Help keep our Virtual Centre going The team running a local charity’s virtual centre have made their 5000th support call – with the services they are helping provide making a real difference to people with neurological conditions in the region. Now, the team at the Neuro Therapy Centre have been given a wonderful opportunity – as donations supporting these services will be match-funded next month. Staff at the Centre are urging as many people to get involved as possible at this important time by making a donation to help fund their vital work. The Centre started offering many of its life-changing services online in April as a result of the pandemic, and as they adapted their delivery, the charity has found new ways to help people across the region – with plans to expand their work in the future. “This year has been a challenging one for all of us,” said Jane Johnston-Cree, Centre Director at the Neuro Therapy Centre. “The team really rose to the challenge and during the last few months, we have not only created our Virtual Centre from scratch - but we have also gradually started to expand our virtual services, and from the feedback we’ve received it is clear there’s a long-term demand for this virtual offer.” The Centre’s virtual services now feature regular telephone support, telephone and online counselling sessions, 9 live exercises sessions a week and a range of recorded exercise sessions and therapies. “We have ideas for new sessions too, so we won’t stop here,” added Jane. “We have just made our 5000th support call and have had over 1800 attendances in our live exercise sessions to date. It’s been amazing how people have adapted and they have found real benefits from the online services too. Our work is all about helping people to manage their conditions and stay living as independent a life as possible. Our virtual services are helping people who sometimes find it a struggle to visit our Centre in Saltney due to transport or work commitments. When you live with a condition such as MS or Parkinson’s, finding all the energy you’d like to have to do everything you’d like to achieve can be a challenge, so removing the travel element from receiving these services can really help people.” Clare Moulton, was diagnosed with MS in 1997, and has been attending physiotherapy and gym sessions at the Neuro Therapy Centre since 2018 and has found the virtual services this year have made it much easier for her to exercise regularly. “I usually visit the Centre once a week, as long as my husband’s work shifts make it possible,” said Clare. “But through the virtual services I have been able to do the exercises three times a week around my work from home. It’s been amazing, and I can really feel the benefit in my strength from being able to exercise more often. I look forward to the sessions. The regular telephone calls are a real tonic too, it’s great to have that regular support from the Centre. It really gives me a boost!” The Centre re-opened in September for in-Centre services but it will be next year before the same number of people will be able to attend its services on a weekly basis in person. “We intend to keep our virtual centre going alongside our in-Centre services in the future, which is why we’d love as many people as possible to get behind our match-funding Big Give campaign,” said Jane Johnston-Cree. “It is clear that people are gaining new benefits from our online and telephone support, so we want to maintain these benefits and also explore whether these online services can help us reach more people who may not have been able to attend the Centre in person in the past. We know transport can be a real issue, and if these services can help people who have been newly diagnosed and are still in work too that would be fantastic.” Between noon on 1st December and noon on 8th December, the Neuro Therapy Centre’s Big Give web page will be live, and there is £10,000 of match-funding available for donations of any size to be doubled for free. The Centre also has an online Christmas Concert with local artists Matt Violet and The Last Minute performing on Saturday 5th December, and is encouraging people to wear a Christmas jumper and make a donation to the site during that week. “With this campaign being near Christmas we wanted to make it as fun as possible,” said Shannah Goodrick, Corporate & Community Fundraiser at the Neuro Therapy Centre. “We’d love to see pictures of people wearing their Christmas jumpers, with extra kudos if it’s in one of our logo colours too. If people have been working from home they could donate their commute or what they would have spent at their Christmas Party. Our virtual services have received such positive feedback, this is a wonderful opportunity to raise the money so that they continue in the future.” The Neuro Therapy Centre supports people with neurological conditions including MS, Parkinson’s, ME and MND, and their Carers from across Cheshire, North Wales and the Wirral. Have your donation doubled on our Big Give page.