The Swindon MS Therapy Centre for people with Multiple Sclerosis is marking its 25th year by launching an appeal to raise £300,000 to buy a new building at Rivermead in West Swindon.
The centre is entirely funded by donations and fundraising and offers members valuable support including physiotherapy, high dosage oxygen therapy and a range of complementary therapies which help to support independent living. There is also support for carers and other family members.
Over the past three years the number of people using the facilities has risen from 37 to 125. Centre manager Jackie Wray said it is bursting at the seams and that there are difficulties with providing the range of care to everyone who needs it, as well as problems with parking and access to the present location on Cheney Manor industrial estate.
“It’s so important to move to new premises which will allow the Centre to meet the many and varied needs of people living with MS.”
It is estimated that there are 400 MS sufferers in the Swindon area and Jackie hopes that the new location and more spacious premises will also help the centre to attract more members. “MS can be terribly isolating for the individual when they are first diagnosed.
MS is an incurable and unpredictable disease and finding out what might happen is so important.”
The appeal aims to raise the cost of purpose built premises, one square foot at a time. People are being asked to raise funds – each £100 will represent a square foot to build up to the total area of the new centre, 3,000 square feet.
The therapy centre wants to buy three units on a new development opposite Basepoint in Westlea which would be built to their specifications. There would be much improved physiotherapy facilities and room for the oxygen chamber, used to alleviate symptoms of MS.
An extra £200,000 will be needed to fit out the building.
“We’re asking all Link readers to be part of this big move. We’re looking for help from individuals, schools, community groups, pubs and local companies to work with us to achieve this fantastic goal, which will make a real difference to people’s lives” said campaign co-ordinator, Maggie Gill.
MS centre manager Jackie Wray, right, with fundraising consultant Maggie Gill, centre, and trustee Viv Wise