The Merlin MS Centre provides a range of expert care, support and therapies predominantly for people whose lives are affected by Multiple Sclerosis (MS), but also for those with other neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s, Stroke, ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Cornwall has one of the highest rates of MS in the UK with more than 1000 people currently diagnosed with the condition – twice the national average- although the reason for this is not known. MS is a chronic condition that affects the central nervous system.
Clients can access a range of therapies physiotherapy, occupational and exercise therapy; hyperbaric oxygen treatment (breathing 100% oxygen in a pressurised environment); health and well-being therapies. These can help people better manage their symptoms; improve mobility, strength, flexibility, and circulation; improve sleep patterns; help with pain management and reduce stress and anxiety.
The centre, the only purpose-built MS Centre in the county, also offers day respite service, which can enable individuals to gain new skills; improve social interaction and self-confidence; and reduce depression and isolation. Other services include: counselling, carer support, advice and information and is available to anyone in Cornwall whose lives are affected by a long-term neurological condition. All clients are registered and are given a health assessment before therapies are undertaken, but they do not need to be referred by a health professional to access the services.Where required, a free mini-bus service, suitable for wheelchair users, is able to bring clients to and from their home to the centre.
An outreach service for people living in West Cornwall providing weekly exercise sessions and a monthly physiotherapy clinic is also offered. This is a pilot project and if successful will be extended to other parts of Cornwall for people who may have difficulties getting to the centre.
The charity receives no Government funding and therefore derives its income, currently around £400,000 a year, from fundraising activities in the community; hiring of the centre’s conference and therapy rooms to external clients, plus income from grant making trusts.
Address: Merlin MS Centre
Charity Number: 1093691