The NeuroMuscular Centre
Since its formation in 1990, the NeuroMuscular Centre (NMC) has grown from a Centre offering physiotherapy, to one that also offers employment, training, support and respite for carers. Everything the NMC does has the sole aim of improving the quality of life for adults and young people with muscular dystrophy and related neuromuscular conditions.
The Muscular Dystrophy Campaign stepped in to support the NMC in the mid-1990s when it was at risk of closure, and in April 2012, the NMC announced that they were in a position to become fully independent.
The NMC is a place of not only innovative treatments and therapies, but also of informal chat and support among clients. People come to the NMC from all over the UK - and abroad - for physiotherapy, referred either by their GP or consultant. With the additional use of a hydrotherapy pool at the neighbouring school four times a week, the NMC offers people with muscular dystrophy and related neuromuscular conditions a range of relevant and regular treatments.
"We encourage as much active, assisted exercise as people can manage. There has been a huge increase in the kind of active things clients are doing at the NMC and at home, and we are now seeing more people improve," Gill Storey, head of physiotherapy, said.
With 600 clients on the NMC's books, around 200 visit regularly. In the case of the clients from as far afield as Gibraltar and the Isle of Man, their visits might be less regular - monthly or even annual.
"Often when clients come to the NMC, they won't ever have seen anyone else with the same condition as theirs. The peer support and interaction that happens here is invaluable and we find that we learn as much from the clients as they do from us and from each other," Gill said.
Matthew Lanham and Support Manager, Sue Walker, speak of the work of the NMC with passion and dedication. The two areas they have identified as current focus areas are transition and carer support.
We want to help families through the tough times of transition and provide some inspiring, practical options for young people," said Matthew.
The NMC actively offers support to families dealing with transition into adulthood and the shift from children's services into work, further education and career options; health and adult services and practical support in terms of housing adaptations, physiotherapy and exercise, as well as bereavement support.
For people with neuromuscular conditions, they are dealing with transition in their condition at all times. We want to provide appropriate and helpful support for them as they go through these changes, at all times. Sometimes this will also involve advocacy," Sue said.