Fareham: The Rainbow Centre takes its charity work online

The Rainbow Centre is a charity based in Fareham, Hampshire, that helps children and adults with neurological disorders such as Cerebral Palsy, Parkinson’s, MS and those recovering from a stroke or head injury.

The Centre provides regular conductive education sessions, where participants can learn the skills that many of us take for granted – which can involve moving hand to mouth, sitting up straight, standing steady and walking.

This year was due to be full of exciting events and opportunities at the centre. This was to celebrate 30 years of providing an outstanding and vital lifeline for the children and adults that attend. Unfortunately 2020 had other plans for us all and following the COVID-19 outbreak, all sessions for over 120 individuals now transferred to online, the team is now working on sustaining support during this unprecedented and difficult time.

Conductive Education can be applied throughout a person’s whole life and is traditionally beneficial for those with cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s, MS, stroke and acquired brain injury. It focuses on potential and ability, rather than an individual’s disability. People with neurological and mobility impairment can learn to perform daily tasks that those without such impairment learn through normal life experiences.

Following the Government’s directive to lock down our communities back in March we were hopeful that closing the Centre would be relatively short-lived – we even hoped we might be able to reopen the Centre after a slightly extended Easter break. It is now very clear that this situation will last for an extended period and none of us can know how long that will be.

Our service team has been working hard over these last 10 weeks to deliver a fantastic online service for our families through Zoom and Facebook; initially we uploaded short videos of our sessions but we are now streaming interactive, live sessions online every day for both our children and adult communities. The feedback we have received has been tremendous and I’m so proud of the team for delivering such a great service from their homes; a testimony to the love and care we extend to all our Rainbow Families. We love to see the children enjoying both the routine of their session and really looking forward to still seeing their favourite, familiar faces chatting to and encouraging them. Most importantly, many of them have developed skills they didn’t have before.

Our senior community also finds their sessions invaluable and reassuring; the regular contact with our team maintains their confidence and the routine of the sessions gives them something to look forward to in an otherwise very isolated week.

If you have the ability to support the centre at this difficult time, then please do get in touch. If not please do visit the website for information on how to help.

For anyone looking to help support The Rainbow Centre, contact fundraising@rainbowcentre.org

www.rainbowcentre.org.