, in Wells Place, will be dressed and dye their hair in rainbow colours.

“When you have got a child with a disability it’s close to your heart,” said Donna, of Monks Way.

Another who answered the charity’s call was donor Diane Holley, 80, from Bassett.

“It won’t make a great deal of difference, but if everybody gives it would,” said the grandmother-of-six.

To help, call 01329 289500, text RBOW21 with the value of donation to 70070 or log on to rainbowcentre.org.

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