Issue No.2 – 2011
Reg Charity No.1139257/Sco 041990 Ltd Co in England and Wales No 07451571
You may have heard that Total Fitness is now under new management.
Regrettably they have withdrawn the specially negotiated concessionary rates
available to members of the Wirral MS Society (under the Clinical Population
Recognising the importance of the therapies to members and to lighten the
impact of the new charges, your committee has agreed to subsidise the fees
for 12 months from your personal renewal date. The amount you will pay
under the MS Society CPM scheme will therefore be significantly reduced as
Standard Total Fitness Wirral MS Society
Concessionary Rate Concessionary Rate
Annual £350 £276
Monthly £35 £23
This change will take effect from the anniversary of members‟ joining dates.
Members already on a Wirral Branch concession (annual or monthly) will
normally be contacted near to their renewal date in order to review terms.
If you have any queries, need further clarification or you are a prospective new
member with MS please contact:
John Galvin (0151 353 0409) or Emma Brown (0151 652 7808)
WELFARE REFORM BILL – this will affect you
In February the government published radical plans to change the benefits system in its
Welfare Reform Bill.
What does the Welfare Reform Bill say?
The bill aims to:
• Create a Universal Credit system to simplify the benefits system by combining in/out-
of-work benefits, and tax credits into one payment.
• Put a one-year time-limit on contributory Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) for
those in the Work-Related Activity Group (WRAG). Membership of this group means
rightly or wrongly, that people are expected to return to work at some point.
• Potential withdrawal of mobility funding for people receiving DLA in care homes.
• Replace DLA with a new Personal Independence Payment (PIP), and introduce a face to
face test for eligibility.
What the MS Society is saying about it?
• We welcome moves to simplify the benefits system under the Universal Credit.
• We strongly disagree with the time limit of contributory ESA for people deemed fit to
work. Many people in the Work-Related Activity Group face significant barriers to work,
and placing a one-year limit on them to find a job before support is cut off is unfair.
• We‟re concerned about people in residential care because they could lose mobility
funding under the new plans.
• We don‟t agree with the Government‟s proposals to introduce face-to-face tests for the
PIP. This will cause unnecessary stress and bureaucratic hurdles for people with MS.
We know from an independent report commissioned by the government that almost
40% of appeals against ESA (face-to-face) tests have been changed in the favour of the
appellant (and can take several months to be heard).
How you can take action?
You can write to your MP and tell them what the DLA means to you, and share your story
with the MS Society so that it can use it in campaigning work.
You can find details of your MP by putting in your postcode on this web page:
you can call John Galvin (0151 353 0409) or Emma Brown (0151 652 7808) who will be
pleased to find you the information.
Wirral MS Society Annual Meeting
Don‟t forget to make a note in your diary for
WEDNESDAY 20TH APRIL 2011
OVERTON COMMUNITY CENTRE
We would love to see as many members as possible at this year‟s meeting.
Get involved in The Branch and find out what it is doing for YOU. You will
find out :-
What has been going on in the Branch
What we are planning for the future.
How you will be affected by any changes that may take place.
Raise any issue you may have concerns about.
Anyone wishing to forward a resolution concerning branch activities may
present it in no more than 200 words.
Election of new committee
The members will also be electing the committee for the next 12 months. If
any member wishes to propose themselves or another member for any of the
existing positions, please apply for an application form. Current committee
John Galvin (Chairman)
Emma Brown (Secretary)
Keith Barrow (Treasurer)
Berni Gallagher (Support Officer)
Geoff Holmes (Membership Secretary)
Sharon Ford (Assistant Support Officer)
Karen Parsons (Fundraising)
Jeanette Cooke (Newsletter and Website Editor)
Nicola Braidford (Gift Aid and Social Secretary)
They are all standing for re-election.
Please note - Due to the meeting taking place on the third Wednesday of the
month there will be NO monthly Lunch at the Lighthouse in APRIL.
Charities' new challenge to DLA cut - Mar 2011
39 charities publish new report to counter Government arguments for removing the
mobility component from people in care homes.
The MS Society joined 38 other charities this week to publish DLA mobility - sorting the
facts from the fiction, a report setting out why the government's reasons for cutting the
mobility component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for people in residential care are
The report addresses each of the eight different justifications for the proposal and offers
clear reasons why they are not valid. Other charities backing the report include Mencap,
Leonard Cheshire Disability, Sense, Carers UK, the National Autistic Society and Scope.
The report follows on from the 'Don‟t limit mobility' report, which debunked the theory that
the removal of the DLA mobility component would remove an overlap of public funds.
Since then the government has said that it „absolutely guarantees' that people will not lose
out on funding for mobility needs, but it has also offered several further reasons for
removing the mobility component.
The government has recently delayed its plan to cut support for people in residential care
by five months to March 2013 to give more time to 'review' the plans. But the MS Society is
working with colleagues from across the disability sector to get the proposal removed from
the Welfare Reform Bill entirely.
Laura Weir, MS Society Head of Policy and Campaigns, says: "Thanks to the concerted
efforts of disability campaigners across the country, the Government's resolve to push this
regressive measure through seems to be weakening. We need as much support as possible
to keep the pressure on to ensure that this plan is abolished completely."
For more information visit www.mssociety. org.uk/document
1. Read the report 2. Find out more about and our DLA campaign and how you can help!
Multiple Sclerosis Society
Join us as an England Council Member.
Would you like to influence how the Multiple Sclerosis Society is run? Are you able to think
strategically and work as part of a team? We are looking for people to ensure the Society
continues to move in a clear direction and delivers its key objectives in order to meet the
needs of people affected by MS.
The Council is a sub committee of the MS Society in England and acts under delegated
powers from the trustees of the MS Society.
We currently have 6 vacancies on the MS Society England Council: Cheshire & Merseyside,
East Midlands, Hertfordshire/Essex & Bedfordshire, Kent, London and Surrey & Sussex.
If you would like to find out more or would like an application pack please contact
Lucy Tennison on 020 8438 0807 or email email@example.com.
The deadline for applications is Friday 13 May 2011.
RECENT SURVEYS ON MS CLASSES BEING HELD FOR
MEMBERS OF WIRRAL BRANCH
The MS Exercise Classes
This project began as a Pilot Study on 26 May 2010 with 2 sessions each
On the first day 6 people attended the first class and 3 in the second. The
classes were held in a small community centre near Tranmere Rovers F.C. and
over the following weeks numbers grew gradually until there was an average
of 12 at each class.
The Wirral MS Committee managed to organise a move to a bigger venue at
Overton Community Centre, Upton.
The numbers have now swelled to 30+ attending, with both wheelchair bound
participants and those with greater strength and mobility.
All members find the venue, times of classes and type of exercise ideal and
enjoy the social interaction immensely. Meeting others and being able to
access further information is the most important gain from attending the
There were many other positive aspects to joining the group which were
described by participants as follows:
“The exercises are suitable to the needs of the group and individuals.”
“There is a lot of fun and enjoyment.”
“The classes are held in a friendly environment with great support from
staff and carers are involved too.”
“We feel a sense of achievement, are motivated and have gained
“Attending has given me a clear structure to my day and got me out of
“I have felt an increase in my mobility, I feel fitter and stronger.”
TAI CHI CLASS REPORT
This project began as a Pilot Study In early July 2010 with 2 sessions each
The classes were held in the Wirral Resource Centre from 6 - 7pm for seated
members and 7 - 8pm for more able bodied members.
Recently the venue moved to Hope Centre in Pensby.
Kam Lau - the instructor - started with 8 attendees and now the numbers have
swelled to 20+ attending, with carers, friends and partners of MS Society
members also participating.
Ages generally ranged from 26 to 70+ but there was also a younger member of
17 years old accompanying his parents
Almost all members attended every week and the reasons that they attended
the sessions are: their confidence in the Support Officers advice; the
suitability of the type of exercise helping improve and maintain balance, co-
ordination and core strength; partner support; fun and enjoyment; and
The classes are important to participants to help them stay positive as well as
provide practice and control in their body movements for the future.
The following comments were made by participants:
“It is an absolute lifeline”
“It’s the best thing I have done in years “
“ I love the Tai Chi and have never looked so forward to going to a class
after work “
“This is a chance to be a bit more graceful again”
“The people of Wirral are so lucky to have people like this to put so
much time and effort for the sake of MS sufferers “
[Survey carried out on behalf of Wirral MS Society by Eileen Brown and
assisted by group members ]
A fuller report on these two surveys can be downloaded from our own website
WIRRAL MS SOCIETY TAI CHI CLASSES
SHORTLISTED FOR AWARD
We are delighted to learn that following our recent nomination for the
Community Foundation for Merseyside‟s Spirit of Merseyside Awards, the
judging panel having met recently, has shortlisted us as a finalist for the
Health and Wellbeing Award.
The number and standard of entries this year was particularly high, so for our
project to be shortlisted is a great achievement.
The Spirit of Merseyside Awards
Liverpool Philharmonic Hall
7pm on Tuesday 7th June
The event is a showcase of community spirit, innovation and success. It will
be hosted by Radio City DJ and local comedian Neil Fitzmaurice. There will be
a drinks reception and canapés with the evening being a relaxed affair with
performances and inspirational moments - all designed to show the
commitment of Merseyside‟s voluntary sector.
To share successes with other members of the group and project and to
encourage this, the Foundation has dramatically reduced the ticket price to
£20 for adults and £10 for concessions
In addition, there is a discount for group bookings.
Tickets are available from the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall Box Office or online
- just search engine Liverpool Philharmonic
LEAF promotes environmentally responsible farming. It supports farmers to produce good food,
grown with care and to high environmental standards, identified in-store by the LEAF Marque
Open Farm Sunday is an annual event that gives everyone the chance to meet the farmers who
grow their food and care for the countryside.
Open Farm Sunday June 12th
Church Farm Organics Ltd
Church Lane, Thurstaston, Wirral. CH61 0HW
Open day 10am-5pm.
Tractor rides, play area, plant-a-seed, tractor displays, goat feeding, guinea
pig cuddling, hen house tours, and farm shop and coffee shop to look round.
More activities coming soon! No booking necessary - small charge applies.
Meet the animals Tractor and trailer rides
Static machinery display Self guided walks
Food is available Farm shop and fresh produce
Farm Features: Vegetables, Fruit, Farm shop / retail.
Old Clatterbridge Road, Bebington, Wirral, CH63 4JB
11am - 1pm
Activities: Wellie Walk, Harvesting seasonal produce, Wildlife spotting etc.
Meet in the Courtyard next to the farm shop.
Please wear suitable clothing and footware.
Static machinery display
Hosted farm tour
Farm shop and fresh produce
Arable, Vegetables, Fruit, Environmental stewardship, Farm shop / retail
This is a free event but donations to the national farming charity, RABI would
be greatly appreciated.
Visit any of these websites for lots more information.
Edwards Newsagents £36.11
(the website where your purchases can earn money for us)
“That‟s Love” performed at The Gladstone Theatre by the Bebington Dramatic
Society was attended by many of our members and raised in excess of
Grateful thanks to all of our members and non-members who made the effort
to come out on a cold dark night – but they were well rewarded by some
Heswall Co-operative Funeral Service donated £400.
Thank You Mrs Pritchard for your donation.
Family and friends of the late Mr John Forsdyke donated over £330
We can never say “Thank you” too many times to the
families and friends who support our fundraising efforts in
All funds raised go to back to our members in one form or
Aphasia is an acquired communication disorder that impairs a person's ability to process
language, but does not affect intelligence.
Aphasia impairs the ability to speak and understand others, and most people with aphasia
experience difficulty reading and writing. This can occur in many neurological conditions
Here are some details of an information event at Neurosupport. This equipment enables
people with aphasia to communicate using an ingenious piece of kit the size of an iPad and
EMERGENCY ? ON YOUR OWN IN THE CAR? NEED HELP?
Did you know that 112 is an emergency number to use on your mobile phone that
will take you straight to the police because 999 does not work if you have no signal.
Too bad the mobile phone companies don't give you this little bit of wonderful
Now it's your turn to let your friends know about 112.
This is good information has been Verified by the Dorset Police.
Please pass on to all your friends, especially any females who may be driving
As far as we aware, 112 uses a system called triangulation so police dispatchers
can pinpoint exactly where you are phoning from.
ThIs number does work from a mobile telephone
Calling all members!
Northern Area Open Meeting
Saturday 21 May 2011
Leyland Hotel Preston,
Leyland Way, PRESTON PR25 4JX
from 10.30 for 11.00 until 15.00.
It is fully accessible with refreshments and lunch provided.
Each year the MS Society holds open meetings which are your
opportunity to share your views about what the MS Society should
be doing locally and nationally. You’ll also get the chance to meet
other members, trustees and senior staff and hear about what
we’ve been up to locally over the year. In addition to updates and
opportunities for feedback those attending will be able to be part of
one of these three important workshops:
Governing the Society – the way the Society operates
What do you want from the MS Society locally?
Alternatively, contact the conference team to book on
020 8438 0809/0941
Easter Saturday 23rd April
Cherry Tree Centre Wallasy
Our friends from the 99th Imperial Force will be at this fundraising
Children love having pictures taken with the Star Wars Characters,
Please come along and support us.
There will also be a Raffle – sure to be some Easter Eggs!
SEFTON AREA M.S.BRANCH INVITE YOU TO
AN EVENING OF SONG
CROSBY GILBERT AND SULLIVAN OPERATIC SOCIETY
SATURDAY 7TH MAY - 7.30PM
OUR LADY OF LOURDES SCHOOL HALL
GRANTHAM RD. BIRKDALE, SOUTHPORT PR8 4LT
ADMISSION £5 (INC REFRESHMENTS)
DAILY DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
Something for everyone
Catering for varying
MONDAY TAI CHI abilities.
Carers and partners are
Every week The Hope Centre, welcome.
Fishers Lane, Pensby.
Two classes Classes are £2.50 per
(Formerly Pensby session
6.00pm (Seated) Community Centre)
6.45pm(Standing) Classes led by Kam Lau. for a small donation.
Berni - 07833 051 707
TUESDAY AQUATHERAPY Berni
07833 051 707
Every week - 10.30am Total Fitness,
Prenton Way, Prenton.
Pool chair and hoist
2nd Tuesday EVENING MEAL
each month 342 1211
3rd Wednesday The Lighthouse,
each month Wallasey Village.
1.30pm 652 7808
WEDNESDAY WIRRAL WELLBEING Classes cater for all
Every week Classes are £2.50 per
Two classes session.
Classes led by Eileen Refreshments available.
Berni 07833 051 707
THURSDAY INFORMAL GET-
2.00pm Contact Jan Holmes
The Family Church, Wallasey.
(Serpentine Road entrance).
FRIDAY AQUATHERAPY Berni
07833 051 707
Every week - 10.30am
Pool chair and hoist Prenton Way, Prenton.
A Group for our younger ROCK THE BOAT Details of meetings and
members (Under 40‟s). venues may be obtained
Organized by Berni
Marc & Suzanne.
07833 051 707
RUN LIVERPOOL MARATHON FOR 23 FOUNDATION
The Liverpool Marathon makes a triumphant return to the city after nearly 20 years and
Jamie Carragher‟s charity, the 23 Foundation, is privileged to have been selected as one of
the four official charities for the event on
Sunday 9th October 2011
The 23 Foundation, administered by the Community Foundation for Merseyside, was set up
by the Reds‟ vice captain to provide support and funding in a bid to allow youngsters the
opportunity to reach their potential and overcome barriers through sporting activity and
We are looking for 300 enthusiastic runners to join our „Team of Carraghers‟ to raise vital
funds for the local community. Each runner is asked to raise at least £500, which will be
distributed as grants to voluntary and community groups across Merseyside. To help you
reach the finish line and £500 fundraising target, the 23 Foundation will provide support,
materials, running vests and incentives along the way – there may even be a chance to
meet the man himself!
If you are interested in being part of the Team of Carraghers obtain,complete and return
the Liverpool Marathon Application Form to the 23 Foundation.
VOLUNTEER FOR 23 FOUNDATION
We are also looking for energetic people to help on the day as 23 Foundation volunteers.
This might be as part of the „Cheering Squads‟, helping to distribute water at official water
stations and marshals along the way. Contact the 23 Foundation to express an interesting
in volunteering on the day or for more information.
Thank you for reading this article and if you can help in any way to make the event an
inspirational showcase of Merseyside and raise vital funds, please get in touch with “The
23 Foundation Marathon Team” for all details
Tel 0151 232 2417
“In Touch” is published by the Wirral Branch of the MS Society. The articles contained
in this publication are not necessarily the views or policies of the charity and its
Whilst every effort is made to provide, accurate information neither the MS Society nor
the Editor accepts liability for any errors or omissions.
Items for inclusion in the newsletter can be mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
PLANNING YOUR SUMMER HOLIDAYS?
Some useful Websites and Directories
www.disabilityholidays.net - set up by AOB Leisure Group to specialise in providing
bespoke holidays and activities for adults and children with physical and or learning
www.caravansitefinder.co.uk - Caravan Sitefinder is a web based resource which
provides information about caravan-based holidays, including specific information on
access issues for disabled people, their family and friends.
www.disabledholidayinfo.org.uk -The website is designed to give travellers with
disabilities (whether they are wheelchair users or have other mobility issues)
appropriate information on accessible holiday accommodation, attractions, activities
and in Shropshire transport to enable them to choose suitable accessible holidays
bearing in mind their disability and special needs.
Services to support Breaks and Holidays
Carry my luggage - A luggage delivery service providing a door to door collection
and delivery service for suitcases, trunks or holdalls. www.carrymyluggage.co
National Rail - information for disabled passengers - Information on services for
disabled or mobility-impaired passengers on the national rail network.
The Insurance Surgery - The Insurance Surgery is one of the UK's leading
specialists in finding life insurance, travel insurance, impaired life annuities and other
insurance products for clients with pre existing medical conditions. They can guide
you towards life insurance and travel insurance companies who are sympathetic to
your pre existing medical condition.
Grants and Funding for Holidays
3H Fund - subsidise a range of group holidays for physically disabled people
accompanied by volunteer carers. www.3hfund.org.uk
Handicapped Aid Trust - The Handicapped Aid Trust gives grants towards the cost
of helpers to assist disabled people on holiday, and towards the cost of holidays and
helpers to give carers a break. www.handicappedaidtrust.org.uk
The Orton Rigg Hotel near Poole - Hotel with adaptations for wheelchair users on
the South coast previously owned by Arthritis Care, has a new owner and is taking
bookings following refurbishment. www.ortonrigghotel.co.uk
The Bruce Trust - a registered charity which provides purpose-built, wide-beam
canal boats on the Kennet and Avon Canal from two bases, for hire for self catering
holidays by disabled, disadvantaged or elderly people and their carers.
Break - Break provides a range of holidays and short break services for children,
adults and families with special care needs. www.break-charity.org
Disaway Trust - The Disaway Trust organises group holidays with physically
disabled people, visiting the actual venues beforehand to ensure suitability and
accessibility throughout the holiday. www.disaway.co.uk
Holidays for All - Holidays for All is a group of UK disability organisations working
together to promote quality, accessible holiday breaks providing improved choice
and flexibility for holidaymakers. www.holidaysforall.org
Tourism for All UK - Tourism for All UK is a national registered charity which
provides information to people with disabilities and older people in relation to
accessible accommodation and other tourism services. www.tourismforall.org.uk
MS Society – list of accessible holiday accommodation in the UK.
The holiday and leisure choices for millions of disabled people, their families, carers
and friends are to be transformed following the recent announcement of an alliance
between disability organisations Tourism for All UK and DisabledGo or major
NEAR APPLEBY IN CUMBRIA
HAMBLETON & RICHMONDSHIRE BRANCH
Sleeps Six – One Double – One Twin – A Double in the Lounge
Wheelchair adapted access via ramp and veranda, sliding doors and Shower.
Digital TV/DVD, CD Mini system, Microwave, Sandwich Toaster
An award winning site with restaurant, outdoor pool, shop, laundry and lots
for the children to do.
Open April to end of October (Dates still available)
April & October £100 May, June & Sept £150 July & August
For Further information or availability contact
John & Doris Watson 01677 424455 or e-mail email@example.com
(Courtesy - Julie Henney - Local Support Development Officer Cheshire &
2 L S T E P I W E S T E R N S T S M T
0 A C N C H I U G U M Y S T E R Y H O
1 N I I R B G S C F Y H P A R G O I B
1 G S K O O B O I D U A N S M R H F T
R U Y S L O O C S S T S L P R R T A H
M A H I O K T R A E P E C O E E U S U
D G P S E I E M T O V O R R V X A H R
S E I R O T S T R O H S N Y O E L I S
T S Y N U 3 E T N I N I B Y C R A O D
F Y Y P P S Y C H O L O G Y S C C N A
A G M M S C I E N C E F I C T I O N Y
R O M A T H E M A T I C S G O S L V G
C L C P P E A F A C T U A L I E N T O
I O S A N M H R U R A H O F V L H C L
D E R E L I H T D V C G D A E I E C O
N G L N U S P I L B Y H R L R R R R I
A A H I S T O R Y A A T A D R I P O B
H P A P E R B A C K E C N A M O R I L
D V D S S Y R T E O P H H E T E W A O
FACTUAL FICTION FASHION COVER COMPUTERS SPINE PAGE PREFACE
EPILOGUE BIOGRAPHY ART COOKERY PETS HANDICRAFTS TRAVEL HISTORY
SPORT GEOLOGY PSYCHOLOGY WESTERNS CRIME SHORT STRORIES SYNOPSIS
AUDION BOOKS CASSETTE TAPES MP3 SOCIOLOGY MUSIC DVD
TRANSPORT HEALTH LANGUAGES BIOLOGY CHEMISTRY PHYSICS
MATHEMATICS EXERCISE POETRY LOCAL AUTHORS PAPERBACK GRAPHIC
NOVEL RELIGION WORLD BOOK DAY ROMANCE HORROR MYSTERY SCIENCE
(Submitted by Sue Z.)
Thoughts by Adam
Don‟t you hate?
Don’t you hate getting in the bath and then remembering your towel?
Don’t you hate the click of the lock and then remembering your key?
Don’t you hate the smell of burning and then remembering the cake?
Don’t you hate the pain of loss and then remembering your love?
Don’t you hate not saying sorry and then remembering why?
Don’t you hate it being too late?
Sunday - about 3 o‟clock in the afternoon
Listening to the football on a Sunday afternoon
Smells of the roast wafting through the room
Kids on the floor, watching the telly
Dreaming of tums filled with green jelly
Mum’s in the kitchen drinking a wine
Dinner won’t burn – she’s watching the time
I lie here, looking at your face
There are so many things that I want to say
The words are there; I’m willing them to come
But they’re stuck in the limbo of my mind.
My tears sting as they sit in my eyes - and my heart breaks as you wipe them
This just isn’t fair - you don’t deserve this
All that work that you did, it seems to be for nought.
What have I done to you? What have I done to our son?
I’ve stolen your lives - stopped you from living. You spend all your time caring for me
You can’t relax; You can’t take a break;
And I just want to say: “I love you; I’m sorry”
(Copyright A. Costello)
Some members of our Tai Chi class who enjoyed an evening
celebrating Chinese New Year with Leader Kam Lau.
We would like to say Thank You to Bekki and Charlotte,
two young ladies who have done many hours of voluntary
work as part of their “Work Experience”.
It has been a pleasure to meet them and watch as they
have carried out their duties at various venues in a such a
friendly and happy manner.
A Big Thank You to Ben Cooke who has been volunteering at
the Tai Chi classes for several months now.
Ben has been putting in a lot of voluntary hours
working towards his Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award.
It has been a delight to have him working with us.
He has been most helpful and enthusiastic and has engaged
so well with all the members and staff.
I am sure Ben has gained lots of valuable new skills and we
all wish him the best of luck with his D.O.E. Awards.Thank
you so much Ben for all your hard work.
Berni Gallagher M.S. Support Officer
MS NURSE CLINIC
West Kirby Heath Centre,
The Concourse, Grange Rd, West Kirby.
3rd Tuesday each month
Phone M.S. Nurse for appointment
0151 529 5645
MS NATIONAL HELPLINE
Freephone 0808 800 8000
9am – 9 pm Mon – Fri
24 hour answerphone 07833 051 707
Why not visit our website or the National website.
Articles are regularly refreshed to keep you up-to-date.