Hosting a Welcome Hub for people with MS

by Berkshire MS Therapy Centre in Reading, United Kingdom

Hosting a Welcome Hub for people with MS
We did it
On 31st January 2023 we successfully raised £9,990 ( + est. £804.75 Gift Aid ) with 40 supporters in 84 days

We want to provide a warm space for our members with MS this winter to keep them healthy.

Project by The Berkshire Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre Limited

 New stretch target

Quite simply, the more money we raise, the more things we can do.  We will consult with our members and find more ways to support them

Living with Multiple Sclerosis is hard. This winter is going to be tough. We plan to open our Centre to offer a warm place and reduce social isolation. 

We plan to promote the Centre as a ‘welcome bank’ this winter: a heated space where our members can attend during the day. We will be open for them to visit and plan to provide tea, coffee, hot chocolate, snacks, fresh fruit, newspapers/magazines, board games, jigsaws, and company. 

A recent report from the MS Society ‘Reduced to Breaking Point’ highlights the devastating effect the current cost of living crisis will have on our members. 

Most people with MS will need to retire early, reducing their income at the same time that costs will rise. With the rise of inflation, the impact is currently being felt harder. 

The report shows that two in five people with MS who claim benefits can't afford to heat their home. Three out of 10 people with MS have had to reduce or stop treatments due to cost.

We provide our core therapies free of charge but invite donations from our members. This usually accounts for a quarter of our income. This winter we expect our donations and fundraising to reduce. 

We will encourage our members to attend regardless of their ability to donate. When treatments are missed MS symptoms can get worse very quickly. 

58% of people with MS are concerned by their utility bills. Heating and energy use are essential if you have MS. Being cold can worsen your MS symptoms, and if your mobility is affected, you struggle to move around to stay warm. With many people retiring early, they are more likely to be at home. 

MS creates many costs; including healthcare, carers, transport and utilities. If they have bad circulation, they will feel the cold sooner. They may need to use the tumble dryer because they are not mobile enough to sort out their washing another way. They may need a stair lift or to charge a motorised wheelchair. 

The rising costs do not just affect our members but also have a big impact on our charity. Our costs will also rise and we predict our fundraising and donations, still affected by the pandemic, will be reduced. 

With our finances affected, what we will be able to offer will depend on how much we can raise. 

With your help today we can keep our members warm this winter and keep our services running.  

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