History

History

Hertfordshire Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre (HMSTC) came into existence because of one man’s experience of Oxygen Treatment: Tom Mills, who was then a Letchworth resident.

Oxygen Treatment for people affected by Multiple Sclerosis (MS) began in 1958 in the USA, when similarities between the “bends” (as suffered by deep sea divers who surface too quickly) and MS were first recognised. In 1979, 250 people with MS in the USA were treated with oxygen under pressure and 91% recorded an improvement in their symptoms, ranging from what was termed minimal to dramatic. In 1982 the first double-blind trial was conducted, again in the USA, and from an experimental group of 17 people with MS treated, 12 noted “objective improvement”, After one year of follow-up treatment, only 2 of the original 17 had deteriorated.

As a result of the American work, a UK trial funded by ARMS (Action for Research into Multiple Sclerosis) was begun in Dundee under Professor Phillip James. Again people with MS experienced improvement far beyond the expected placebo effect, notably in sensation, bladder control and fatigue. Having become convinced of the benefits of Oxygen Treatment, Tom Mills purchased a compression chamber, which was for his own use and that of a few fellow sufferers. It soon became apparent to him that there was a large demand for Oxygen Treatment in Hertfordshire and the Herts MS Therapy Centre was established, taking just 10 months to raise the funds to buy a bigger oxygen chamber and secure running costs for one year.

In August 1983 eight people with MS took the first Oxygen Treatment in our Centre, by which time there was a waiting list of 400 people. This was one of the first Centres like this in the UK. As other Centres opened, numbers became more manageable and it was possible to offer other therapies too, in particular Physiotherapy.

In 2007 we moved from our original premises at Such Close, having outgrown that building. Our new Centre has much more space to allow us to provide many more therapies.

Vision for the Future

Our Mission is to offer the most effective, affordable and accessible therapies to every person affected by MS in Hertfordshire, Luton and South Bedfordfshire.

Our objectives are:
1. To offer the most effective therapies for every person affected by Multiple Sclerosis or any other neurological or long term condition.
2. To make these therapies available in the most affordable way possible, through the support of many volunteers and through fundraising to offset some of the costs of what we provide.
3. To deliver these therapies as accessibly as possible. In this context we mean, to offer these therapies in several towns so that all therapies can be accessed within easy driving distance.

For 30 years we have delivered therapies from our Centre in Letchworth. This remains a vitally important part of what we do. However, we are delighted to announce that since February 2012 we now work every week in other locations currently these are Cheshunt; Hemel Hempstead and Luton – Chaul End. We can now arrange to visit any town in Hertfordshire or surrounding areas. We also offer treatments at your home through our domiciliary service. Interested? Please call Mark on 01462 684 214.

Please give Financial Support to HMSTC

It is great to help so many people affected by Multiple Sclerosis (MS). If you would like to make a donation to help more people – please can you do one or more of the following:

  • – Send us a cheque
  • – Sign a Standing Order
  • – Take a collecting tin
  • – Add us to your will
  • – Give us any stock market shares you would like to donate
  • – Buy online via our website so we get a commission
  • – Give us prizes for our fundraising events.

If you want to make a financial donation to the Hertfordshire Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre, you can send a cheque payable to Herts MS Therapy Centre, to the Centre Manager at HMSTC, 30 Campus Five, Letchworth, Hertfordshire SG6 2JF. Alternatively, you can just click here to see other ways of donating.

Tombola & Raffles: Do you have any unwanted gifts or presents just sitting in a cupboard or drawer at home? We are always happy to receive donations of goods that we can use as prizes in our competitions and draws, all donations will be gratefully acknowledged.

Thank you for your support. It is much appreciated.

Legal Background

We are a company limited by Guarantee (under Company Number 02215165) and Registered as a Charity with the Charity Commission under Charity Number 299524. That means we are not a subsidiary of any other organisation. We are a legal entity in our own right.

As a Company we have a legal constitution that we must follow (called our Memorandum and Articles of Association). Members of the charity elect a Board of Trustees/Directors each year. (They are directors under Company Law and Trustees under Charity Law). This is the most popular legal form for a Charity in the UK.

The Board meets regularly to set overall direction for the Centre. They agree the annual Business Plan and delegate implementation to the Chief Executive and task the CEO, Mark Boscher, to deliver the objectives of the Business Plan. The CEO is also our Company Secretary and he is accountable to the Board for all that he and his staff do.

Our Board Members are:-

Nigel Baker (Acting Chair)
Zoe Bywater
Paul Dowsett
Charles Cusumano
Sheena Atkinson
Trevor Tolliday

 

Leave a Reply