Ernest Hecht Charitable Foundation Supports Reopening of Services
Our face-to-face services will increase after lockdown restrictions ease thanks to a very generous donation from the Ernest Hecht Charitable Foundation.
During the pandemic, the charity has continued to support the health and wellbeing of people living in the Chilterns area and beyond who are living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Many of our members have been shielding for over a year, and having regular contact with the Centre has been really important in keeping them active at home and connected to others. Our programme completely changed from face-to-face therapies and activities to fully remote services. These included exercise classes, physiotherapy sessions and online social activities. We also expanded our Buddy Scheme, matching people up for regular friendly chats to help keep people positive and less isolated.
Now, as restrictions start to be lifted, we are looking forward to rebuilding our programme to include many more face-to-face sessions with the continuation of some remote services. This mix will allow people with this life-long condition to access our services in the best way for them, as and when they need it. Many people have found that they have been able to join in with new classes and activities because they have been online. But so many of our members have missed the personal contact and social connections they get through actually being at the Centre.
The pandemic has meant that most of our fundraising activities had to stop. Whilst we have been very lucky in receiving donations from our members and supporters in response to our emergency appeal, we need to reach out to new funders to help us to be able to run our services as many fundraising activities are still restricted.
The Ernest Hecht Charitable Foundation was one of these amazing funders that answered our call. The Foundation provides financial and practical assistance with the aim of making a difference to people’s lives. The Foundation reached out to a number of charities that they felt would greatly benefit from their support in the wake of the pandemic, and invited the Centre to apply for a grant.
We are delighted to have received a fantastic £50,000 donation from the Ernest Hecht Charitable Foundation towards our running costs this year. Our huge thanks to their trustees for supporting us just when we really need more funds to re-open our face-to-face services.
Kate Barker, Trusts and Grants Fundraising Manager
Multiple Sclerosis affects 1 in 500 people in the UK and can be a debilitating disease. There is no cure, so therapy centres like the Chilterns MS Centre are so very important to people living with the condition. The NHS only see them once a year or treats them with a small amount of therapy if they need it. Our therapy Centre provides regular support, helping members to manage their symptoms and keep as healthy and active for as long as possible. Our work also helps the NHS by keeping people away from needing to access NHS resources as much as possible. With less than 7% funding from the NHS, donations from charitable foundations like this are vital to keeping us open for anyone with MS.