Monday, 31 January 2011

Have you got any disability equipment lying around that you no longer use?

If so please contact the Berkshire Community Equipment Service who collect, recycle and reissue (except where equipment is deemed unserviceable or beyond repair) all equipment provided from the store on behalf of all 6 Berkshire Unitary Authorities :0)

See their website here:

Volunteers needed for Study of mood in MS

From the University of Plymouth:

We're interested in how people's mood interacts with symptoms of MS, and we're running an email-based study with MS patients to find out more about how MS affects and is affected by mood.

For more details click here.

Are you interested in a day trip to Silchester to see the Dig?

From Clark French:

"I was thinking of organising a day trip for members of the BMSTC to go to Silchester and see the dig and have a tour of the site, i have been digging there before and it is a great place to find out lots about the Roman town of Calleva Atrebatum . the dig is for 6 weeks in the summer, and its very close to Reading. i can... find out about it if you think its a good idea!"

If you're interested please email Clark

For more information see

Reading Half Marathon marshals needed - Sunday 20th March 2011

Would you like to be one of the road marshals at the Reading Half Marathon and get a bird eye view of Reading's most high profile event as well as supporting the Centre?

If you do, please call Jackie at the Centre on 01189016000 or email

European recommendations on oral drugs

From the MS Trust:

Fingolimod, an oral disease modifying drug for MS, has moved a step closer to being licensed.   Read full article here.

MS Nurse Clinic at BMSTC

Annette Leach the MS Specialist Nurse will be holding her regular clinic at the Centre on Monday 14th March and Tuesday 10th May. The clinic offers 10 minute appointments for people who are eligible to be seen by the consultants within Royal Berkshire Hospital Trust. Call us on 0118 901 6000 to make and appointment.

Insurance from Unique

From the MS Trust:
Providing tailored insurance for people with pre-existing medical conditions

Knowing that people with MS sometimes experience problems in obtaining insurance, the MS Trust has worked with Unique to develop a range of insurance services that are specifically tailored to meet the requirements of people with MS and their families.  Click here for more.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

MStival Justgiving Page!

If you can't attend MStival but would like to offer your support to Clark French, the organiser, why not visit his Just Giving Page here! :0)

You can visit his blog to find out more about MStival here!

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Join the DLA debate

From the MS Society:

The consultation on the proposals to cut DLA is only running until 14 February 2011. We need you to write to your MP now!

Some MPs have told the campaigns team that they haven’t had many letters from people who currently receive DLA, so please getting scribbling!  For more click here.

Henley MS Support Group benefits from Hurley Regatta!

From the Henley Standard:
Henley Multiple Sclerosis Support Group received £4,750 of the £5,825 raised by the event in August and a Sixties night held the following month.

The charity, which is based at Brunner Hall in Greys Road, provides 16 people with physiotherapy and counselling services. The money is enough to fund the centre for a year.   Read more here.

Dragon Boats!

Request from our Fundraiser Jackie Malcolm:

Dragon Boats - would you like to be part of a rowing team for the Centre at Pangbourne Meadows on the day of the fete , Saturday 11th June?

No previous experience required, just lots of enthusiasm. Please contact me for further information or call 0118 901 6000

Investigators recruiting for study of gilenya capsules (fingolimod) in primary-progressive MS

From the MS Trust:

Investigators worldwide are recruiting 654 people with primary-progressive MS to study the safety and effectiveness of fingolimod capsules (Gilenya, Novartis Pharmaceuticals AG) versus inactive placebo.  Read full article here.

Clark French and Julie Campbell BBC Radio Berkshire interview!

Clark FrenchPost on BMSTC Facebook page from member Clark French:

I will be appearing on BBC Radio Berkshire on the 8th of Feb between 12 and 1pm

To talk about growing up around my mother and late step fathers MS, how its affected me now i have been diagnosed and the reason why i have organised MStival

My mother Julie Campbell will also appear on the show along side me to give her perspective.  You can listen in here!

Oxygen Therapy Information

Eriks Teteris
Posted on the BMSTC Facebook page by member Eriks Teteris:
If anybody is interested in Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, a technical description of the physics behind what happens to the gases (oxygen) when subjected to an increase in pressure is explained in some detail here.  Read article here.

Don't forget you can join us on Facebook by going to our page and clicking on "like".  Go to our Facebook page here!

Paul Daniels sells toupee for £1.1k!

From the BBC:
Paul Daniels has made one of his old wigs disappear by selling it on auction website eBay for charity for £1,100.   To read full article click here.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Introducing Theresa Wager - MS Specialist Occupational Therapist for East Berkshire

My name it Theresa Wager and I am the MS Specialist Occupational Therapist working from St Marks Hospital and working for East Berkshire Community Health Services. I work with the two MS Nurses and have access to the neurologist contracted for East Berks.

I only work with people who have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and have and East Berkshire GP e.g. those who live in Windsor & Maidenhead. Slough, Bracknell Ascot, and parts of South Bucks. I am not restricted by Unitary Authority Boundaries.

I have drop in sessions at the local MS Society coffee mornings and the hope to start these at the Therapy Centre Reading. I carry out home visits, hospital visits, and I am happy to meet with other health professionals in order to obtain the best possible outcome for you through a system which is often complicated and confusing.

What can I offer?

I can work with you to identify what is important to you to live life to the way you want. This can offer advice and emotional and practical support in areas which we would identify together.

These problems are individual to you but could include:

  • Relapse management – provision of simple equipment
  • Vocational and help with your employer
  • Advice about Leisure activities
  • Information and advice to help you and your partners/ friends cope with some of the symptoms of MS. E.g. fatigue, anxiety, memory loss.
  • Assistance with referrals to other resources e.g. social services, district nurses, continence service, physiotherapy, orthotics, speech therapy, benefits advisor
  • Advice re assistive technology and environmental controls
  • Mobility- e.g. wheelchairs and driving.
  • Advice and arranging demonstrations and procurement of specialist equipment.
  • Assessment for specialist seating
  • Equipment and adaptations around the home.

This list is a few of the things that as the MS Specialist OT I can provide to help you to be live life and to maintain your autonomy and independence.

I can be contacted at St Marks Hospital – 01753 638890 or speak to your MS Nurse in your next clinic appointment if you wish to see me.


Daily pill for people with MS 'in months'

Source The Telegraph:

At the moment people whose MS returns frequently have to inject themselves with a drug as often as every day to control their symptoms, or travel to hospital for treatment.

But now a committee of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has recommended that the drugs regulator approves the pill, called Gilenya, to be marketed across the EU. It is already approved for sale in Russia and the US.   Read full article here.

Setting standards for an accessible internet

From BBC Webwise:

"I have a vested interest in web accessibility. At just 19, I received the news that I probably had multiple sclerosis, that oft-misunderstood condition of the central nervous system that has no known cause or cure."

Read article here.

Government publishes NHS reform bill

From the MS Trust:

The government has published its plans for wide ranging reforms in the NHS in England.

Health and Social Care Bill 2011 aims to improve services and cut costs within the health service by introducing a higher level of competition and local commissioning of services.  Read article here.

MS Music Festival to help beat MS

From the Reading Evening Post:

A student who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) after recognising the symptoms from his mother, who also has the degenerative disease, is hosting a charity music night.  Read article here.
From Wales Online

A YOUNG South Wales carer has had a dream come true meeting JLS as they played the CIA.

Emily Abbott, 12, from Cardiff, helps look after her mum Collette Sweet, who has multiple sclerosis (MS).

Read more here.

Vitamin D in Scotland

From the MS Trust:

The Scottish government is to issue guidance to pregnant women and women planning to become pregnant to take vitamin D supplements and researchers from the University of Edinburgh have just been awarded a grant to investigate vitamin D levels in the population of Orkney islanders.  Read article here.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

MS-tival! The Face Bar, Chatham Street, Reading, 26th February from 2pm

This event has been organised by one of our MS Members, Clark French:

A selection of Reading and Berkshire's finest metal bands playing to help raise money for the MS therapy Centre

"I was diagnosed with MS on the 19th of August 2010, I went to the MS centre and now receive treatment for my symptoms. They have helped me a huge amount, this coupled with meeting people who also suffer has made coming to terms with what I have a lot easier and has helped me a lot, so seeing as BMSTC has helped me so much, its now my turn to give back and help to raise money and awareness for the MS centre, so hopefully more people can use the facilities they have to offer"
For more details click here.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Sir John to officially open the Reading Half Marathon 2011!

Hey we've just heard back from our request to our patron, Sir John Madejski, that he will be happy to officially open the 2011 Reading Half Marathon! That's great news! The event will be televised this year on Channel 4! Watch this space for more news! Thanks Sir John! We hope that all of our runners are getting on well with their training programme! :0)

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Tracking the tell-tale signs of pure genius

Article posted from one of our members on our Facebook page from the Telegraph:

"A leading neuroscientist on the intriguing case studies that are revealing the powerful, adaptive potential of the human brain"

For more click here.

Disability Living Allowance to be replaced

From Carers UK:
Carers UK has expressed concerns about the Government's plans to replace Disability Living Allowance, the main disability benefit.

As part of plans to reduce spending on Disability Living Allowance by 20% (£1 billion) over the next four years, the Government has launched a consultation on proposals to scrap Disability Living Allowance and replace it with a ‘Personal Independence Payment’. Carers UK Chief Executive Imelda Redmond CBE, said:

“This proposal would be one of the biggest changes in disability benefits since Disability Living Allowance was created and has big implications for carers. 

For more click here.

Concerns about benefit and NHS reform

From the MS Trust:
Two items in the media today consider some of the current issues for people with MS.  Guardian Podcast on the cost of being ill
& "Don't limit mobility"  for more click here.

Working together for brighter futures in MS

This link was posted by one of our members on our Facebook page....

"I just watched this, the first hour is very informative, and followed by a great story of Sarah Mead who ran the London marathon after her diagnosis of MS"

Click here

Friday, 14 January 2011

Guardian Focus podcast: Multiple sclerosis and the cost of being ill

Source: The Guardian

Why will the weakest in Britain bear the brunt of the government's austerity measures? Elizabeth Kinder investigates the impact of the cuts on sufferers of MS, a degenerative disease with no known cure

For more click here.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Brighter Futures in MS - Inspiring Short Film Premieres in Brussels

GENEVA and BRUSSELS, January 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Merck Serono, a division of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, will premiere today (12th January)  the international short film MS: It's a Marathon...Not a Sprint in Brussels, Belgium.

This unique event marks the extraordinary collaboration of the Real MS: Your Story competition winner Sarah Mead and award-winning director Robin Sheppard. Through the Real MS campaign, they have come together to produce a powerful and inspiring short film to show the world that life with multiple sclerosis (MS) can be redefined in a positive and fulfilling way.   Read full article here.

MS Society leads fight to improve benefits assessment

From the MS Society:

The MS Society has been selected to lead on a review of benefits assessments and give advice on what changes should be made in order for people with fluctuating conditions to be more fairly assessed.   Read article here.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

A three-month consultation asking residents to help shape the future of adult social care in Reading has been launched.

Through the Transforming Adult Social Care in Reading consultation, everyone is invited to give the Council their ideas on how the service might look into the future.

The consultation runs until February 27th 2011, the results of which will come back to the Council's Cabinet in March 2011. Residents can have their say online at or call (0118) 937 3747 to requests copies of the consultation.

For more info click here.

Reading Older People's Partnership - The Future of Social Care in Reading

Future of social care in Reading for the over 60's. In 2011 Reading Borough Council is proposing changes in how it spends its money to support people. RBC wants to hear your views on who it should support directly, charges for services and funding for voluntary and community groups. Find out more Tuesday 1st Feb 10.30 - 12.45 , Greyfriars Church, Reading, Book now on 0118 937 3204 or email

Waitrose Caversham - Vote for BMSTC!

If anyone shops at Waitrose in Caversham you will see that we are one of the three charities that you can vote with your green tokens for to receive a Waitrose Community Award!!  Please vote for BMSTC - thanks! :0)

Kirsty Hemmings reports on a funding crisis threatening services at the Bristol MS Therapy Centre

From BBC - Inside Out West

Kirsty Hemming reports on a funding crisis threatening services for people with MS at the Bristol MS Therapy Centre. Scroll to 11 mins into broadcast, I found it stuck at 18 mins but you can drag and drop a few secs after this if that happens so you can see the end of the film. A great example of what the MSTC's do. Best of luck t to Bristol MSTC :0)

Only available to view for 7 days.  To view click here.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Boars Bridge Festival - 18th & 19th June 2011

Boars Bridge Festival will be back in 2011 supporting BMSTC for the second consecutive year! Dates for the year are the weekend of the 18th & 19th June 2011. Our thanks go to the organisers for supporting the Centre again this year :o)

A weekend of live folk, blues and bluegrass music, marquee, real ale, food, stalls, camping available.

For more information about this event click here. 

MS Trust celebrates 50th issue of Way Ahead

A great read!!

From the MS Trust:
The first issue of Way Ahead - our quarterly newsletter for health professionals who work with people with MS - was published in January 1997. This month sees the 50th edition being published. So what has changed in the intervening period?   Read article here.

MS Society research suggests why MS affects more women

 From the MS Society:

Research part-funded by the MS Society has uncovered a possible reason why MS affects more women than men.   Read full article here.

Group urges action for long-term pain sufferers

From the BBC:
Action is needed to help people who suffer long-term pain, the Patients Association says.

The survey of more than 4,400 people found while many had suffered chronic problems, too few were given the help or support to deal with it.  Read full article here.

Two NHS consultations close soon

From the MS Trust:

People wishing to contribute to two consultations linked to the Government's reform of the NHS have until 14 January to submit their comments.

The consultations are on An Information Revolution and Greater Choice and Control. Both were launched in October following the publication of the White Paper Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS.  Read more here.

Halfway there? Implementation of the National Service Framework for long-term (neurological) conditions.

From the MS Trust:

The National Service Framework for long-term (neurological) conditions, which includes MS, was published in March 2005. This is primarily aimed at services for adults with long-term neurological conditions, such as MS, Parkinson's disease and spinal cord injuries, although it is relevant to people with other long-term conditions.

Read article here.

Caversham Road bridge time lapse video

For those disrupted by the rail works this Christmas and New Year in Reading, this time lapse video is pretty impressive!!!

Watch video here.

Congratulations to Rosemary Tocock from the Reading & Wokingham MS Society!

Everyone at BMSTC send our congratulations to Rose who was awarded an MBE in this years New Year's Honors list!

Read article here