Trusts and Grants
Often trusts are the unsung heroes of the charity sector and many of the groups involved ask for no publicity, it is probably fair to say that we simply could not run the Centre without the substantial support of various grant making trusts. Here you'll find just a few examples of what these amazing organisations have helped us to achieve with their generosity.
So, from every one of us at The Brightwell, thank you.
Bladder and Bowel Health Clinic
The MS Society estimates that 70% of MS patients will have bladder and bowel issues, left untreated these can lead to serious complications. Access to specialist nurses through the NHS can often take time, time that can cause irreparable damage.
The Centre has received grants totalling nearly £15,000 enabling this clinic to continue which has provided help, advice and support to 40 members so far.
The bladder scanner an invaluable diagnostic piece of equipment was largely funded by a single trust with a grant of £8,099. Grants from other trusts have helped fund clinic sundries such as urinalysis strips, couch roll, protective gloves and sterilising equipment as well as covering the cost of heating, lighting and water. The lovely Carol, our specialist nurse, is paid for with grants.
If you've been into the physiotherapy gym recently you may have spotted this brilliant bit of kit. The THERA-Trainer is used to exercise upper body and/or legs with, or without, motorised assistance and is used while sitting either on a chair or wheelchair. As anyone who regularly uses it will happily tell you it gently encourages improved mobility and muscle strength whilst the fancy software monitors their progress, there's also the bonus that it includes a built in option to cycle along the canals of Amsterdam, so it's great mental stimulus as well.
As you can imagine something this clever has a large price tag, around £10,000, but, thanks to a very large National Lottery Grant, we managed to secure the rest of the funding from other trusts and some local councillors.
Over half of our members rely on oxygen therapy to help manage their symptoms add to that the plans to expand the hours we offer oxygen therapy and the ever increasing demand for our services it was clear our old compressor wasn't up to the task.
One wonderful trust paid for a new compressor in its entirety, a grant of over £5,000. The running costs and reliability savings from having a brand new compressor are also quite impressive.
Obviously we have to have oxygen delivered and stored on site and, unfortunately, it's not as cheap as you'd like to think.
One simply incredible trust has been paying for our oxygen supply for a number of years. We are absolutely indebted to them for this support as this is not an insubstantial amount. To give you a rough idea this years oxygen supply has, so far, cost in excess of £5,000.
Now many of our members might think the exercise classes are all fun and games but they do serve a serious purpose and provide valuable benefits, both physical and mental to participants, plus, they are also fun!
Funding for the classes has been provided by trusts for several years now with over £15,000 coming from various places.
If you've been a member of the Centre for a few years now you'll remember the barren wasteland that the therapy garden now occupies. It was neither welcoming, attractive or accessible. With the support of local organisations, businesses, the Tesco Bags of Help Scheme and trusts this area was transformed into a welcoming, safe and beautiful environment that all the members regularly enjoy. We're still making applications for more furniture and to continue maintenance of the therapy garden.
Peer to Peer Support
Often overlooked is the help, support and advice that our members provide each other. There's something to be said about having a network of people available who have all experienced the same journey, the same ups as well as the downs. However this also needs to be nurtured, whether it's providing the hot water for a cup of tea or organising craft events. Our afternoon events are organised not as fundraising vehicles but as a way for our members to meet each other, to socialise and make some new friends. The running costs, materials and resources needed to do these things is all provided through grants.