Nationwide Building Society hosted an evening of property dealing on 21 November when supporters of the Swindon Therapy Centre for MS tried out the Christmas must-have gift: Monopoly – Swindon edition.
The centre in Westlea, which celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2013, was one of the charities that received enough public votes to qualify for a square on the Swindon edition and the competition night included teams from Nationwide, Swindon 105.5 radio, Sainsbury’s in the town centre, 633 Air Training Cadets, Voluntary Action Swindon and individual supporters of the therapy centre. Two members of Nationwide staff leaving the Pipers Ways HQ after work saw a poster and stayed on to play.
James Earle and Mandy Scott from Sainsbury’s compered the evening, adjudicating on the rules, giving tips to inexperienced players and keeping everybody supplied with drinks. The winner of each of the twenty games on the night took it home with them.
MS Therapy Centre fundraiser Laura Wilson said: “Winning Moves who make the Swindon Monopoly edition gave us 30 copies of the game to give away and we wanted to hold a low cost night out for supporters.
“It was the first time we’d tried something like this; I wasn’t sure what to expect. But it turned out to be a really enjoyable evening with people of all ages playing and eating pizza; I had so many positive comments afterwards.
“We’d like to thank Nationwide, James and Mandy and all the players who took part. It’s given us ideas for some kind of community games event in 2014.”
Monopoly players Joseph Walkers and Natasha King
For Swindon Therapy Centre for Multiple Sclerosis, 2013 has been a year of celebration, fundraising hard and helping more people than ever, writes Laura Wilson. No two days are quite the same – so here are a few memories from this important time in the charity’s history.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to everyone who has been part of our 30th year, there are far too many of you to mention – we are very lucky and you are very kind.
1. We reached our 30th Anniversary,…and had a party! Over 200 people enjoyed Hog Roast and Rock n Roll music to mark the occasion in July.
Cutting the celebration cake, chairman David Wray,centre manager Jackie Wray and High Sheriff of Wiltshire William Wyldbore-Smith, Eric Hawker, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire, Mayor of Swindon Nick Martin
2. An incredible team of 4 from Arval decided to walk 54 miles of the Brecon Beacons, in just 24 hours and raised over £1000 for us.
3. Perhaps one of our youngest visitors, a little baby starved of Oxygen at birth made a long journey from Devon to use our Oxygen Chamber a couple of times a week, we hear that is helping.
4. We raffled off a Trolley Dash with the help of Asda West Swindon which raised £800.
5. Employees came over from Zurich’s Switzerland head office to find out about how the corporate sector can really help charities so that they could make positive changes when they got back.
6. Sainsbury’s Brunel chose us as their charity of the year which meant lots of fundraising and sharing. They have learnt a lot about MS so they can help their staff if they were to be diagnosed.
7. Basepoint Act Foundation recorded over £40,000 donated to us in matchfunding. Right, Basepoint manager Lyn Chapman, centre, presenting the latest instalment
8. Our centre was used as the venue for a visit from the cabinet office.
9. Twenty final year medicine students came to the centre to learn about MS and what support is available for any future patients that they meet.
10. One of our members, Kate who has MS, worked her socks off towards an extremely successful coffee morning raising in excess of £500
11. Swindon Therapy Centre became a film set for the day when our member, Leo, was featured in a corporate film alongside Tim Culling, Chair of Zurich Community Trust which will be shown all around the world to new employees of Zurich.
12. Some very hardworkers from Smiths News spent a day digging and planting a little front garden for us, with a herb garden for all to enjoy.
13. We treated six footballers from Swindon Town FC for their injuries.
14. The Swindon Edition Monopoly Board launched…and we are on it!
15. Clarity in the Community set up Feel Good Friday service and nominated us as their charity of the year for any donations in exchange for giving their staff time to do odd jobs in the community.
16. The very lovely Kelly joined us so we could offer seated yoga, a very nourishing and relaxing class for those who find it difficult to get into the traditional yoga positions.
17. Counselling became available for members of the centre as well as their family.
18. A team from Zurich fundraised to take us to the Royal Crescent Hotel in Bath for a very luxurious afternoon tea treat.
19. We taught a lesson at Swindon College and challenged Business students to create some marketing materials after learning about MS.
20. 6 runners took advantage of our first ever British 10k places and raised £1000
21. We reached £7000 raised through local giving Grow your Tenner, the campaign they ran which meant every £10 we received could be matched!
22. Lift Psychology ran a 5 week Introduction to MS course to help people understand their condition and learn techniques to manage it.
23. We joined Youtube! Our first ever clip was filmed by Media student, Ree Smallwood and featured some of our members describing how they see the centre.
24. 4 Members and volunteers were picked at random to represent us at the Queen’s Tea Party at Buckingham Palace. Right, getting ready to travel to London, holding the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, from left, Chris Wilson, Audrey Baines, Leo Colucci and Nicola Heape
25. Ex Chief Designer of BMW, Chris Bangle donated a completely one off piece of signed BMW memorabilia to us.
26. We spent MS Week raising awareness at our own open day and for the first time, at BP’s office.
27. Carol, our latest member of physio staff joined us. This meant we could offer more in the gym and so started Open Gym sessions.
28. November 2013 became a record month– we packed in 3 large music events, a poker night, a monopoly evening and a quiz!
29.Our oxygen chamber started helping someone with the life changing effects of Carbon Monoxide poisoning
30 . Overall we’ve seen over 120 people a week, for over 15 different classes and therapies because we care a lot about keeping people well and able, as well as physically independant. We hope to carry on making lives better for many years to come and thank all that help us do it.
30th anniversary cake. Long time user of the therapy centre, from left Barry Palmer with Jackie and David Wray, Robert Buckland MP, deputy centre manager Louise Walker and Phylis Palmer
Find out how the therapy centre can help or how you can help the therapy centre at www.msswindon.org.uk