Colchester: Charity receives its ‘largest-ever’ bequest

A CHARITY for people with multiple sclerosis has been able to move to a new home and offer face-to-face support for the first time thanks to the largest bequest it its 18-year history.

The Multiple Sclerosis Resource Centre (MSRC) has been based at offices in Colchester’s Peartree Business Centre for the past 11 years, but the eight staff are now decamping to premises five times the size at Hythe Quay.

The move will enable the charity to introduce a range of new services on site including a face-to-face counselling suite, physiotherapy and a range of workshops.

Helen Yates, chief executive of MSRC, said: “We are all tremendously excited at what the move will enable us to do.

“The bequest was �225,000, the biggest we have ever received, and naturally we are incredibly grateful to the lady concerned, who had MS. We have named our new premises Unsworth House in her honour.

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“Apart from the fact we will now own our premises, which is hugely beneficial in itself, we will be able to provide a number of new services which we have always wanted to offer but couldn’t because of not having the space and resources.

“Until now, much of our work, support, advice and counselling has been carried out on the phone.

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“As a charity helping people not just in the UK but across the world, this will continue to be the case. However, for local people with the disease, we will now be able to offer them face-to-face advice and help from our premises.”

The charity was formed to offer a more innovative approach to supporting people with multiple sclerosis thorough access to unbiased information and advice.

MS is a chronic, disabling neurodegenerative disease which strikes most often during early adulthood and affects about 100,000 in the UK.

Many aspects of MS, including its cause, are not well understood, but there is, however, a growing understanding of how the permanent physical and mental disabilities caused by the disease arise over time.

“The aim of MSRC is to act as a one-stop service for anyone affected by MS,” said Ms Yates.

“Whether it is those with a diagnosis or expecting one, family, friends, employers, work colleagues, professionals in the field or those just with an interest, we aim to provide answers and support that is accurate and appropriate.

“Sometimes it is just a question of listening and we do a lot of that as well. We try very hard never to make people feel that we haven’t got time to talk or listen and no question is too small or too big.”

All services are free and funding for the charity is provided by donations and grants.

Further information on MSRC and its services can be found at or by calling 01206 226500.

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