Our Youngest Fundraiser

Magi Arthur, 7 years old, was keen to do something positive during the Covid-19 lockdowns so she decided to set up a Tabletop Stall selling items from outside her house in Cresselly. She cleared out and sold a range of items raising funds for the HOPE Centre. Magi’s grandad John Parry has Multiple Sclerosis and comes to the Centre regularly. Magi wanted to “raise money to help people walk and be active” and is keen to support a local charity. Magi even sold her baby toys, bikes and a range of books resulting in a tremendous £202 for the special fund. Pictured below is Magi handing over the cheque to the HOPE Centre with her Grandparents John and Maureen Parry and Centre staff and therapists

Tracy Gratton, David Griffiths, John Parry, Matt Price, Magi Arthur and Maureen Parry

Donation received

Our thanks to the Rotary Club of Tenby for their recent donation of £100 to the HOPE Centre which will be put to good use now that the Centre is open again for the three days a week. Chairman Ken Brombley is shown below after having received the cheque.

Ken Brombley with the cheque from Tenby Rotary Club

Looking forward to our opening tomorrow – Tuesday 16th March

We are all looking forward very much to seeing some of our Members tomorrow when they return to the Centre for their therapies. Many of them have felt the lockdown keenly as it has affected their mobility and we thank them for their confidence in coming back to HOPE. Those of you with MS might like to have a look at this information which includes dates of forthcoming Wellbeing Webinars.

MS Society (spopessentials6.com)

Grant received from the Port Authority

Our thanks to the Milford Haven Port Authority for its recent grant of £414.72 from its Community Fund – this money paid for some of the new parts for our oxygen therapy equipment in our Oxygen Barochamber. All the equipment was renewed back in September to ensure compliance with our Covd-19 protocols and procedures.

New Directory of Care Services

This may be useful.

There is a new directory of small, independent care and support services which you can see here: https://www.planed.org.uk/catalysts-for-care-directory-of-care-and-support-services-in-pembrokeshire/ This page explains the directory; click on the red rectangle at the top to see the actual directory as a PDF doc that can be printed out. Please note that this PDF doc is updated regularly to reflect the availability of services as well as new services that join as appropriate.  

Hopefully this could be a useful resource for people looking for a care or support service. In particular, the first part of the directory contains a list of ten ‘home help’ services that support people to live independently at home and get out into the community to do what matters to them. You can view the ‘home help’ services on this map to see the ones that are close to you: https://www.google.co.uk/maps/d/viewer?mid=151lt8zq7AOYyGroIgMvXyY27CTnKU13H&ll=51.83959522958418%2C-4.885162050000007&z=10 You can also see some of them give a 2-min introduction to their services in this video: https://www.facebook.com/101317194791154/videos/656018118447045

The whole point of this directory is to showcase small, independent care / support services, who have set up independently because they want to provide a highly personalised service in the their local area and build a real understanding and relationship with their customers. All of the services on this directory have committed to a code of practice (for instance having a customer contract, insurance, DBS checks, registered for tax etc.) and have support through the project to uphold this. You can see the code of practice and find out more about the directory in the first link above.

Moving on from the Covid-19 Firebreak

Once again our Centre is open for a limited number of oxygen dives and physical therapy sessions. All the Centre rooms have been streamlined and are constantly deep and steam cleaned as part of the various Covid-19 protocols we have had to put in place to ensure our Members’ safety which include the mandatory wearing of masks and PPE, social distancing and regular temperature checks. It has been so lovely to see those who have taken the brave step of returning to the Centre and we look forward to welcoming many more in the near future.

Great News – HOPE has re-opened for oxygen therapy but now the Centre is closed again until the 9th November when the new “firebreak” lockdown ends.

After so long, our Centre has re-opened for two mornings a week to deliver oxygen therapy. A lot of work and expense has gone into making the Centre and our oxygen barochamber Covid-19 compliant in order to safeguard our members, volunteers, staff and visitors and we are now working hard to make the visit to the Centre as nice an experience as it can be given the restrictions we have to comply with. We have introduced temperature screening, health questionnaires, sanitiser stations, track and trace qr code, personal protective equipment for all who wish to use it, one way systems to allow for social distancing, face masks and visors, brand new hoses and attachments for the oxygen stations in the barochamber and protocols and procedures to formalise our precautions. It was lovely to see some of our members this week after all this time. We have to thank Lynne Houlston once again for her fundraising which has really helped with the cost of re-opening – read her story below.

If you want to read our Covid-19 operating procedures click here

Brand new hoses and attachments in our socially distanced Barochamber

Lynne Houlston – her story

In 2020 it would be my 50th birthday and in order to celebrate the occasion I decided to raise money for charity. I wanted to do something I had never done before so in January I signed up for the Pembrokeshire Longcourse 10km. I had hardly ‘run’ anywhere since leaving school so this would be a real challenge.

The Charity would be the HOPE MS Therapy Centre in Neyland. My dad had suffered from Multiple Sclerosis and we lost him in 2003 – the year I moved to Pembrokeshire. He was 56 years old.

I started my training in January heading out on to my local lanes at 06.00. I trained through Storms Brendan, Ciara, Dennis and Jorge – dodging fallen branches and huge puddles. Due to issues with the discs in my lower back some mornings I struggled to put my socks on. On other mornings my whole body resented the early workout.

Then suddenly something unprecedented happened; the country was sent in to Lockdown and all sporting events were cancelled. What to do now? I had already raised £300 and had been training for 3 months!

I decided I would still complete a 10km but it would be a local one and I would run it on my actual birthday! So I continued to train; trying to find a circular route which was 10km/6.2 miles long from my front door. The lanes were quiet now and the verges were full of the colour and scent of wild flowers. It was almost a pleasure to run!!

I live near Castlemartin Camp and my route would be passed the entrance to the Camp and along the main road to Castlemartin Village. The soldiers had stayed away for over 6 weeks and the Camp was quiet. Then in mid-May a week before my ‘run’ the soldiers returned and I suddenly found the main road closed for live firing to take place across it. As I work on the Camp I asked if the road would be closed on 28th May – my birthday; yes it would. However, I was told if I ran early in the morning they would allow me to climb over the gates and run along the road before firing started. I wasn’t fast enough to dodge bullets and it was too late to find a new route so I decided I had to change my start time from 10.00 to 07.00am.

The day arrived – sunny and warm! At 06.45 I headed outside to find friends and neighbours ready to wave me off. My husband had drawn a starting line on the road with chalk. Seven o’clock arrived and I was off to a round of applause. For the first 100m my 75 year old neighbour ran alongside me and my 9 year old daughter joined us on her bike. I had a support crew of two neighbours on their electric bikes. They had cycled the route the night before hanging bed sheets on gates with good luck messages on them and writing notes on the road in chalk.  As I dropped down on to the main road towards the Camp six tank transporters drove passed me heading to Pembroke – they looked massive so close up and caused quite a draft but all the drivers gave me a cheery wave! I then arrived at the first locked military gate and climbed over. Suddenly one of the tanks started its engine – I flew along the main road to the second gate. I was very happy to be out of danger!

I arrived home an hour later to a black and white finishing tape and a chequered flag being waved by my daughter! My husband, friends and neighbours were there to cheer and applaud! What a way to start my 50th birthday! It was incredible!

A huge ‘thank you’ to everyone who supported me! Together we raised a massive £1266.17 for HOPE.

Lynne doesn’t let Coronavirus get in her way as she raises money for the HOPE Centre

A few months ago Lynne Houlston got in touch with the HOPE Centre saying that she was going to run the Longcourse 10K and would like to donate her sponsored funds to HOPE . Naturally we were delighted and disappointed when the race was then cancelled due to the lockdown. However, Lynne did not let this stop her and in her own way went on to raise £1266 for the Centre – this money is extremely timely as it is enabling us to make certain changes to the way we deliver the oxygen therapy in order to keep everyone safe when we re-open. Lynne is writing her story about how she achieved this fantastic result which we will share on this site.