Funding for Chilterns MS Centre

Support for Chilterns MS Centre Pop Up Art Weekend

The Clare Foundation was pleased to support the fantastic Pop-Up Art Weekend set up to raise funds to support the Chiltern MS Centre who do such great work in the community supporting those with Multiple sclerosis.

This major fundraiser for the Charity was able to return at the beginning of March after a Covid-19 enforced hiatus last year. The popular free art show featured: paintings, photographs, ceramics, jewellery, sculptures and much more.

Catherine Golds and Chris Williams

Catherine Golds, Zahir Mohammed, Chris Williams and Helen Mee

About the Chilterns MS Centre

The Chilterns MS Centre was set up by local people with MS and their families to provide long-term care and support that is not available on the NHS. They aim to help people cope with the disabling and distressing symptoms of MS, so they can lead healthier, happier lives. This is achieved by providing free physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, oxygen therapy, occupational therapy and a wide range of complementary therapies. They also offer social activities, counselling and support for carers. Their mission is to empower people with MS to achieve their goals by providing physical, practical and emotional support for as long as they need it.

Centre Photos 2019

How the pandemic affected the Charity

Chilterns MS Centre members were badly affected by the lockdowns, suffering a loss of the support network they relied on and reduced access to coping mechanisms; eg seeing friends, usual daily routine and exercise, with some reporting that their annual review with their neurologist was postponed or offered over the phone. For those classed as ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ and told to shield throughout the pandemic, being socially isolated in their homes for so long had a potentially serious impact on their mental and physical health. MS is usually a degenerative condition and sadly there was a significant deterioration in some members because of the reduced activity and the regular treatments they missed.

Family members were affected too, sometimes having to care 24/7 for a loved one with MS without the external help they would normally have received, either from statutory services or other family and friends. Chilterns MS Centre is therefore focussing the re-building of their services on supporting members’ mental and emotional wellbeing.

The Centre is now fully open but still operating under COVID-19 safeguards, which has reduced the number of people they can see although they are now able to increase this, but not quite to pre-pandemic levels for all treatments.

The Chilterns MS Centre is a registered charity. The 497 members all pay an small annual fee to access treatments, but the remainder of the income needed is down to generous donations and sponsorship. On average it costs £164 per month for each MS member’s treatment and The Clare Foundation’s support of the Pop-Up Art Weekend is the equivalent of 9 members monthly treatment costs.

Catherine Golds. Chair of Trustees. Chilterns MS Centre

We are delighted to partner with The Clare Foundation who are so supportive of the work that we do at the Chilterns MS Centre, offering treatment and services to those with multiple sclerosis. It’s not just the financial assistance we receive, such as the sponsorship of our Pop-Up Art Exhibition, it is the ongoing support, guidance and encouragement which make our relationship such a valuable one. As a small, local charity we have and we are so grateful to them.

Chilterns MS Centre Team

Chris Williams. Chair of Trustees. The Clare Foundation

On 4 March it was a great pleasure attend the Chilterns MS Centre in Wendover to help open the Pop-Up Art Show. The Clare Foundation had provided some funding to help the Centre put on the Show as part of their fundraising programme. As well as being impressed with the work of the Centre and their facilities for clients, I was really impressed with the range and quality of the artwork on display. Most of the work being exhibited, from paintings to jewellery, was by local artists. After (short) speeches and refreshments guests were encouraged to go around the exhibition and to purchase items. The exhibition, on the Saturday and Sunday, was very well attended by members of the public. The whole event was really successful and raised over £16,000.

Martin Gallagher. CEO. The Clare Foundation

It was terrific to be able to support such a worthy local charity. Stella and her Team put on an excellent event that brought many people from all over Buckinghamshire and further afield. The Clare Foundation Team and Trustees truly enjoyed being able to meet people again, and an event such as this galvanised the volunteers and artists to make it a great weekend. We look forward to working with Chilterns MS Centre later this year and preparing for 2023.

Martin Gallagher and Chris Williams

A message from Chilterns MS Centre

I would recommend The Clare Foundation in a heartbeat. The requirements of a grant are clear and the answers to questions were so quick. I have found everyone so helpful and encouraging. I was also so delighted with the invites to free professional fundraising courses for the team. The ethos of The Clare Foundation and the network they support is also inspiring and so it feels exciting to be a part of it.

To find out more about the work that the Chilterns MS Centre carries out, please visit their website.