Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Christmas Closing and New Year Opening

The Centre will close at 1.00p.m. on 24th December 2008 and reopen on Monday 5th January 2009 at 9.00 a.m.

There is a limited Oxygen Therapy service available between these dates. Please contact reception on 0118 901 6000 for further details.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Peaceful New Year.


Monday, 22 December 2008

UK Road Atlas for Blue Badge Drivers

UK Road Atlas for Blue Badge Drivers is a unique spiral bound, handy sized, 256 paged customised atlas for Blue Badge holders driving in the United Kingdom.

You can find further details about it and buy one here-

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

MS Specialist Nurse Clinic & Specialist Continence Adviser

Annette Leach, MS Specialist Nurse is delighted to restart her monthly clinic here at the Centre. She will also be joined by Ceris Steel, the Specialist Continence Adviser who works with Annette on such issues.

They will be available at the Centre for three ten minute appointments between 1.30 and 2.00 pm on the following dates:
  • Monday 19th January
  • Tuesday 15th February
  • Wednesday 18th March
  • Thursday 16th April
To make a booking please speak to reception on 0118 901 6000.

Monday, 17 November 2008

London Irish and BMSTC Official Partnership Launch

We were delighted to welcome London Irish RFC who are supporting the Berkshire MS Therapy Centre as their chosen local charity for the 2008-9 season and officially launched the new partnership on Thursday 13th November. To celebrate the launch London Irish First team players Peter Hewat and Dan Murphy called into the Centre with the town's Mayor and Mayoress, Peter & Cynthia Baird to meet the members and look around the centre.

For full details see the London Irish website at:

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Special Shopping Evening

Special Shopping Evening, Reading Town Centre, Monday 1st December

6 pm - 8 pm.

An evening of special offers, refreshments and entertainment.

Helping make Christmas shopping an easy experience for the elderly and disabled. 0118 939 0771

Monday, 27 October 2008

MS Therapy Centres No Longer Regulated by Healthcare Commission

As of the 1st October 2008, the MS Therapy Centres will no longer be regulated by the Healthcare Commission for the provision of Oxygen Therapy. Thank you to all of those who have campaigned to remove this legislative burden on the Centres by writing to local MP's.

MS Therapy Centres will no longer need to pay the annual registration fee and complete the annual self-assessment or be subject to inspections. This will reduce the administrative and financial burden on the MS Therapy Centres who will conduct self-regulation through the National Association of MS Therapy Centres.

Therapy Centres have improved their services as a result of regulation by the Healthcare Commission, these standards of service will continue to be appropriately maintained and developed.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Leukaemia drug halts, reverses MS symptoms

By Alice Ritchie in Cambridge
October 23, 2008 01:57pm
Article from: Agence France-Presse

BRITISH researchers say they have found that a drug, originally developed to treat leukaemia, can halt and even reverse the debilitating effects of multiple sclerosis (MS).,23599,24540679-36398,00.html
See also:

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

The Outside Clinic Community Opticians

If you have diffictulty getting out to your optician - you maybe interested in the services of the Outside Clinic Community Opticians who bring optical services to you in the comfort of your own home. Free NHS sight tests are available to peope who meet the specified criteria.

See for more details.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

I Want to Ride My Bicycle.......!

Article by one of our members who uses the Pathway Exercise Referral Scheme at Palmer Park.

"The wind is whistling through my hair (OK, there’s a mild ruffling), and I haven’t yet crashed into anyone else with my random veering off to the right…What am I doing? Well, I’ve started riding a tricycle and triking my way around the cycle track at Palmer Park in East Reading.

It’s an ideal form of gentle exercise as you can go completely at your own pace, and if your balance is a bit off, like mine, the three wheels will keep you upright. It takes a little getting used to, and I wouldn’t advise trying to go round the banked course (!), but it gets you out in the fresh air and gives a real sense of achievement as you can build up the number of laps you do. I used to like walking, but since I can’t walk very far anymore, this is an ideal alternative.

On my first outing, just getting into the seat and sitting upright was a challenge, as I have rather weak core stability and my muscles were shaking uncontrollably, but as I relaxed and got my bearings, that improved. The next challenge was cycling in a straight line. I still veer off to the right at times (something to do with my coordination? Who knows?), but even that’s getting better with practice. The way I’m tackling it, is to do two or three laps, then rest, then start again until I feel I’ve had enough. I really enjoy it, and am hoping to build up the number of quarter of a mile laps I do each week.

The ‘Cycling for Health’ scheme is run by a partnership between Reading Borough Council and the CTC (the UK national cyclists’ organisation), and is supported by the Pathway Exercise Referral Scheme. In my case, my GP completed a Pathway Referral form for me and I took it along with me to my first session. The session is always supervised (I got lots of help the first time I went), and friendly assistance is always on hand from Helen Biggerstaff, CTC Community Cycling Development Officer, or Binders Roszcyk, a Pathway Exercise Referral Instructor.

There is currently a session at Palmer Park on Friday mornings from 10.30am to noon, but they are planning to introduce an additional session on Monday afternoons from 3pm. It costs £2.40 per session, though you are not expected to stay the whole time – you just do what you can. Both bicycles and tricycles can be borrowed when you get there.

To find out more, call Helen Biggerstaff at Reading Borough Council on 0118 901 5713.

Happy tricycling!"

Monday, 13 October 2008

A note from the BMSTC Link Group -Christmas Fayre 15th November

15 November 2008, 1 - 3pm

Once again the Link Group is organising the annual Christmas Fayre and we are writing to you as members of the Centre to ask for your support with this event. The Link Group work hard during the year arranging various events to raise money for the Centre and would very much like more members to become involved.

Please support our efforts by donating any of the following:
A prize for the raffle or tombola. Any new, unused, items would be very welcome.

Soft Toys which can be used as prizes.

Toys for the Lucky Dip and presents from Santa.

Wine for prizes in the Wine Raffle

Cakes to serve with tea and coffee on the day and for people to buy and take home.

Bric-a-Brac Stall Items to sell

If you have none of the above, a £1 donation would be appreciated. Please give this to Tracy or Jackie and ask them to pass it on to a member of the Link Group.

There is a labelled plastic dustbin in the reception area at the Centre into which donated items can be placed. Wine should be given direct to Trish Wright or handed to Tracy or Jackie who will pass it on to her. Cakes should be brought along on the day, or a day or two before.

Other ways you can help
Are you or any of your family and friends available to help on the day? We need able-bodied people to help set up the tables, They would need to arrive at 9 am and help for a couple of hours . Also help is needed at the end of the day (dismantling tables and clearing up) from about 3pm to 5pm. If you or anyone you know could help with this (or in any other way)there will be a volunteers' form at the Centre for you to complete or please phone the Centre.

Please come along on the day with your friends and family. You will find lots of stalls with all sorts of things to buy and delicious cakes to eat in or take away. Tea, coffee and cold drinks will also be available. For the children there will be a lucky dip and, of course,Santa will be there too!

Many thanks.

Sue Smith
Secretary BMSTC Members' Link Group

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Walking for MileS 2008 - or was it Swimming?!

On Sunday 5th October the Berkshire MS Therapy Centre held its annual Walking for MileS Event at Beale Park. There were three walks altogether, the first being a Half Marathon, the second was a seven mile walk along the Thames and around Basildon Park and the third was 1.5 miles inside Beale Park that was particularly suitable for the members of the centre who are confined to wheelchairs.

Despite the elements conspiring against the day with heavy rain starting the night before and continuing throughout the day, 200 turned up to do there bit for their local MS Therapy Centre. As the very damp entrants returned from their individual challenge they were met with smiling faces and goody bags given to them by Digger, the London Irish Mascot. The members of the Berkshire MS Therapy Centre are delighted to have been chosen as the club charity for London Irish this season and will be enjoying further visits from Digger as well as support from the club and their players.

The Centre relies entirely on donations and grants to exist and receives no help from the NHS or Central Government. If you would like to know more about the Centre or know someone who would benefit from the support they give, please call 0118 901 6000 or log onto

Thursday, 2 October 2008

London Irish Choose BMSTC as their Club Charity!

Excerpt from London Irish Website...!.html
We also welcomed members of our chosen local charity the Berkshire MS Therapy Centre onto the pitch for a photo with London Irish players Warren Fury and Tom Parker. The charity works hard to improve the quality of life of people affected by MS in Berkshire and provides beneficial therapies, information and practical support to people with MS, their families and carers. Throughout the year we will be supporting various events, the first being their 'Walking for MileS' which takes place at Beale Park on Sunday 5th October. For additional information about the charity please visit

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Walking for MileS 2008 - Sunday 5th October

Don't forget the Walking for Miles Event this Sunday 5th October!

Come and join us at Beale Park for a Sponsored Walk and raise money for the Berkshire MS Therapy Centre.

Getting there
Beale Park is located at Lower Basildon, 6 miles from Reading on the A329 between Pangbourne and Streatley. Leave the M4 at J12 (Theale) and follow the brown tourist signs.

Call Jackie Malcolm on 0118 901 6000 for Registration Details.

Monday, 22 September 2008

Air Travel - New rights for disabled and less mobile passengers

Under new European law, if you are disabled or have difficulty moving around, you will have improved rights to assistance when you fly to, from and within Europe from 26 July 2008.
You do not need to be permanently or physically disabled to benefit from these rights. In fact, anyone who has difficulty moving around, for example, because of their disability or age, can receive help when they fly.

For further information visit

Friday, 19 September 2008

Worldwide Survey seeks MS Answers

Another article of interest appearing on the BBC website today concerning the number of people suffering from MS wroldwide could be far more than the estimated 1.3m:

Unproven treatment "aids my MS"

Interesting article on the BBC website about lifestyle changes that helped Tracey, an MS Patient
from Leeds:

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Interested in Participating in a Clinical Research Trial?

An advert by Richmond Pharmacology in Able Magazine Sep/Oct 2008 reads:

Do you suffer from Multiple Sclerosis? Are you interested in participating in a Clinical Trial?

The medicine being investigated can be taken by mouth and not intravenously. The treatment period will be 4 weeks.

To be eligible for the trial you need to be:

- Aged 18 - 65
- Diagnosed with MS with at least 1 relapse in the past 24 months.
- Able to walk about 20 meters without resting, but using assistance (sticks, crutches, braces) if necessary.
- Registered with a GP who will be informed of your participation.

In recognition of your participation in this study:
£2,000 payment for your time and travel.
- Further access, if appropriate, to this therapy once the trial has ended.

Interested in participating? Register online at or call free on 0800 085 6464 quoting Ref POP1.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Introducing the New MS Specialist Occupational Therapist for Reading......

Hello everyone, My name is Shirley Bampton I am the new Multiple Sclerosis Specialist Occupational Therapist at Reading Borough Council. My post has been jointly funded between the MS Society and Reading Borough Council for three years. After this time Reading Borough Council will fund the position.
I have been in post for 5 weeks. This time has been spent by gaining some understanding of Reading Borough Councils procedures, networking, developing relationships with key partners as well as developing an expertise in the field of MS which can be shared within my teams.
In October I will be attending a residential course that will further assist me with my work. In the near future it is anticipated that I will be able to respond to all new referrals for people with MS, and if appropriate I will work with existing clients and care managers to facilitate services.
If you would like to contact my my details are as follows: Email - or telephone 0118 9312277. Meanwhile, if you need to make a referral you can do this via the website or by telephoning 0118 9390900 and ask for Response and Assessment for adults.
Very best wishes Shirley
Shirley Bampton Multiple Sclerosis Specialist Occupational Therapist, Reading Social Services, Whitley Office, 268 Northumberland Avenue, Whitley, Reading, Berks RG2 7PJ Tel 0118 9312277 Fax 0118 9310682 Email:

Monday, 8 September 2008

Request from Institute of Neurology Regarding Oxygen Therapy

Professor Kenneth Smith, PhD from the Department of Neuroinflammation at the Institue of Neurolgy (Queen Square) University College London has sent a request to people with MS who recieve Oxygen Therapy. His request reads:

"I would be interested to talk to any patients with MS who find that they experience a change in their symptoms while they are breathing hyperbaric oxygen. For example, perhaps someone may find that they can see better or worse in the chamber, or that numbness or muscle strength may change, or fatigue, etc., etc. I am interested in knowing about all changes that might occur in any symptoms. If you can help, that would be great."

It is encouraging to see some interest for the use of hyperbaric oxygen treatment with MS. If you have any information that you would like to feed back, please contact Kenneth directly:

Prof. Kenneth J. Smith, PhD, Department of Neuroinflammation, The Institute of Neurology (Queen Square), University College London, 1 Wakefield Street, London, WC1N 1PJ, Tel: +44 (0) 20 7679 4013, Fax: +44 (0) 20 7278 6572E-Mail:

Tuesday, 2 September 2008


We are in the process of trying to recruit new physiotherapy staff after the sudden and unexpected departure of one of our full time physios.

We apologies for any disruption caused to physiotherapy sessions at the Centre. Please be assured that we are doing everything we can to rectify the problem. In the meantime thank you for your patience and understanding.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Summer Hols!

Well I hope you are finding this blog useful resource for up to the minute news from the MS Centre.

I am on my summer hols for the next couple of weeks camping around France, so look forward to adding some more news on my return towards the end of August. I also look forward to updating my blog photo to one which is relaxed and tanned rather than my rather pale and pensive look!

Waitrose - Millions to Benefit Local Charities!

We will be contacting our local Waitrose Branches in the hope that we will be one of the selected local charities to benefit from their scheme outlined below. I belive customers can also nominate a local charity to benefit by filling out a form available from Customer Services, if you had the time when you are next shopping at Waitrose, we would welcome your nomination!
Charities can apply for a slice of £2.28m that supermarket chain Waitrose will donate to nearly 7,000 community projects in the next 12 months.The money is being awarded as part of Waitrose's plans to support more local causes, and will not affect its national fundraising initiatives.

The Community Matters scheme will be available in the company's 190 stores. Each one will receive £1,000 a month, which can be distributed between three local projects. Employees at each branch will vote for which causes the money will go to each month - charities can contact their local stores to nominate themselves.Customers then choose which of the three monthly projects to support by depositing vouchers they receive at check-outs into a box for their favoured cause. The amount each cause receives will be directly proportional to the number of tokens in each box.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Alastair Hignell, BBC Sports Presenter - I don't feel I'm giving in to MS

An interesting article suggested by one of our members to share:

Continence Issues

The BMSTC Link Group have organised an information meeting on Continence Issues with Ceris Steel - Continence Advisor and Maimoona Freckleton - Specialist Nurse, West Berks Primary Care Trust on Thursday 25th September between 2 - 4.00pm. There will also be a display of continence aids available to view from 10.00 a.m.

Places are limited, so if you are interested, please email me or call me on 0118 901 6000.

We are hoping if there is sufficient interest to set up a monthly Continence Clinic with Ceris here at the Centre. Let me know what you think by leaving a comment on this blog or email me. Thanks :0)

MS Society Event - Beyond The Garden Gate

Has your MS forced you to give up a particular sport, activity or hobby?
Are you feeling bored and/or isolated because so many doors have been closed to you?
Beyond the Garden Gate is an event that celebrates the things that people with disabilities can take part in. Our speakers will tell you what they have achieved and how they did it. Within the exhibition area, you will find information on a wide range of activities and hobbies. Lunch will be provided if you book your place at this event.
We hope that the day will inspire you to develop new interests and achieve new goals!Hayley Conference CentreAlexandra HouseWroughtonNear SwindonWiltshireSN4 0QJ(
10 minutes from M4/Junction 15 - click for map)

Organised by the Thames Valley and Wilts, Hants & Islands Regions of the MS Society. More information: Rosemary Tocock0118 986 2591Bookings: Jenny Gee, 01980 862238, Email

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Walking for MileS 2008

This week we have started promoting our Walking for MileS 2008 event. On Sunday October 5th we intend to repeat the success of last years walks by returning to Beale Park once again. Last year this event raised over £25,000 with over 300 participants!

There will be another Half Marathon Challenge as well as the 7-8 mile walk and the Walk in the Park suitable for wheelchair users or people with pushchairs. This year we have added a new dimension to the event as the 7/8 miler will be going through Basildon Park, the National Trust estate where Pride and Prejudice was filmed 4 years ago.

The Half Marathon walk will also go through the main entrance onto a route that is yet to be planned. We are delighted that Sony has once again offered us a wonderful prize to give to the individual who raises the most sponsorship. This will be an SLR Digital Camera (Sony DSLR-A200). For further details and an entry form follow this link:
Download a leaflet.

Friday, 25 July 2008

MS Quiz

Welcome to my blog - I thought you may find the following two links of interest: think you know about MS? Check out this link and test your knowledge at the BBC website

There is more about multiple sclerosis and the apparent Scottish link in Elizabeth Quigley's television investigation "Scotland's Hidden Epidemic: The truth about MS", which will be broadcast on BBC One Scotland at 2245 BST on Wednesday 23rd July. Follow this link to BBC I-Player to watch this program available to view until Tuesday 29th July 2008.