Support for MS is paying off

bathroom delight: MS Society member Cathy Poultney in her new wet room, installed with the help of funds from the Isle of Man branch

bathroom delight: MS Society member Cathy Poultney in her new wet room, installed with the help of funds from the Isle of Man branch

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THE Multiple Sclerosis Society in the island is celebrating receiving donations of more than £12,700 last year.

Funds were raised by people taking part in the Parish Walk, Peel’s New Year’s Day Dip, marathons, skydives, as well as cake sales, donations in lieu of birthday and Christmas presents as well as donations in memoriam and corporate support from dress-down days, dinners and similar events.

This has allowed the society, which celebrates its 60th birthday this year, to both continue and expand its programme of support for those with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) – and their carers – throughout the island.

As well as responding to requests for financial assistance to purchase specialist equipment, the society runs two exercise classes at the NSC in Douglas, supervised by qualified trainers who have adapted their usual routines to enable people in wheelchairs or with other mobility problems to benefit from regular exercise.

There is also a yoga class, which can be enjoyed by those who might not normally able to stand unaided, but who benefit from the stretching and posture exercises yoga provides.

Practical and emotional support is available from the branch’s support officer Andrea Rycroft, who visits as many people as she can, as well as doing her own fundraising in this year’s Peel dip.

MS Society member Cathy Poultney was one of those to benefit. ‘I’ve had MS for years, but recently I was finding it more and more difficult to have a bath or even step into the shower without my husband’s help as I was so worried about overbalancing,’ said Cathy. ‘I’m so grateful to the MS Society for its assistance and a grant towards a new, level, wet room shower. I’m no longer worried about tripping, and my husband is delighted that he can now watch a football game on TV without having to listen out for a crash!’

As well as providing local support, the donations the Isle of Man branch has received in 2012 have meant that it was able to make sizeable grants towards research into symptom, relief and a possible cure for MS.

‘Twenty-thirteen is a celebration of 60 years of the MS Society and I really hope there will be no need for us to celebrate our 75th birthday,’ said Derek Patience, chairman of MS Society Isle of Man.

‘Research into a possible cure for the condition continues apace, and the MS Society has high hopes for its ongoing programme of research. The generosity of everyone in the Isle of Man is well-known and this fantastic fundraising total just goes to prove how true that is.’

Anyone interested in how to join the branch, how to raise funds on its behalf or the work of the MS Society can contact the local branch by phoning 452207, emailing mssocietyiom(at) or via Facebook at

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurological condition. Most people are diagnosed between the ages of 20-40, but it can affect younger and older people too. Almost twice as many women have MS as men.

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