It is with deepest regret we have to inform you all that our lovely and Inspirational Founder, Yvonne Pye passed away peacefully this morning. The Pale Moon Big Night Out on this Saturday, 23rd September will now be a celebration of Yvonne’s life and we will all strive to continue with Yvonne’s amazing work here at the Rainbow Support Centre. Please come along and rejoice in her memory. ❤️
An inspirational community resource set up in record time!
Just a few months ago, Fishguard resident Yvonne Pye, found herself sitting in her car at a loss as to where to go and how to move on – suffering from bowel cancer, she had just received some grim news about her prognosis and could not face going home to an empty house or sitting in a cafe. Yvonne suddenly realised she would like a safe space to go and unwind, have a cuppa and a chat and be with others dealing with cancer and trying to remain positive.
Later that night she put out a plea on Facebook and had little expectation of receiving any responses – how wrong could she be – within minutes homeopath , Amanda Clifford , had asked how she could help and many others followed suit. Spotting some empty rooms at 19 West Street, Yvonne enquired about renting them to set up a drop-in place, unsure how she would ever pay the rent, but hopeful it could be done.Barrie and Suzanne Thomas from Eglwyswrw owned the building and , once they learned of Yvonne’s plans, they offered to allow use of the whole building for a token rent and the Rainbow Centre was born!
Frantic preparations and a cosmetic update of the inside by Yvonne and all those that so quickly got involved led to the centre being open a few weeks later, on 2 January 2017. Donations came in and Amanda has recently made contact with the Say Yes to Life organisation and their patron Jerome Flynn was asked to open the centre – he was keen to become the patron for the Rainbow Centre too, and was fully involved in the whole Open Day on 18th March 2017. With charity registration applied for, the council eventually agreed to waive the initial council tax costs and the 9 strong committee has many plans for future fund-raising and developments at Goodwick House. The committee members age from 21 to 76 and have a diverse range of experiences and skills, so this new organisation is truly blessed from the start – it is often hard to find people willing to serve on management committees.
The Rainbow Support Centre is for anyone with cancer or a life-limiting illness or their carers/family and friends. The range of services and support offered already is quite astonishing and includes complementary therapies, talks,groups, arts and crafts, meditation, yoga, drumming, counselling and financial advice. As the centre grows, Yvonne and Amanda told me of their hopes to offer respite care, activities for children and young carers as well as many more groups and services. Links are being made with other charities and services and the funds sought to expand opening hours too. At present the centre is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10am to 5pm for anyone to call in. A monthly support group for men with prostate cancer meets here and with so much space other sessions can be set up – let Yvonne know if you have an idea or can offer something to the centre users. The ethos is to offer many things on a holistic basis alongside orthodox medicine.
As Amanda said to me – Yvonne is an “amazing inspiration” and Yvonne talked of her views about dealing with a terminal diagnosis and issues that sometimes arise with hospital treatments. She passionately believes that we should all plan and prepare for advanced care and funerals, who could have power of attorney and telling your family or friends what you would like once your life is limited by ill-health.
While I was visiting the centre, another committee member, Ros, spoke about how taking that first step to come through the door can take courage, but the welcome is warm and this has become a real community treasure very quickly. People may just stay for a quick chat and then join some therapy sessions, leading to the building of a supportive relationships and friendships. Serving the whole of the county, there has been overwhelming support from so many Pembrokeshire organisations it is impossible to name them all – but THANK YOU! Guidance on funding sources and charity registration has come from PAVS and there have been anonymous donors as well as well-publicised events to raise money. The next one is the Pale Moon Big Night Out on 23rd September – a fantastic family night out of music and food held at Pwll Caereg Farm, Berea. Now on the committee organising this event, Amanda is seeking auction prizes, so get in touch if you can offer something. She is also one of those going on the zipwire ride in Snowdonia sometime in October – the centre is hoping to find a minibus to use to take lots of supporters to this fund-raiser! Numerous other local people are helping with things as varied as selling jewellery, writing a blog, helping with the website and creating some container gardening and seating areas in the courtyard. Daisybus Gardens of Wellbeing are open for a Coffee Morning on 29th September with half the proceeds going to Macmillan and the other half to the Rainbow Centre.
If you would like to help, get involved or seek support please feel free to pop in or call 01348 873222, look at the facebook page or email to email@example.com. twitter : @rainbowcancersupport. The building has a shed at the back, which could house some pottery sessions – do you have a potters wheel to spare? The centre not only benefits its users, but also gives a boost to the local economy too through bringing people to Fishguard and making strong links across organisations.