In 2000 a group of parents of young people with varying disabilities came together through their connection with Belmont Chapel in Exeter.
They set up the Rainbow teaching group, which provided an opportunity for the parents to share experiences whilst giving their disabled and learning disabled children a place to come together to enjoy activities appropriate to their individual and unique needs.
As the children became young adults, the parents began to talk about the future. This led to the idea that some of the young members of the group could live together in supported living within the local community. The idea gathered speed and in September 2006, after much research and planning, they filed an application to become a registered charity – Rainbow Living.
Within six months Rainbow Living had received the offer of a loan large enough to buy the first Rainbow House and the parents started turning their ideas into reality. A team of volunteers and professionals worked hard to transform the chosen property into Rainbow Living's first Rainbow House, specially adapted to suit the tenants varying needs. In 2008 five tenants moved in to the Exeter Rainbow House, supported by staff from Christian group Livability. That same group of young people still all live there together today.
In 2010, Rainbow Living identified a need for another Rainbow House in the Torbay area. It took three years to get the funding in place, and in 2013 another group of young disabled adults moved out of their family home and into the Torquay Rainbow House.
Following the success of the Rainbow Houses in Exeter and Torquay, we were approached to provide a third Rainbow House in Exeter, to provide supported living accommodation for a group of young learning disabled adults. Following four years of fundraising, planning and renovation, five tenants moved into the Third Rainbow House in the Summer of 2017.
Following further demand for our services, Rainbow Living purchased Rainbow House Four, also in Exeter, in the summer of 2019; we are currently refurbishing the house and aim to open the house to the new tenants in the Spring of 2020.
In December 2019, Rainbow Living changed its legal entity and became a charitable company limited by guarantee and the charity number changed to 1181195. We are now registered with the Charity Commission as Rainbow Living SW, though we will still trade as Rainbow Living; these changes do not affect our work, nor will they have any impact on our future aims and aspirations.