THERE were smiles all round as a charity shop was officially opened by the new Mayor of Fareham.
Cllr Susan Bayford cut the ribbon at the West Street shop on Friday.
The shop is raising money for The Rainbow Centre, one of the three charities she has chosen to support this year.
Fareham-based charity The Rainbow Centre is delighted to have a charity shop in the town where it is based.
Cllr Bayford said: ‘It’s very important that a Fareham-based charity has a shop in Fareham. It’s a way to get the message across about what is being done in Fareham.
‘I think it is excellent.’
The Rainbow Centre works with children and adults with cerebral palsy and adults with cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s and those who have experienced a stroke or serious head injury.
Families travel from across Hampshire and the south east to use its specialist services.
This is the third Rainbow Centre charity shop, the others being in West End, Southampton and Eastney.
Founder Helen Somerset-How said: ‘The Rainbow Centre itself is tucked away down in Palmerstone Drive and nobody gets to see it.
‘Having a presence in the town centre means brand awareness and it tells people what we do as well as raising money. We haven’t had a shop in Fareham for a number of years.’
After originally struggling to find stock and volunteers at the start of the year, the shop is now packed with all kinds of bargains and happy staff.
Helen said: ‘The volunteers have done a fantastic job.
‘I just hope the people of Fareham will come in and support it and make it a great success.’
Children from the centre were joined by preschoolers from Good Manor Day Care, who were treated to lots of surprises by magician Adam Magic Music Man.
After the official rainbow ribbon cutting, everyone was invited inside to enjoy tea and rainbow cupcakes.
Although the shelves looked full at opening, business support manager Lara Bull was keen to emphasise the importance of donations.
She said: ‘For the shop to be a success it will need lots of donations so if you are thinking of clearing your wardrobe ready for the summer or think that your loft could really do with being sorted, please remember us.’
For more information go to rainbowcentre.org or call (01329) 289500.