Chilterns MS Centre
Chilterns MS Centre moved into a new building in 2013.
It used to be in a small prefab concrete single story building. Money was raised to build a much larger new two storey Chilterns MS Centre. The annual cost of running the new building has exceeded expectations.
Turn it into a viable business
Robert Breakwell, very well known in Berkhamsted for running the Pepper Foundation and the annual Sgt. Pepper concerts, is the man who has the challenge to make this MS Therapy Centre into a viable concern.
Essential services for MS sufferers
The Centre is too valuable an asset to be allowed to sink. It is used for treatment on a weekly basis by over 250 people people suffering from multiple sclerosis. Some people who use it every week might live more than 20 miles away. It has become a vital part of their life both for treatment and as a place to meet fellow sufferers. There are also many volounteers who are essential for the day to day running
Dacorum mayor visits the Chilterns MS Centre
On Friday 6th February 2014 the MS Therapy Centre was visited by the Mayor and the Deputy Mayor of Dacorum.
They were welcomed to the center by the CEO, Robert Breakwell and Derek Townsend DL Patron.The visitors were introduced to 3 people with multiple sclerosis from Hertfordshire who use the centre regularly, myself, Mark Webb and Sian Idris-Evans
Just another normal day
As happens so often the visitors knew the words ‘multiple sclerosis’ but had very little knowledge of the disease and its impact upon people’s lives. While the problems of living with MS were being explained to them, regular visitors were coming in to receive treatment and have a conversation with their friends. This was just another normal day for the centre.
The visitors were then given a guided tour. They were shown the Hypobaric Oxygen Therapy treatment facilities and spoke to the operators who are all volunteers. Chris Beech, the senior physiotherapist then showed the various physiotherapy treatments that are available. These include traditional physiotherapy, hydrotherapy and clinical therapy. Nearly all the treatment is done on a 1 to 1 basis by skilled physiotherapists.
Need for volounbtary contributions
When Robert spoke to the visitors he emphasised the importance of the work done by the volunteers to the extent that the Centre could not exist without their efforts. The centre offers a unique service to multiple sclerosis sufferers. The Centre works alongside the NHS but its existence is largely dependent upon voluntary contributions.
I was unaware of the amount of additional space available in the new building nor did I know there were so many facilities available.
Is it a hidden gem?
I really do hope that the financial issues can be turned around and the future of the centre can be protected. It will be a tough challenge to raise the necessary money year on year. Maybe it has been a hidden gem for too long.
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