A MORRIS dance side based in Botley has raised £1,000 to improve the lives of those affected by multiple sclerosis.

Cry Havoc, founded 20 years ago, collected money by performing at events, passing collection buckets and selling CDs and badges.

Additional donations came from dancers and friends.

The side has chosen to donate the lot to the MS therapy centre in Milton Park, between Didcot and Abingdon.

It has three treatment rooms, an information point and an oxygen centre for those who suffer from MS, a neurological condition that affects nerves in the brain and spinal cord.

Mick Phillips, 37, of Botley, a scientist who joined Cry Havoc as a musician six years ago and is now a dancer and treasurer, said: “At the start of practice season, in autumn, members propose charities to support.

“Sometimes, these are large, national charities, but increasingly nominations are for smaller, local ones.

“We vote to choose one from the nominations, as we feel that giving whatever we raise to one charity will have more impact than spreading that amount across many.”

Milton Park’s MS therapy centre, founded in 1984, is affiliated to the Multiple Sclerosis National Therapy Centres, a national body that advocates for sufferers and carers and supports local centres. It operates locally as a small charity and relies heavily on volunteers and donations.

Chairman Andy Gower said: “There is no cure for multiple sclerosis, and for many sufferers, no effective medical treatment.

“The centre offers therapy and support for people with MS. Donations such as that from Cry Havoc enable more sufferers to be treated for the relief of symptoms.”

MS affects 100,000 people in the UK. Most are between 20 and 40 years old when they are diagnosed.Women are three times more at risk than men.

Mr Phillips added: “When you see people out there doing work that makes people’s lives better, you just want to support them.

* For more on Oxford MS therapy centre, see omstc.org