Real Lives: Award hope for centre’s dedicated MS volunteers

The MS Therapy Centre volunteers have been recognised for their work
The MS Therapy Centre volunteers have been recognised for their work
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A team of Edinburgh volunteers at the MS Therapy Centre Lothian have been shortlisted for the prestigious Inspiring Volunteering Award recognising their support to those with multiple sclerosis (MS).

The MS Therapy Centre offers regular treatment to over 200 members with MS and the representatives are to be recognised in the Volunteer Team and Volunteer award categories by the Lord Provost of Edinburgh at a ceremony on 7 June.

The Centre’s Chairman and volunteer Bruce Laidlaw and volunteers Jim McLelland and Laurence Daniels have all been acknowledged in the Volunteer of the Year category.

Mr McLelland, who volunteers as a HBO operator, said: “It’s nice that someone thinks your contribution is helpful. I am a sufferer of MS myself and I find working at the Centre helps to keep me informed about the disease, as well as giving me something to do.”

The Centre’s HBO team, which manages the operation of the Centre’s oxygen therapy, has been shortlisted for the Volunteer Team of the Year. Centre manager Cathy Kirk, along with Sheila West, Neil Comfort and Mary Gray will pick up the team award on behalf of the volunteers who play a vital role operating the facility.

Jenni Tullo, who volunteers every Friday, will be part of the group receiving the Team of the Year award and says it is a “wonderful” achievement: “I have been volunteering since I retired at 61 and decided it’d be nice to give something back. It is an honour to be a part of this and it’s really good that we are getting this award.”

The MS Therapy Centre Lothian is based on Bonnington Road and supports over 200 people living in Edinburgh, the Lothians and Fife with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). It provides oxygen therapy, which is known to relieve the symptoms associated with the chronic condition, as well as an in-house physiotherapist, remedial yoga, and complementary therapists. It also carries extensive information on the condition and local services.

The volunteers at the Centre get involved in a wide range of support activities. In addition to operating the oxygen therapy and complementary therapies, volunteers also help with IT support, book keeping and fundraising, enabling the management team to concentrate on growing the charity and its operations.

Cathy Kirk, Manager at the MS Therapy Centre, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled that a number of our volunteers, each of who play a pivotal role in the operation of the Centre, have been recognised by the Inspiring Volunteering Awards.

“We place a huge amount of importance on the volunteers within the organisation, without whom, we wouldn’t be able to operate. These awards recognise their commitment, hard work and dedication.”