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Bristol Lawyers Pledge To Support New MS Therapy Centre

Irwin Mitchell Names Charity Of The Year


A South West law firm has pledged to support an independent local charity which is attempting to raise more than £1.5 million to fund a new therapy centre.

Bristol-based Irwin Mitchell Solicitors has officially named the Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre as its charity of the year. Over the next twelve months staff at the law firm will be organising a number of fund raising activities and all proceeds will be donated to the new centre.

The charity which is currently based in Nailsea, is planning to move to a purpose built new centre in nearby Bradley Stoke so that it can expand its range of services and ultimately help more people from the region who suffer from Multiple Sclerosis.

Deborah Bigwood, a solicitor with Irwin Mitchell Solicitors who co-ordinates the Bristol office’s fundraising initiatives said: “There are many deserving causes, but we all felt we wanted to support a smaller local charity. After visiting the MS Therapy Centre, we immediately knew it was the organisation we wanted to support. We had the opportunity to talk to some of the people with MS and their supporters. We have seen first hand how important the centre is to them, not only for the therapies but for the opportunity to meet others living with the same condition, which helps them to feel less isolated.

“I found my experience at the centre extremely moving. More people need to be aware of this devastating illness and the excellent work that the Therapy Centre does.”
Michael Gelder, Chairman of the West of England Multiple Sclerosis Centre launched the ‘Moonstone Appeal’ to raise money for the new purpose built Therapy Centre in Bradley Stoke. The centre currently helps over 300 people with MS, but with the new building they aim to help many more. People with MS need ongoing support and therapy. Without help from the NHS, the Therapy Centre is the only place for people in the South West to go to.

He said: “The Bradley Stoke centre will be much bigger with improved equipment to help the neurological physiotherapists in their treatment of patients. We will be able to treat a lot more people and the centre will be designed for wheelchair users which the current Nailsea centre was not. There is little treatment available elsewhere so this is really important for all of those who suffer MS in our area.

“We anticipate that the new Therapy centre will open in mid 2011 and although we now have sufficient funds to complete the building, we very much hope that people will continue to support our fund-raising appeal to cover the cost of fitting out and equipping the centre. “