Fareham's Rainbow Centre founder returns for last £35,000 fundraising push to save facility

Helen Somerset How, operations director at The Rainbow Centre.'Picture: Sarah Standing (230719-2300)
Helen Somerset How, operations director at The Rainbow Centre.'Picture: Sarah Standing (230719-2300)
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AFTER launching a £100,000 fundraising bid two months ago to save a centre that provides life-changing treatments to children and adults, the founder has returned to help with the last push.

After taking a step back from the centre in 2012, Helen Somerset How has returned as operations director to help the team raise the last £35,000 needed to make sure the centre can continue to change lives.

The Centre, which was founded 29 years ago, has been in the midst of a fundraising crisis this summer after a 30 per cent drop in donations and charitable giving and has to raise £100,000 by the end of August or will have to review the level of services provided.

Helen said: ‘The issues we have had this year with finances have been a concern, but over the 29 years that we have been going we have established some very strong relationships with individual and corporate supporters and I am very confident they will continue to support us.

‘To have got to more than £60,000 in such a short time has been an exceptional effort from everyone associated with The Rainbow Centre - and it shows that with continued hard work we can hit the target to ensure we continue to provide the widest possible services to our families for many years to come.’

Helen founded the centre after her son Tom developed cerebral palsy as a result of his premature birth.

Together with another set of parents, Helen established The Rainbow Centre in 1990 when she and her husband discovered there was very little help or support for parents of children with the condition.

It began life in her home and after a brief time in a school in Coldeast hospital, moved to a room above a carpet shop in Quay Street in Fareham  before moving to its permanent home in Palmerston Drive.

Helen, who was made an MBE for her work, added: ‘I am delighted to be back at The Rainbow Centre.

‘While I have not been so directly involved for the past seven years I have continued my support as the Founder Ambassador and have always had a very strong interest in how it has been doing.’