The newly-built West of England Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Therapy Centre opened its doors to patients for the first time last week, following years of fundraising and planning.
Construction on the £1.13 million state-of-the-art treatment centre began in June last year and contractors Elliott UK officially handed over the building earlier this month.
Situated between Wheatfield Primary School and Bradley Stoke Way (close to Primrose Bridge), the new centre will provide support for up to 600 people with MS every year in Bristol, South Gloucestershire, North Somerset and surrounding areas.
The centre previously operated from a unit on an industrial estate in Nailsea, where it had been providing therapies for people with MS for more than 25 years.
The Bradley Stoke MS Therapy Centre will provide specialised physiotherapy, oxygen treatment, reflexology, aromatherapy, botox injections to relieve muscle spasms, acupuncture and counselling.
The new facility also has good relaxation facilities to provide space for social interaction ensuring people with MS can continue to live their lives.
Mike Gelder, head of the Moonstone Appeal which has raised the funds necessary for the new centre, said:
“We are very pleased to be at this point after many years of hard work raising the funds needed for the centre, planning, and building the facility which will provide so much vital support for people living with MS in this region.”
“We have so many people to thank – from the hundreds of people who have supported us from the fundraising events that raise just a few pounds to individuals who have made very substantial donations. Every penny has really counted.”
Mr Gelder added:
“The new centre, designed by architects ID Partnership, will provide superb facilities to offer people living with Multiple Sclerosis the therapies which enable them to remain active, working and independent for as long as possible.”
“The benefits to the individuals who normally encounter the first symptoms of this debilitating illness in their 20s and 30s and to their families are significant.”
The new centre houses an oxygen chamber (pictured below), transferred from the old centre in Nailsea, together with a large exercise room and three smaller treatment rooms. Only the central and northern sections of the building are currently in use; the southern section (phase 2) is currently divided-off pending the availability of funds to fit it out.
The charity has always relied entirely on donations to enable it to support people living with MS and is continuing its appeal for funds to ensure it can provide the services at the new centre at Bradley Stoke.
Mr Gelder said:
“We will be actively looking for business sponsorship, directly or through staff initiatives and financial support from local charities and organisations so that we can continue to help people to cope with MS, by minimising the many symptoms of this devastating condition and delaying reliance upon family and carers.”
Donations can be made through the charity’s website www.mstherapybristol.org.uk, by texting “MSTC12 £x” to 70070 or by post to The West of England MS Therapy Centre, Bradbury House, Wheatfield Drive, Bradley Stoke, Bristol BS32 9DB.
A fundraising collection for the charity will be made at Tesco Extra Bradley Stoke on Thursday 12th April and the centre is also the nominated charity for this year’s Bradley Stoke 10k Run, which takes place on Sunday 3rd June.
A sponsored abseil down the Avon Gorge on Saturday 21st April will also raise funds for the charity.
The Trustees of The West of England MS Therapy Centre and of the Moonstone Appeal, which has raised funds and built the centre, very much appreciate the support of:
- South Gloucestershire County Council for granting a 99 year lease of the land at peppercorn rent
- Taylor Wimpey for granting access to the land
- Clarke Willmott Solicitors
- Kendleshire Golf Club
- Portishead Rotary Club
Other supporters have included: The Bradbury Foundation, Garfield Weston Foundation, Henry Smith Charity, Clothworkers’ Foundation, Wolfson Foundation, Albert Hunt Charity and the Big Give.
Simon Kohn have generously built the reception desk and Herman Miller have provided all the office furniture.
Lead photo (L-R): Peter Miller (Chairman of the West of England MS Therapy Centre), Mike Gelder (Chairman of the Moonstone Appeal), Jackie Brightwell (founder of the West of England MS Therapy Centre), Ken Edis (supporter of the West of England MS Therapy Centre, David Jupp (Business Development Manager, Elliott Group).
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