The Kent MS Therapy Centre in Canterbury has been operating since 1984 and was initially set up by people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) for people with MS living in Kent. In January 2015, we moved into our brand new purpose-built Therapy Centre which has enabled us to offer more therapies and additional support clinics.
MS is a debilitating, unpredictable and incurable disease which can affect all of us. It is most commonly diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 40 although our youngest Centre member was first diagnosed at the age of 15. MS is the most commonly diagnosed neurological disease in young adulthood and it is something people live with for the rest of their lives. There are thought to be approximately 140,000 people living in the UK with MS. Of this number, it is estimated that more than 3,500 people are living with MS across Kent and Medway, with 185 people per year in Kent and Medway being diagnosed with MS (approximately 15 per month).
The Kent MS Therapy Centre is the only dedicated Therapy Centre in Kent that operates six days a week to support people who are suffering from MS and we do this by providing a range of non-invasive therapies which help to relieve the symptoms of MS and improve quality of life. In order to access our services, we offer a full membership scheme to people with an MS diagnosis. Once they have taken out membership, individuals can take advantage of all services delivered at the Centre. Our core therapies include:
- Oxygen Therapy
- Gym and Group Exercise
- Counselling and Nutritional Advice
Within our Centre we also offer a much wider range of complementary therapies such as Yoga, Reflexology, Indian Head Massage, Acupuncture, Hypnotherapy and Facial Reflexology. In addition, we offer specialist support such as MS Specialist Nurse clinics, continence advisory clinics, symptom management workshops, chiropody clinics and advisory sessions on independent living. The range of practical and emotional support is a lifeline for so many of our members and they can drop in for a chat whenever they need.
In 2019 a total of 10,557 one-to-one and group therapy sessions were accessed by 603 individual members, with a combined attendance of 18,741 – an average of 31 activities per member.
During 2020 we need to raise more than £600,000 to run our services. As an independent charity, we do not receive any Government or NHS funding therefore every penny we raise comes from charitable donations and fundraising activities. That is why the support of the local community is so vital to us.