Rainbow Centre needs £150,000 to stay afloat

Daily Echo: Charity reaches halfway mark in vital fundraising drive Charity reaches halfway mark in vital fundraising drive

A HAMPSHIRE charity under threat of closure is halfway towards the fundraising target that could pull it back from the brink.

Bosses at the Rainbow Centre, a charity that has transformed the lives of people across the south, has called on the community to rally round to keep them afloat.

Less than a week into their campaign to raise £150,000 by Easter, the Rainbow Centre is already up to £75,000 in its fundraising thanks to the public.

As previously reported, the centre told how it had struggled in the aftermath of the recession and needed to find £150,000 before the end of the Easter bank holiday or it would have to close its doors and put staff on unpaid leave while it continued fundraising.

The centre, in Fareham, which helps disabled children and adults, needs to raise £47,500 per month to keep running and, although it has managed to do this, the centre had been left with no reserves.

It is hoped that the £150,000 will be enough to get the charity back on its feet so long-term fundraising initiatives can pay dividends.

The centre, in Palmerston Drive, teaches a system called conductive education, which develops new neural pathways to undamaged parts of the brain, helping the person to master control of core muscles, limbs and movements.

Started in 1990 working with children with cerebral palsy, the service now helps adults with conditions like Parkinson’s disease and people with a head injury or who have had a stroke.

However, it does not receive any Government funding.

Donations included one from Daniel Hooper, 5, of The Ridgeway, Fareham, who gave a £10 donation saved up from his pocket money because sister Darcie, 11, came to the centre for eight years.

Charity shop worker Sheila Bullock, 85, from Bishopstoke, donated £500.

“It made me quite distressed to think that they were to lose out – my heart goes out to them,” she said.

The centre hopes schools will hold an emergency ‘rainbow dress down day’ so children can get involved.

Centre director Lara Bull said they would be working hard to follow up leads next week to keep the pace going, but the centre will now be able to open in April.

She said there was a “huge sense of relief that our cry for help was heard”.

She added: “The overwhelming thing for us is to know the people out there whose lives that you have touched can actually see the value of what you do and the difference you make.”

n To donate ring 01329 289500, text RBOW21 and the donation amount to 70070, log on to rainbowcentre.org or send a cheque payable to “The Rainbow Centre” to The Rainbow Centre, Bradbury Building, Palmerston Drive, Fareham, Hampshire, PO14 1BJ.

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