It is believed that there are more than 1,000 people in Oxfordshire with Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

A small registered charity in Oxfordshire provides subsidised complementary therapies to people with MS, often not available on the NHS, as well as information and support for people with the condition.

The MS Therapy Centre in Milton Park, located between Abingdon and Didcot, was formed in 1984, but is operating at well below the envisaged capacity.

Sue Doran, manager at the centre, explained: “The centre is staffed by one part-time employee and several volunteers who are invaluable and without them the centre could not operate.

"At the moment we cannot open every day due to lack of members, but our long-term aim is to be open more hours in the week. We provide a range of services including hyperbaric oxygen treatment, physiotherapy, osteopathy, massage, reflexology, auricular acupuncture and nail care.

“Oxygen therapy consists of breathing pure oxygen at greater than atmospheric pressure. It is an effective treatment whilst not being a cure for MS, and it can improve symptoms such as visual disturbances, bladder control, balance, sensory perception and fatigue.

“Oxygen therapy is also available to other people with a range of conditions other than MS and has recently been recommended by NICE as the preferred treatment for diabetic ulcers. “The suggested donations for all our therapies are a lot lower than that available within the private sector. We are applying for funding to equip an exercise room at the centre, which I hope will attract more people with MS.

“There is a real family atmosphere here, members not only receive treatments but just as importantly meet others in a similar position and can share information over a cup of tea and a biscuit. Our volunteers are very important and contribute to this relaxed atmosphere.” Jon, a new member, feels very welcome at the centre. He said: “I have had slow progressive MS for about 25 years, and had found that the problems with my gait led to increasing backache. A mixture of physiotherapy, osteopathy and massage has worked wonders for my aches and pains. I really should have visited the centre a long time ago!”

The centre’s annual quiz night will be held at Didcot Conservative Club on Friday, October 11.

If you know anyone who could benefit from the centre’s services or you would like to volunteer, then the centre would love to hear from you.

Please visit or contact Sue Doran by emailing her at or call 01235 832023 for more information.