Local charity celebrates 35th birthday

Living Magazines Chilterns MS Centre 35th birthday

The Chilterns MS Centre, which empowers people affected by multiple sclerosis to lead happier, healthier and more fulfilling lives, celebrates its 35th birthday this weekend.

A lack of local facilities to treat people with multiple sclerosis (MS) led to the charity being born. It started with an oxygen chamber and physiotherapy in 1985 in Princes Risborough. Over the years the Centre has grown, moving to the Princess Mary Hospital in Halton. It moved to its current location at a purpose-built facility in Halton in 2012.

The services that it provides have also grown. Physiotherapy and oxygen continue to be important therapies, but the charity now provides support to over 550 people through a range of holistic services including occupational therapy, complimentary therapies, exercise classes designed for people with MS and nutritional advice. It also offers emotional support through counselling and social groups. It is so much more that a treatment centre and many of its members have made lifelong friends.

This year, the Centre became even more important to its members during lockdown. Many were shielding, unable to receive treatment and isolated from family and friends.

‘I have been attending The Chilterns MS Centre for over 5 years now and it is a lifeline for me and I’m sure for many others as well. When we went into lockdown, it was difficult at the beginning but the Zoom classes have been of major benefit, both having an exercise regime and the ability to see and speak with familiar faces on a regular basis, the social aspect being as important as the physical for myself and many other Centre members.’ Mark, MS Member.

MS, a life-long condition that affects how messages pass from your brain to parts of your body. Symptoms include chronic fatigue, loss of mobility, sight impairment and reduced bladder control. Such symptoms have a dramatic impact on everyday life and there is no cure.

The charity, which provides all its treatments for free, relies on the generosity of its supporters to raise vital funds to keep it going.

For its birthday it launched Challenge 35, a virtual activity where supporters could choose their own challenge to raise money for the Centre. Many people have taken part, including the Fundraising team who ran, cycled and rowed 35km in under an hour. If you would like to give a birthday gift, you can either take part in Challenge 35 or donate to this great cause.

Visit challenge.chilternsmscentre.org for further details.