A FUNDING crisis hit Hampshire charity is appealing for businesses to help it raise the money it needs to stay open.

The Rainbow Centre is edging nearer its appeal target of £150,000 and the total now stands at £90,000.

As previously reported, the centre in Fareham, which supports people across the south with disabilities, told how in the aftermath of the recession it had struggled.

It had just been reaching the £47,500 a month needed to keep the centre running, but this had left it with no reserves.

Centre director Lara Bull told how if it could not raise the £150,000 by the Easter Bank Holiday, the centre, in Palmerston Drive, could close and staff would have to be put on unpaid leave while funds were sought.

But she said the public response had been “amazing” and in the last few days businesses and organisations have also got involved.

So far five businesses in Hampshire have signed up to the centre’s new 100 Club scheme, where firms pledge to raise £100 a month, with two offering to give £1,200 up front – the equivalent of their first year of pledges – due to the situation.

Mrs Bull said she believed that people had responded to the appeal because the facility served such a wide scope of people, from six months to 75 years plus, with disabilities.

“You have got the potential to give a little amount of money and touch a lot of lives.”

But Mrs Bull said more businesses were needed and that if 200 organisations were to sign up this would mean a guaranteed £20,000 a month.

The Rainbow Centre teaches 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, it works with children with cerebral palsy, but also now helps adults with conditions like Parkinson’s disease or those with a head injury or who have had a stroke.

It does not receive any Government funding.

To donate, ring 01329 289500, text RBOW21 and the donation amount to 70070 or visit rainbowcentre.org