Festive fundraising activities at family-run Garsons of Titchfield have netted more than £4,500 for a local charity which supports children and adults with motor disabilities. The Rainbow Centre will use the funds to continue its work supporting dozens of children and adults with a wide range of motor disabilities in the Fareham area.
Thousands of families turned out to visit the real reindeer at Garsons at Christmas in what has become a highlight on the festive calendar for the garden centre and its customers. While no charge was made to see the animals, visitors were encouraged to spare their loose change in buckets at the enclosure. The generous donations totalled £4,775.12 including money raised in collection pots at the garden centre's tills throughout the year, all of which will go towards funding vital support and rehabilitation work at The Rainbow Centre.
A group of children from The Rainbow Centre also enjoyed a magical experience meeting reindeer Arctic and Flash at Garsons. The specially-trained 'reindeer helpers' at Garsons answered all the children's questions and told fascinating facts about Santa's furry helpers.
"The children so enjoyed meeting the reindeer at Garsons, and we have loved working with Garsons throughout this year – partnerships like this are so important to our work," said Yvonne Campbell, community fundraiser at The Rainbow Centre. "Three years ago the charity almost had to close for good, and as it costs an estimated £2,000 per day to keep the doors open, these donations are vital to our survival."
"Every year we are blown away by the incredible support shown by our customers for our nominated charities, and this year even more so as we have surpassed our Christmas 2015 total by more than £500," says Clare James, director at Garsons. "The Rainbow Centre really changes lives with its learning and development programmes for children and specialised services for adults, and we know these donations make such a huge difference. Some of our staff have had opportunities to meet some of the children and see the work of The Rainbow Centre's staff first-hand, and it has made us very proud to have had the charity as a partner in 2016."