Award could help keep patients out of hospital

A charity which helps patients with long-term neurological conditions believes £28k in emergency funding could help keep people out of hospital.

The Neuro Therapy Centre in Saltney, near Chester, has been helping people with conditions including MS, Parkinson’s, MND and ME for 35 years.

The charity has to generate £525,000 a year to cover its costs and had a series of major fundraising events lined up to mark its 35th anniversary.

However all that came to a grinding halt when Covid-19 forced them to close their centre and end their face-to-face sessions.

Centre director Jane Johnston-Cree explained: “We support 500 people from across North Wales, Cheshire and Wirral with a range of neurological conditions. They come to us to exercise safely and remain fit and independent.

“Because all of the people we help are in the vulnerable category with regard to Covid-19 we had to end our face-to-face contact.

“Covid-19 also had a big impact on our fundraising. We had a series of fundraising events that we had to cancel. It really hit our cashflow.”

The charity employs 18 staff and applied to the Steve Morgan Foundation for emergency funding to help them through the next three months.

“We were awarded £28,612,” said Jane. “It has made a huge difference to us. We’ve had  to look at ways of offering our services virtually  through video platforms like Zoom.

“Videos are really useful in getting people to maintain regular exercise. Someone with a neurological condition could have to go to hospital if their condition deteriorates and that’s the last thing they want. That’s why it’s crucial we maintain a service.”

The Neuro Therapy Centre tailor fitness, exercise and physiotherapy programmes to help people whether they have been recently diagnosed or living with a neurological condition for some time.

Under the strap line ‘We believe in a future after diagnoses’ the central objective of the charity is to provide a place of care, friendship, advice and support in a positive, informal and happy environment.”

Steve Morgan, founder of the Steve Morgan Foundation, said: “The situation faced by the Neuro Therapy Centre is typical of thousands of other charities. At a time when their services are more needed than ever they find their ability to fundraise  curtailed.  That’s why we stepped in so the most vulnerable members of society aren’t forgotten.”

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