The original West of England MS Therapy Centre was opened in Nailsea in 1985 and at that time only offered oxygen therapy for its members. Over time physiotherapy, exercise and yoga were introduced. The founders were Jackie and Ray Brightwell and with the support of ARMS (Action for Research into Multiple Sclerosis) a national organisation, they set up the first MS Therapy Centre to support people in the Bristol area.
The Centre in Nailsea was expanded to include three industrial units but planning restrictions, the nature of the buildings and the cramped car parking facilities made improving our facilities and further expansion impractical. On 20 February 2012, we opened the doors at our brand new, purpose-built Centre in Bradley Stoke. The Centre was officially opened by The Princess Royal, Princess Anne, on 31 October 2012.
In 2019, we began the transition to The Brightwell, a Centre for neurological wellbeing and physical recovery, supporting not just those with Multiple Sclerosis but anybody living with a neurological condition, their families and their carers too. Our aims, strengths and core values remain the same as they were way back in the Nailsea days. The change of name to “The Brightwell” is in recognition of our founders, Jackie and Ray Brightwell.
This historical background explains about the makeup of our users and members. When the current location first opened many of our existing members, who were based in North Somerset, continued to enjoy the benefits of the therapies, and made their regular visits to Bradley Stoke. As can be seen above, based on 2021 membership data, many new members have since joined us, with a significant proportion now living in Bristol and South Gloucestershire.
The Brightwell needs the support of the wider business community to continue to offer therapies and support services to those living with a life-changing neurological condition. You can make the most difference and become a corporate Brightwell 100 supporter from as little as £84 per month.
For further details please visit www.thebrightwell.org.uk/brightwell-100 If you would like to discuss any queries regarding The Brightwell 100, please contact Caroline Blake-Symes on 07970 038135 or email firstname.lastname@example.org