Friday, 27 September 2013

Number of multiple sclerosis patients in the UK 'growing'


Source BBC
The number of people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in the UK is falling while the number of those living with the disease is growing, research shows.
 
(Note: This is why it is so important to continue to support your local MS Therapy Centre who provide long term care and support for people with MS, their families and carers.)
 
Read full article here.

Mutual Support - for serving and ex-serving members of the Armed Forces affected by MS

Mutual Support exists for Serving and ex-Serving members of the Armed Forces and Reserves, their dependants and carers affected by multiple sclerosis (MS).

Mutual Support is one of the MS Society’s National Support Groups and is run by volunteers with direct experience of MS and the Armed Forces and provides services and activities based on what people affected by MS have said they want.  For more information click here.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Sex and MS information booklet wins national prize

Source MS Society:

The MS Society’s newly edited sex, intimacy and relationships guide won first prize in the self care category at the BMA Patient Information Awards last week.  Read more here. 
Source AbilityNet:
Tablet computers are becoming far more popular, especially for people with disabilities. Here are some useful points to consider - click here!

Royal Berkshire Hospital reveals shock sell-off plan

Source Reading Chronicle:
HEALTH bosses announced shock plans this week to sell off the iconic frontage of the Royal Berkshire Hospital - to turn it into a free secondary school.  Read article here.

Report on MS Society AGM

The MS Society’s annual general meeting (AGM) took place on Saturday 21 September in London and was well attended by members, who took an active part in the proceedings. A live webcast enabled members who couldn’t get to the meeting to follow the meeting.  Read more here.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Get online at home - refurbished

Source Abilitynet:
Charities and individuals on certain benefits can get a no-nonsense refurbished computer... find out more here!

Henley Standard coverage of Walking for MileS 2013

Source Henley Standard:
Henley Standard coverage of the many charity walks that took place in Henley including Walking for MileS 2013 (see bottom of article). A fantastic picture of the Barkwells with their majestic dog "Queenie" who walked for BMSTC!  Read article here.

Scientists take big step towards universal flu vaccine

Source BBC:
Scientists say they have made a significant leap towards creating a vaccine that would protect against every form of flu.

The influenza virus is a constantly shifting target so seasonal flu vaccines rapidly become useless and new ones are needed each year.

A team at Imperial College London say they have made a "blueprint" for a universal flu vaccine.  Read more here.

Zumbathon for BMSTC!

Photo: What a great day, a 3 hour  Zumbathon in aid of our Centre and Kennel Lane School. A massive £1000.00 was raised split between the two charities. It was fun , frantic and exhausting !!!! But an amazing day. Thanks once again to the lovely Louise and Vicky Tallent and Amy White of Zumba Reading , and to everyone else who helped on the day and donated their time , also to everyone who gave raffle prizes and made delicious cakes.

What a great day, a 3 hour Zumbathon in aid of our Centre and Kennel Lane School. A massive £1000.00 was raised split between the two charities. It was fun , frantic and exhausting !!!! But an amazing day. Thanks once again to the lovely L...ouise and Vicky Tallent and Amy White of Zumba Reading , and to everyone else who helped on the day and donated their time , also to everyone who gave raffle prizes and made delicious cakes.

Are you waiting to see someone from NHS Talking Therapies Berkshire

If you have MS or are looking after someone with MS, and are waiting for a service from NHS Talking Therapies to help with anxiety and depression, did you know that you can be fast tracked and seen at BMSTC on a Monday? 

All you need to do is call NHS Talking Therapies and tell them you have MS or are caring for someone with MS and they can re-arrange or arrange your appointment.   Please call direct on 0118 9769121 or refer online www.talkingtherapies.berkshire.nhs.uk

New Yoga Class for People with MS in Wokingham


People with MS in Wokingham borough are invited to join in a new weekly Yoga class.  Yoga can improve the overall health of people with milder MS and help those with more severe MS to stay as mobile and active as possible. It is also a fantastic form of relaxation and also an opportunity to meet new friends.  The exercises can be done either seated or on the mat.

There will be a free trial session of the class on Thursday 17 October from 10.30 – 11.30am at St Crispin’s Leisure Centre, Wokingham.  This will be followed by an 8 week course, starting on Thursday 31 October from 10.30 – 11.30am.

Exercise can help some people with MS manage their symptoms, along with decreasing the risk of heart disease, improving muscle strength and mobility and helping you achieve or maintain a healthy weight.  All levels of ability are welcome; however, if you are not able to independently transfer from wheelchair to mat or need extra assistance, please bring your carer with you. The exercises can also be performed seated.

Spaces are limited so please book in advance by contacting Amanda Speck on 0118 974 6525 or 07809 309582 or email amanda.speck@wokingham.gov.uk

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Introducing Dr Emma Louise Benjamin, our new Counsellor

Due to popular demand Emma will be in every Tuesday from the 1st October.  Please call 0118 901 6000 if you would like to make an appointment.

"Hi,

My name is Emma Benjamin. I am a Chartered Counselling Psychologist registered with the British Psychological Society and the Division of Counselling Psychology. I carried out my undergraduate degree at the University of Surrey and my doctoral training at City University London.

I have worked in a wide range of psychological settings where my area of expertise is talking therapy. I have extensive experience working within the NHS. I am interested in the important link between the mind and body and the way in which mental and physical health problems affect each other.

My professional practice and my personal experiences of life give me a rounded approach to the understanding of mental distress and the way in which such distress can affect us on a daily basis.

Finally, it is important for you to know that people who have worked with me describe me as understanding, kind, warm and trustworthy.

I am very much looking forward to working with the team at the MS Therapy Centre. Please feel free to contact me in confidence."

Emma will start on Tuesday 14th May and offer appointments every other week between 2.00 to 7.00pm (last appointment 6.00 pm).  Emma is also happy to see people in her private clinic on another day if that is more convenient.  Please contact Pippa on 0118 901 6000 or email pippa@bmstc.org for more details.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

PIP reassessments delayed.

Source MS Society:

The DWP has announced it will delay, until 28 October 2013, the roll out of face to face benefits assessments for people moving from DLA to Personal Independence Payments.

The MS Society is calling for an end to the 20 metre rule for the enhanced rate mobility component of the benefit.  Read more here.

Raflle Prizes needed!


Raflle Prizes needed!! We have a few events coming up of the next couple of months which we need raffle prizes for. If you, your company, local pub etc would like to donate a prize, please either bring it in to Pippa at the centre or email pippa@bmstc.org Many many thanks! :0)

BMSTC Link Group need a secretary!

Our BMSTC Link Group meet around 4 times a year and organise the Christmas and Summer Fayres in addition to other fundraising events throughout the year. They are looking for a volunteer to help take the minutes at their meetings, please contact Pippa if you would like to help on 0118 901 6000 or email pippa@bmstc.org

Thank you to everyone who took part in BMSTC's Walking for MileS

Thank you to everyone who took part or marshalled in the the MS Centre's Walking for MileS event on Sunday in Henley, not forgetting Dexter, the black lab who romped round the course in no time!

Dexter sporting his finishing medals from the Half Marathon course :0)


Thames Valley Police warn of scam - The courier fraud scam often targets the elderly and vulnerable

Photo: Warning from Thames Valley Police: Thames Valley residents are advised to be on their guard to a new type of scam which is becoming prevalent across London and is now spreading to other areas.
The courier fraud scam often targets the elderly and vulnerable and takes the following steps:

Alemtuzumab (Lemtrada) licensed

Source NICE:
Alemtuzumab for the treatment of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.  Read more here.

Zumbathon this Saturday for BMSTC!


Exercise helps MS


Source The Guardian:

Shana Pezaro's life fell apart when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. But, like many other people with disabilities, exercise has helped her to regain her confidence and self-esteem.  Read on.

Focus Group - ‘Coping when health and social care systems falter’

West Berkshire Neurological Alliance
Representing all people in Berkshire West affected by a neurological condition
Registered charity No. 1081021

Focus group
‘Coping when health and social care systems falter’
For patients and carers affected by a neurological condition living in Wokingham, Reading and West Berkshire

Monday 14th October 2013
...
Arrivals from 13.45 hrs.
Focus group from14.00 – 1600 hrs

At the Brightwell Suite at the Holiday Inn, Padworth, (just off the A4)

To attend please contact John Holt on 01635 33582 johnmholtbsc@aol.com
Limited places, confirmed booking is essential, please.

Purpose To capture the experiences of people affected by a neurological condition when health and social care systems falter. The report we will produce will help health and social care providers to review how services might be improved and help others to cope better.

Agenda

1. Welcome and introductions
2. Purpose and focus group ‘rules’
3. Open discussion:
actual examples of where local care systems have faltered
personal experiences and impacts
coping and not coping
low and high points
good coping practice for others to consider
4. Recommendations for the statutory, private and voluntary sectors

* Free event with light refreshments available throughout.
* Good facilities for disabled visitors.
* Plenty of free parking. (Or a short walk from Aldermaston station).
* Travel expenses will be paid to invited delegates; please ask.

Directions from Reading: from junction 12 of the M4, travel West on the A4, continuing past Theale for about three miles. The hotel is on the left.
Directions from Newbury: follow the A4 through Woolhampton. After about two miles the hotel is on the right.

MS Society are delighted to announce funding of 18 groundbreaking research projects

Source MS Society:

We’re delighted to announce funding of 18 groundbreaking research projects, taking our total spend on new research in 2013 to £2.1 million.

The projects cover cause, cure, symptom relief and MS services research.  Read more here.

Top 10 MS research priorities identified

Source MS Society:

The MS Society, in partnership with the James Lind Alliance, has identified the top 10 research questions that matter most to people affected by MS and healthcare professionals.  Read more here.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Talking Therapies working together with the MS Therapy Centre in Berkshire

The MS Therapy Centre in Berkshire and Talking Therapies are launched an exciting new initiative earlier this year to help you and your families and carers access talking therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy  as conveniently and easily as possible. Many people suffer from problems such as anxiety, depression, stress and phobias at some time of their lives and Talking Therapies (which is part of the NHS) is a friendly and approachable service that helps people with these problems.

Talking Therapies have a team of therapists and practitioners who are able to offer a variety of different types of help and support. Many of the treatments within Talking Therapies use Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). However some other treatments are also helpful, particularly for moderate and more severe depression, and so as well as CBT based treatments, we also have available counselling and Interpersonal Therapy as choices for you to access. Interventions include Wellbeing Groups, Guided Self Help, computerised CBT as well as face to face CBT. The practitioners work in a wide range of GP surgeries across Reading and from the end of August  we are delighted to be able to offer face to face CBT therapy with a Talking Therapies practitioner at the Therapy Centre in Reading on a Friday if this is convenient and appropriate.

If you have low mood or anxiety and would like to refer yourself into Talking Therapies, please call direct on 0118 9769121 or refer online www.talkingtherapies.berkshire.nhs.uk  (Alternatively your GP or health professional can also refer you into the service if you would prefer). It would be helpful if you could please quote the MS Therapy Centre when referring as this will help us to ensure that we are able to access the appropriate venues for your treatment with us.

When you call the service, you will be offered a short 20 minute telephone appointment (called a triage or assessment) with one of our practitioners usually within a few days. During the assessment the practitioner will ask you some questions and you can discuss the issues and the problems you would like to work on. The options will be discussed with you to make sure you find the right treatment for you and sometimes this may mean that you may be referred to another service

Further information can be found on the attached Talking Therapies leaflet and more details can also be found on the website www.talkingtherapies.berkshire.nhs.uk

We hope that this information is useful to you and your families and carers.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Last chance to pre-register for Walking for MileS 2013!


Last chance to pre-register for Walking for MileS this Sunday 15th September! 

Please complete your online entry by 9pm this evening, Thursday 12th September.  Register here!

MS Society National Open Day

Source MS Society:
Our MS National Centre open day in London is a great opportunity for you to meet MS Society staff and other volunteers, hear about activities happening across the charity and discuss the issues that affect you.  Read more here.

Employment Lawyer Anna answers your questions on work & MS

Source MS Trust:
In the August issue of our newsletter Open Door we spoke to Barbara, a woman with MS who fought back against workplace bullies and unfair dismissal with the help of her lawyer Anna, who also has MS. Since we published their story, we’ve received a lot of enquiries from readers who would like to draw on Anna’s experience and insight. So all this week on our blog we are going to be featuring a selection of your questions and Anna’s answers. Read more here.

Are you sitting comfortably?

Photo: Simple changes in posture can have a really beneficial impact, particularly if you spend a lot of time sitting down.

Our free book, 'Are you sitting comfortably..?' can help you make sure that your posture is as good as possible throughout the day and night: http://ow.ly/oJObf 

You can find more tips on good posture in the latest edition of Open Door, our free quarterly newsletter: http://ow.ly/oJPt7
Source MS Trust:

Simple changes in posture can have a really beneficial impact, particularly if you spend a lot of time sitting down.

Our free book, 'Are you sitting comfortably..?' can help you make sure that your posture is as good as possible throughout the day and night: http://ow.ly/oJObf

Early signs of MS in spinal fluid

Source news.com.au

NEW research suggests it might be possible to spot early signs of multiple sclerosis in patients' spinal fluid, findings that offer a new clue about how the mysterious disease forms.  Read more here!

Kim Spark, BMSTC Junior Physio is moving on to develop her career!

Kim Spark, our Junior Physio, will be leaving us on the 4th October for a new post at Royal Berkshire Hospital. This is a great opportunity for Kim to expand her knowledge in different areas of physiotherapy. We wish her the very best of luck with her future career!

We are in the process of recruiting a new Junior Physiotherapist, feel free to pass the details on to anyone you think may be interested. More information including Job Description and application form can be found here!

BMSTC Chosen as local Charity for Reading Half Marathon 2014

Source getreading.co.uk
Sue Ryder wins race to become Reading Half Marathon ‘official charity.

Seven organisations will be working with the event organisers, who are aiming to make it the largest fundraising half marathon in the south of England

The three local charities are Berkshire MS Therapy Centre in West Reading, the town centre-based homeless charity Launchpad and Central Reading-based PACT which supports vulnerable families.  Read article here!
Source BBC:
Sleep ramps up the production of cells that go on to make an insulating material known as myelin which protects our brain's circuitry.

The findings, so far in mice, could lead to insights about sleep's role in brain repair and growth as well as the disease MS, says the Wisconsin team.  Read more here!

Monday, 2 September 2013

Congratulations to Mohamed, our new Physiotherapy Manager!

Photo: Although we feel sad that Ruth has now left BMSTC, we are also delighted to congratulate Mohamed Abdul, who has been promoted to the BMSTC Physiotherapy Manager post.  We know he will do a great job in leading our outstanding physiotherapy team.  Good luck Mohamed! :0)
Although we feel sad that Ruth has now left BMSTC, we are also delighted to congratulate Mohamed Abdul, who has been promoted to the BMSTC Physiotherapy Manager post. We know he will do a great job in leading our outstanding physiotherapy team. Good luck Mohamed! :0)

Farewell to Ruth Lowndsbrough

Photo: Today we say farewell to our Physio Manager Ruth Lownsbrough.  We will all miss Ruth greatly, she has been a part of the BMSTC team for 19 years!  We wish her the very best of luck in her new vocation to train as a Minister in the Methodist Church.  We are hosting a little farewell party this afternoon from 1.00pm, do come and help to bid her a fond farewell (although I know we will still be seeing her from time to time I'm sure:0)  Good luck Ruth! xxx
Thank you to everyone who came along to Ruth's farewell party last week, and for all of her well wishers!

We will all miss Ruth greatly, she has been a part of the BMSTC team for 19 years! We wish her the very best of luck in her new vocation to train as a Minister in the Methodist Church.   Good luck Ruth, we're missing you already! xxx

Crabtree and Evelyn Shopping event for BMSTC!



Kerri Squibb's Skydive!


Thank you to Kerri Squibb who raised over £1,000 by daring to do a skydive for BMSTC!  Congratulations Kerri, you are one brave girl!!
 

BMSTC Reading Half Marathon 2014 official charity!

We have just heard the the Berkshire MS Therapy Centre has been chosen as one of the Three Official Local Charities for next year's Reading Half Marathon. Great news :0)
 
For more information about the event click here!

New - BMSTC Short Film!

A short film kindly filmed and produced for free for BMSTC by Jonathan Trace of http://tapestryproductions.co.uk/ . Thanks to Jonathan and his team, and for all of the Thursday MS Therapy Centre Members who took part!  Click here to watch!

Benefit test tells people with progressive conditions they’ll ‘recover’

Source MS Society:
Almost half of people with a progressive condition who put in a claim for Employment Support Allowance (ESA) have been told they will ‘recover’ enough to look for work in the future.   Read more here.

People with MS are encouraged to get the flu vaccine

Source MS Trust:
The NHS has published its leaflet "The flu vaccination – who should have it and why" for the 2013/14 flu season. It lists groups who may be more susceptible to the effects of flu and this includes people with MS even if they are feeling healthy. The main carers for a disabled person are also advised to get vaccinated.
Read more here.

BMSTC Patron Martin Salter Walking for MileS!



BMSTC Patron Martin Salter is taking part in this year's Walking for MileS on Sunday 15th September. Please sponsor Martin or come and join us on the day!   Look out in this weeks Reading Chronicle for coverage!

You can enter the event here!  Or sponsor Martin here!

Family Therapy at the MS Centre!

Photo: Family Therapy at the MS Centre!  David Harris is joined on the standing frame  in the gym with his wife Helen and his two grandsons :)
David Harris is joined on the standing frame in the gym with his wife Helen and two grandsons! :0)

Councils urged to improve disabled access to beaches


Source Channel4.com

Local councils are being encouraged to improve access to beaches and other tourist locations across the UK in a bid to increase the enjoyment of disabled visitors and boost business.  Read more here.