Brave fundraisers take on 15,000ft skydive to raise more than £7,500 for Fareham charity The Rainbow Centre

DAREDEVIL supporters of a Fareham charity braved a 15,000ft skydive to raise thousands for neuro-rehabilitation services.

Wednesday, 28th April 2021, 12:03 pm
Updated Wednesday, 28th April 2021, 1:56 pm
Supporters of the Rainbow Centre in Fareham took on a daring skydive to raise funds. Pictured: Fenton Cowell, Alex Uppal, Matt Hutchings, Vanda Varga, Richie Wagstaffe and Matt Brown. Picture by: Steven J Phyall from Zooming Photography

Small business owner Vanda Varga, who used to work as a conductor at The Rainbow Centre, decided to take on the huge challenge of jumping from a plane to raise funds for the charity’s services.

After planning to take on the challenge last year, it was postponed for almost a year due to the pandemic.

This led to a whole group of daring charity supporters getting involved, and more than £7,500 has been collected through the hair-raising efforts.

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Supporters of the Rainbow Centre in Fareham took on a daring skydive to raise funds. Pictured: Alex Uppa, Fenton Cowell, Matt Brown, Matt Hutchings, Vanda Varga and Richie Wagstaffe. Picture by: Steven J Phyall from Zooming Photography

Vanda, who provides NLP-based coaching and hypnotherapy, said: ‘When I set out to do this challenge, I had a big number in my mind, however I never even dreamed of this amount!

‘When I left the Rainbow Centre in February 2020, I wanted to give a significant present that all the children and adults and their families who are supported by the centre could benefit from.

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‘So I’ve decided to take on a challenge that could potentially raise a significant amount of money which then would go towards subsidising the fees of sessions.

Supporters of the Rainbow Centre in Fareham took on a daring skydive to raise funds. Pictured: One of the fundraisers jumping with a tandem instructor. Picture by: Steven J Phyall from Zooming Photography

‘This way, even more people could benefit from the amazing and much needed neuro-rehabilitation services The Rainbow Centre has to offer.

‘I had to wait almost a year for the jump due to the pandemic, which was a blessing in disguise, as it allowed me to raise six times more than the minimum fundraising target.’

Vanda was over the moon to be joined by four members of business networking group Solent Elite - BNI chapter.

All small business owners themselves, Richard Wagstaffe, Matthew Brown, Matthew Hutchings and Alex Uppal all took the leap to help raise funds for the charity.

Supporters of the Rainbow Centre in Fareham took on a daring skydive to raise funds. Pictured: Jane Parker-Wisdom from Solent Elite, Vanda Varga, Rainbow Centre head of fundraising Yvonne Cambell and front is Fenton Cowell and Matt Hutchings. Picture by: Steven J Phyall from Zooming Photography

Two keen supporters of The Rainbow Centre also got involved, to give back to the service which supports children and adults affected by neurological conditions.

Ken Chant is a participant at the Rainbow Centre, following his diagnosis with Parkinson's in 2006.

He has been visiting the centre since 2013 and everyone loves his energy and enthusiasm at the sessions.

Supporters of the Rainbow Centre in Fareham took on a daring skydive to raise funds. Pictured: Vanda Varga with Ken Chant. Picture by: Steven J Phyall from Zooming Photography

Ken, who loved taking part in the skydive, said: ‘It was amazing! I am so pleased that I am able to take part, and would like to thank Rainbow for keeping me strong enough to be here.’

Serial fundraiser Fenton Cowell has been supporting The Rainbow Centre since he was eight, when took part in an abseil of the tower at Fareham Fire Station.

He loved fundraising so much that he returned at the age of 10 to take part again. He signed up for the skydive just after his 16th birthday, and absolutely loved taking part in his jump in front of his family.

He now has his sights firmly fixed on abseiling down the Spinnaker Tower, fundraising again for The Rainbow Centre.

Yvonne Campbell, head of fundraising at The Rainbow Centre, said: ‘We are absolutely delighted that Solent Elite are taking on such a huge challenge for us here at The Rainbow Centre.

‘Following such a difficult year we are so very grateful to still be here, and have the opportunity to have their support in raising vital funds for us!’

Visit justgiving.com/fundraising/vanda-is-crazy-jumping to donate or go to rainbowcentre.org for more about the charity.

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