Legacy award for charity helping MS sufferers

Fundraiser Kate Barker with the Hon Mrs Camilla Soames
Fundraiser Kate Barker with the Hon Mrs Camilla Soames

More than 1,000 people with multiple sclerosis have been able to access life-changing treatment, thanks to 10 years of funding from the Aylesbury Vale Community Chest.

The Chilterns MS Centre in Wendover has received £176,400 in grants from the Community Chest since 2008 – and now the charity is celebrating a Legacy Award which recognises a decade of building better services for people with MS.

The award was presented by the Hon Mrs Camilla Soames, High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire, at The Gateway, when local charities got together to celebrate what they have achieved with the support of the Community Chest. Funding came jointly from the Vale of Aylesbury Housing Trust and Aylesbury Vale District Council, who gave almost £5million in grants to good causes in the local community between 2007 and 2017.

Community Chest Grants Officer Sarah Rothwell said: “The Chilterns MS Centre was chosen for the Legacy Award because of the journey the charity has been on over the past ten years and the way their service and facilities have developed over that time, putting them in a better position to continue to support people with MS in the future.”

When the Chilterns MS Centre received its first Community Chest grant back in 2008, it provided physiotherapy and oxygen therapy to around 350 people with MS from portacabins in the grounds of RAF Halton’s hospital. Now the charity has a state-of the-art therapy centre, opened in 2012 on the nearby Princess Mary Gate estate, and it offers a much wider range of therapeutic treatments as well as social activities, counselling and support for carers.

More than 470 people with MS travel there every week from all over Buckinghamshire and parts of Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Oxfordshire to access long term care that isn’t available on the NHS.

Trustee and MS Centre user Catherine Golds said: “We’d like to say a heart felt thank you to the Aylesbury Vale Community Chest for the enormous contribution they have made to our charity since 2008. We’ve had grants for everything from computers to physiotherapist salaries, for our hydrotherapy pool and for the building itself. Our Centre is only here because of the tremendous support from our local community, which has enabled us to keep growing and meeting the needs of so many local people with MS.”

You can contact the Chilterns MS Centre on 01296 696133, www.chilternsmscentre.org