Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Christmas closing and opening

BMSTC will close at 1.00 pm on Friday 23rd December and re-open at 9.00 a.m. on Tuesday 3rd January.  Limited Oxygen Therapy will be available during this time. Call 0118 901 6000 for details.

On behalf of everyone here at the Centre I would like to wish you a very Happy Christmas and a Peaceful and Healthy New Year!

Pip xxx

Chief executive to leave council

Source BBC:
The chief executive of Reading Borough Council is to leave as part of the authority's plans to save about £1m.

Michael Coughlin said he was in talks with the council about the timing of his departure.  Read more here.

Wolfson Foundation Awards £20million To UCL For Experimental Neurology Centre

Source Medical News Today:
A new centre dedicated to the understanding and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases will be established at UCL following the award of a £20million grant from the Wolfson Foundation, it was announced today.  To read more click here.

Vitamin D in food to combat Scots MS

Source BBC:
A University of Oxford professor has said rates of multiple sclerosis are so dire in Scotland essential foodstuffs should be fortified with vitamin D.

Prof George Ebers has said the Scottish government is now leaving itself open to legal action from people who go on to develop MS in future because the link between the condition and vitamin D deficiency is so strong.  To watch click here.

Local Giving matched fund raises £6,000 for BMSTC!

Thank you to everyone who made a donation to the Centre via the 'Double Your Money' email that Jackie sent out last week. A total of £2,780 was donated, of which £2,500 will be matched by the fund plus gift aided where able.

 In total we shall receive almost £6,000 which is fantastic and a great way to finish the year which has been very difficult on the Fundraising Front. Happy Christmas Everyone :)

(P.S. For those who were unable to support the appeal on this occasion, we are told there will be another Local Giving  Match Fund opportunity in spring next year!)

MS - Scotland's lonely disease.

Source BBC:
Scotland has the highest prevalence of Multiple Sclerosis of any country in the world, with 1 in 500 Scots living with this progressive neurological disease. In this hour-long documentary we get a glimpse into the lives of a handful of those individuals.

We find out how they deal with the problems that MS throws up, and meet several who refuse to let the disease beat them.  To watch click here.

Vote for BMSTC!

Please vote for BMSTC! We have 56 votes already, we need 44 more to reach 100 before the ! Thank you to all who have voted :0)

To vote click here!

Functional electrical stimulation (FES) given green light by Devon and Cornwall NHS

Source MS Trust:
The Peninsula Commissioning Priorities Group has announced that, following a review of evidence, functional electrical stimulation (FES) should be available for people with foot drop caused by damage to the brain or spinal cord whose walking has not improved with other options such as ankle supports.  For more click here.

(Don't for get we offer a FES Clinic at BMSTC, email for more information about our service)

South Central Ambulance Service awarded 'trust of the year'

Source BBC:
South Central Ambulance Service NHS Trust (SCAS) has been named trust of the year.

The announcement was made at the 2011 Health Business Awards at the Emirates Stadium in north London on Wednesday.

NHS figures have showed it to be the best performing ambulance trust in England in terms of response times.  Read more here.

Cow Lane road closure

Source BBC:
The installation of a new bridge in Reading could bring delays to traffic in the town as Cow Lane is closed for six weeks from the 19th December to 30th January.  Read more here.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Flint House Police Rehabilitation Centre raises £1017 for BMSTC!

We would like to say a huge thank you to the team at Flint House for raising and incredible £1,017 for us from their Christmas Raffle! What a fantastic Christmas Gift, well done to the organisers and thank you for your support. Merry Christmas! :0)

For more information on their work see their website  or visit their Facebook page here.

Implementation of neurological services remains patchy

Source MS Trust:
Implementation of the National Service Framework (NSF) for Long-Term Conditions has been poor and lacked clear leadership, coordination, and monitoring information, according to a report published by the National Audit Office.  Read more here.

Neurology emergencies up by a third

Source MSN News UK:
Emergency hospital admissions for people with conditions such as Parkinson's and multiple sclerosis have risen by almost a third despite a huge financial investment in services.

A National Audit Office (NAO) study found important indicators of care for people with neurological conditions have "worsened", and the Department of Health is unable to say whether extra spending has been effective.  Read more here.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

BMSTC Christmas Party - Friday 16th December

Double your money!!

Would you like to make a donation to the Centre and have the amount doubled before your eyes! All you have to do is log onto  and make your donation. Simples!

If you are a UK tax payer, they will add a further 22% to the donation.Fantastic! :)

Happy Christmas Everyone!

Volunteer Oxygen Operators needed!

Would you like to volunteer at the Centre? We need some more oxygen operators to help us on a regular basis. Full training and support given to willing volunteers who can commit to coming to run a session every week.

In particular we are looking for help on a Tuesday (a.m. and p.m.) or a Wednesday/Thursday (p.m.) If you're interested please email Thank you!

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

University of the 3rd Age - including the Virtual U3A

The Third Age Trust is the national representative body for the Universities of Third Age (U3As) in the UK. U3As are self-help, self-managed lifelong learning co-operatives for older people no longer in full time work, providing opportunities for their members to share learning experiences in a wide range of interest groups and to pursue learning not for qualifications, but for fun

To find your local group follow this link:
Alternatively if you are unable to attend a group but wish to join the Virtual U3A follow this link:

School gets cash for DNA research

Source BBC:A school in Kent has been awarded £250,000 by the Wellcome Trust to conduct research into multiple sclerosis.  Watch here.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Rare gene links vitamin D and multiple sclerosis

Source BBC:
A rare genetic variant which causes reduced levels of vitamin D appears to be directly linked to multiple sclerosis, says an Oxford University study.  Read more here.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

BMSTC needs your vote!

Please vote for BMSTC! We need 100 votes to be on the awards list - we have 12 so far so only another 88 votes are needed - please share this with your family and friends on Facebook to spread the work. Thank you :0)  To vote click here!!

Fooling immune system reverses mice multiple sclerosis

Source New Scientist:
TO FIGHT an autoimmune disease, you've got to outwit a rogue immune system that has turned on itself. By doing just that, symptoms of multiple sclerosis have been reversed in mice.  For more click here.

Disabled Motoring UK welcomes Government u-turn over disability benefit

Source Disabled Motoring UK:
Disabled Motoring UK welcomes the news that plans to axe mobility benefit payments to disabled people living in care homes are being dropped. The Government had planned to cut the “mobility” part of Disability Living Allowance – currently worth £51 per week – for those in residential care, claiming that existing Local Authority contracts with care homes should cover residents’ mobility needs.
For more click here.

New MS pill refused again by NICE

Source MS Society:
The new pill for people with relapsing-remitting MS, called Gilenya (formerly known as fingolimod), has been refused by NICE for a second time on the grounds of poor cost effectiveness.  For more click here.

NHS priorities may provide benefit for people with MS

Source MS Trust:
The Department of Health has published its new NHS Operating Framework outlining performance targets and financial requirements in England for the year from April 2012. The MS Trust welcomes the fact that the Framework focuses on several issues that could potentially benefit people with MS.  For more click here.

Treatment of clinically isolated syndrome with interferon beta 1a reduces the risk of conversion to MS

Source MS Trust:
Results from the REFLEX study (REbif FLEXible dosing in early MS) show that interferon beta 1a delayed clincal relapse and subclinical disease activity in people with clinically isolated syndrome whether given once or three times a week. An earlier study (ETOMS) found that 22mg of interferon beta 1a once a week was effective in delaying the diagnosis of MS, this study compared the effects of two dosing regimes with placebo.  For more click here.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Alok Sharma opens BMSTC Christmas Fayre

Alok opening the Christmas Fayre with Sam Butlin, Ingela Sharma, Sheila Booth, Trish Wright, Penny Russel and Glynis WilksAlok Sharma, Member of Parliament for Reading West, was invited to open the Berkshire Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Therapy Centre’s Christmas Fayre on Saturday 19th November. The event was entirely organised by the members of Centre, who all suffer from MS, a degenerative disease for which there is no known cure.   See the press release on his website here

Monday, 28 November 2011

Agreement signed for Brambles Respite Care Centre

Source MS Society:

"The MS Society has signed an initial agreement to transfer Brambles Respite Care Centre to a new provider, possibly preventing it from closure.
Following a revised offer from the company previously interested in taking over the centre, MS Respite & Care Services Ltd, ‘Heads of Terms’ have been signed to transfer the centre into their ownership."

Fantastic news!  For more click here

Vote for BMSTC in the Great Exhibition 2012!

"The Great Exhibition 2012 would love to work with the The Berkshire Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre in helping to promote all the great work you do for people suffering with the condition.  The aim of the Great Exhibition 2012 is to celebrate everything that is Great about Britain, and the charity work that takes place in the country is very important.  You are up as a Great on the website, and we want you to get as many votes as possible for the Great.  Here is the link for the profile which you should feel free to send to as many people as possible!

Not only this, but we would like to propose that when you reach 500 votes our CEO Julie Benson will come down the centre for half a day and volunteer.  We would also make a film to show all hard work that the centre does which will be put on your profile to show people our experience of volunteering at the centre.  This will enhance the profile of the Great, show people what you do, encourage people to make donations to the charity and visit your website."

For more information on the Great Exhibition 2012 see website:

Two MS patients in their 30's talk about the challenges of "Coming Out" with MS

Source the BBC: - Listen again

Five programmes exploring the ways in which we decide how far to be honest about ourselves, and in doing so become vulnerable to the judgements of others.

2. Cathy, Andrew and Emily

Multiple Sclerosis is most often diagnosed in people aged between 20 and 40, a time when careers and relationships are of primary importance. Two MS patients in their 30s talk about the challenges of coming out with the disease, and how far to be totally open about it.  This Sunday 27th November, BBC Radio 4 at 2.45 pm..  For more click here

This year the Christmas Spirit has found 3 local bands. Each of them have decided to help local charity the

This year the Christmas Spirit has found 3 local bands. Each of them have decided to help BMSTC!

On December 3rd , the Reading Spring Gardens Brass Band are giving a concert at Park United Reform Church 19:30-21:30. Proceeds from the raffle at the concert will go to the BMSTC.

 On Dec 13th, Breakaway Brass will be playing carols to entertain the public in Broad Street from 18:00, whilst members from the centre collect.

 On Dec 16th, the clarinet group from Trinity Concert Band will be playing at the Centre to entertain members at their Christmas Party and on Dec 20th the band will be playing carols in Broad Street from 18:00. Trinity’s Christmas Concerts are on Dec 17th  at Bearwood College Theatre Sindlesham.

 The BMSTC is grateful to these musical groups for sharing the Christmas Spirit with us. If you enjoy music, especially Christmas music, why not join them at one of the concerts.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Listen to BBC Radio Berkshire this Sunday 10a.m. to midday and hear our Jackie!

Listen again

Our Patron, Martin Salter, is standing in for Debbie McGee on BBC Radio Berkshire this Sunday, and our Jackie Malcolm, has been invited along as his guest along with our new friend Alok Sharma, Reading West MP!   For more click here!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Smoking and MS

Source Shift.MS

"We spoke to Lauren from the Mayo Clinic about smoking and how it affects the course of MS. In the midst of the crazy-busy poster hall at the MS conference, Lauren managed to give us a good insight into her study." To watch click here. 

How drug trials work

Source MS Society:

A new research blog has been launched by the MS Society on how drug trials work.

"We hear about new ideas in medicine all the time, but why do we have to wait so long to get a treatment? It can take years or even decades to get a treatment through clinical trials and it can be very frustrating to wait for that research to happen, but there are good reasons for research to take so long."

 For more click here.

Spasticity and spasms webcast

Source The MS Trust:
A webcast on one of the common symptoms of multiple sclerosis has benn launched on the MS Trust website.  For more click here.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

RCN claims 56,000 NHS posts cut or at risk

Source: Nursing Times
"Among the biggest cuts identified are at Heatherwood and Wexham Park NHS Foundation Trust. The RCN says it lost 280 full time posts in 2010-11 and plans to cut another 533 by 2014, equating to more than a quarter of its total 2010 headcount."  Read more here.

Ray of hope for Helen Ley Centre

Source BBC:
A care centre in Warwickshire for people with multiple sclerosis (MS) could be saved from closure because a potential new owner has been found.  Read more here.

Future Forum advises how the NHS should work in 2012 - 2013

Source the MS Trust:
On 17th November, the NHS Future Forum published a letter to the Secretary of State for Health, Andrew Lansley. This letter requests priority is given to a number of areas in the Department of Health's Operating Framework for the NHS 2012-13, the document that will set out the structural plan for next year. Read more here.

Heatherwood hospital in Ascot 'could be privatised'

Source the BBC:
Hundreds of residents turned up to a meeting on the future of a Berkshire NHS hospital that could be privatised.  Read more here.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Christmas Fayre Success!

We would like to say a very big THANK YOU to the BMSTC Link Group for organising such a wonderful event which raised £1,755.19p! 

We were delighted that Alok Sharma MP, could join us as our guest of honour and officially open the Fayre at 1.00pm to a queue of eagerly waiting punters!

We would also like to thank all of our fantastic army of volunteers for giving up not only their time to help on the day, but also for the many hours spent making items to sell. 

Many people make a very big effort to make this event such a great success and we greatly appreciate their help and support.

Carers Rights Day - Friday 2nd December 2011

If you provide care or support to a dependent adult or disabled child You are a Carer Pop along to the Council Chamber Civic Offices, Reading on Friday 2 December 2011 between 10:00am and 2:00pm
For INFORMATION, ADVICE AND SUPPORT from Princess Royal Trust Carers Service, Reading Crossroads, Mencap, Jobcentre Plus, Age UK and Reading Borough Council and many more organisations plus:

11.00am - 12noon: MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR MONEY A seminar from the Money Advice Service* covering budgeting, borrowing, spending and saving.

12.30pm - 1:30pm: YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS Local solicitors Turpin and Miller will present money related legal issues such as Carers' Assessments, Personal Budgets, charging for services and Power of Attorney.

Refreshments provided To book, or if you need respite or help with transport please call Helen at PRT Carers Service on 0118 960 7030 or email

Friday, 18 November 2011

MS Society policy team win top award

Congratulations to the MS Society!

For more information click here.

MSRC launches new High Dose Oxygen Therapy Page!

The MS Resource Centre launches new High DOsage Oxygen Therapy Page.  For more information click here!

Cyprus Wheelchair Holidays!

Highly recommended by one of our members as fantastic apartments with great access for the disabled :0)

Visit their website here!

Christmas Fayre Saturday 19th November

Hope to see you at the Christmas Fayre tomorrow!  Come along and buy all of your Christmas goodies!

For more information see our events page here!

MSRC launch a new Exercise & Physiotherapy Page

The MS Recourse Centre launches a new Exercise and Physiothearpy page.  For more information click here.

High dose vitamin D pills 'can double heart condition risk'

Source The Telegraph:
Those with "excess" levels of the vitamin in their blood were 2.5 times more likely than those with normal levels to have atrial fibrillation (AF), a type of heart flutter common in old age which can lead to stroke.
More than a million people in Britain are thought to have AF, the vast majority over 70. Read more here.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Simon Holmes completes "Survival of the Fittest"

Our thanks go to Simon Holmes who did a 10K race at the end of October to raise money for BMSTC.

 "I have managed to raise just under £500, which is double my target!  The race went well, I ended up coming about 1600 out of 2200, which I'm happy with.  I completed the race in 2 hours 5 minutes! The distance was actually over 11.5km in the end, the last 2k being by far the hardest having just run up and down the Millennium Stadium stairs for about 20 minutes!!  A few of the obstacles were interesting. One being an army assault course with cargo nets, monkey bars, boxes to climb up and jump off.  It all looks easy but after 7 or so kilometres, it was pretty hard going.  Another part was climbing down the side of a slippery hill then wading through the river, twice!! Again sounds ok, but the water was freezing and long climb back up the hill each time.  It all finished off with a 8/9 foot wall with a couple of ropes to use to climb to the top!!  
The running went well, I had a few issues about 2km in and looking behind me to the  Millennium Stadium in the far distance the morale really dropped.  But after a little bit of stretching and a few encouraging words from other competitors, I managed to run most of it!  I walked a bit after the stair climbing and bouncy castle assault course, which really took it out of me!!  But got my rhythm back over the last kilometre and managed to cross the line running!!
 I have attached a picture of me at the end of the race look pretty sweaty and very exhausted!!"

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Slough Young carers scheme future secure

Source BBC:
Young carers in Berkshire have described how a support project has helped them cope with looking after their loved ones.

Slough Crossroads opens its doors for two hours each week, offering young people a much-needed break.  Read more here.

Global MS research efforts shared at ECTRIMS/ACTRIMS meeting

Source MS Trust:
More than 7,000 investigators convened in Amsterdam on October 19-22, 2011 to present findings at a joint congress of ECTRIMS (European Committee for Treatment and Research in MS) and ACTRIMS (Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in MS).
Read more here.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

A Strictly Special Shopping Night, Monday 5th December, Reading Town Centre.

Retailers in Reading will extend a warm welcome to the elderly and disabled during a special Christmas shopping evening in the town centre on Monday 5 December.

The festive shopping evening, organised by Reading Borough Council in partnership with Reading UK CIC, The Oracle and The British Red Cross aims to help make shopping an easy and enjoyable experience for elderly and disabled people.   For more information click here.

MS student 'might move countries'

Source BBC:
A woman with multiple sclerosis (MS) says she is considering leaving Anglesey for England because of the lack of specialist help in the area.    Read more here.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

MS Trust Consultation at BMSTC 28th November

MS Trust Consultation at BMSTC - The MS Trust is looking to the future and trying to identify the big challenges and changes that will affect people with MS over the next 5 years. We’re doing this to make sure that the services we are providing fit with those that PWMS want the most in the future.

 We want your views on what you think these challenges and changes will be. We’ve identified some key areas already, you can comment on these or suggest things you think we haven’t included.  Read more here.