The Swindon Therapy Centre for Multiple Sclerosis celebrates 30 years of supporting people with MS at an invitation only party on 6 July.
Clients, their families and carers, volunteers, fundraisers and people from partner organisations will enjoy a pig roast, and new supporters are welcome to register for an invitation.
Starting as a small diet and exercise group for people with MS, the charity now has 300 members, sixty regular volunteers and its own premises in West Swindon, and provides 6,000 therapy sessions each year. The charity is remarkable because it has become so well established and active without any NHS funding.
The year is also special because the therapy centre was awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service last Autumn, the MBE for volunteer groups.
On 6 June four volunteers, selected in a draw, spent an afternoon in the company of the her majesty, at a Buckingham Palace garden party. Pictured, ready to drive to London, Chris Wilson, Leo Colucci, Audrey Baines, Nicola Heape attended a Buckingham Palace garden party on 6 June to mark the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service
“It was a once in a lifetime experience,” said Leo Colucci. “Because some of us couldn’t walk far we were able to park in the palace forecourt with all the VIPs. The weather was glorious and the garden was simply wonderful, absolutely immaculate.
“The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, accompanied by Prince Edward and Sophie walked down the different columns of guests.
“We were quite close as they passed and we had no idea the duke was unwell. He looked really strong and was chatting to people and smiling. We only heard that he had been taken to hospital from a TV in the service station on our return.
“The organisation of the garden party was amazing. Although there was about 3,000 people, there was no sense it was crowded. There was some formality but at the same time there was such an informal atmosphere with people from all walks of life, from abroad, in uniform, all mixing together.
“We were really proud to represent the Swindon Therapy Centre.”
If you would like to attend the MS centre’s thirtieth birthday party call 01793 481700.