RAFA and Montse Benitez opened our new centre for people with autism in Wirral.

The former Liverpool FC manager and his wife donated £5,000 through their charitable foundation to our Get on Board Appeal to refurbish our extremely popular narrowboat.

The building will provide a range of services for people with autism and Asperger’s Syndrome, including creative arts rooms, a state of the art media suite and an IT suite.

Mrs Benitez said people have asked her why she formed a foundation in Merseyside. She said: “The answer is quite simple.

“I want to help people in my home. I didn’t need to go far away because here there are people who need our help.”

The couple, who live in West Kirby, formed the Montse Benitez Foundation in September, to help local good causes.

It supports a broad range of charities, not only raising funds but also boosting their profile.

The centre also has a public resource centre for families and professionals involved in autism. It is open to members of the public.