After so long, our Centre has re-opened for two mornings a week to deliver oxygen therapy. A lot of work and expense has gone into making the Centre and our oxygen barochamber Covid-19 compliant in order to safeguard our members, volunteers, staff and visitors and we are now working hard to make the visit to the Centre as nice an experience as it can be given the restrictions we have to comply with. We have introduced temperature screening, health questionnaires, sanitiser stations, track and trace qr code, personal protective equipment for all who wish to use it, one way systems to allow for social distancing, face masks and visors, brand new hoses and attachments for the oxygen stations in the barochamber and protocols and procedures to formalise our precautions. It was lovely to see some of our members this week after all this time. We have to thank Lynne Houlston once again for her fundraising which has really helped with the cost of re-opening – read her story below.
If you want to read our Covid-19 operating procedures click here
In 2020 it would be my 50th birthday and in order to celebrate the occasion I decided to raise money for charity. I wanted to do something I had never done before so in January I signed up for the Pembrokeshire Longcourse 10km. I had hardly ‘run’ anywhere since leaving school so this would be a real challenge.
The Charity would be the HOPE MS Therapy Centre in Neyland. My dad had suffered from Multiple Sclerosis and we lost him in 2003 – the year I moved to Pembrokeshire. He was 56 years old.
I started my training in January heading out on to my local lanes at 06.00. I trained through Storms Brendan, Ciara, Dennis and Jorge – dodging fallen branches and huge puddles. Due to issues with the discs in my lower back some mornings I struggled to put my socks on. On other mornings my whole body resented the early workout.
Then suddenly something unprecedented happened; the country was sent in to Lockdown and all sporting events were cancelled. What to do now? I had already raised £300 and had been training for 3 months!
I decided I would still complete a 10km but it would be a local one and I would run it on my actual birthday! So I continued to train; trying to find a circular route which was 10km/6.2 miles long from my front door. The lanes were quiet now and the verges were full of the colour and scent of wild flowers. It was almost a pleasure to run!!
I live near Castlemartin Camp and my route would be passed the entrance to the Camp and along the main road to Castlemartin Village. The soldiers had stayed away for over 6 weeks and the Camp was quiet. Then in mid-May a week before my ‘run’ the soldiers returned and I suddenly found the main road closed for live firing to take place across it. As I work on the Camp I asked if the road would be closed on 28th May – my birthday; yes it would. However, I was told if I ran early in the morning they would allow me to climb over the gates and run along the road before firing started. I wasn’t fast enough to dodge bullets and it was too late to find a new route so I decided I had to change my start time from 10.00 to 07.00am.
The day arrived – sunny and warm! At 06.45 I headed outside to find friends and neighbours ready to wave me off. My husband had drawn a starting line on the road with chalk. Seven o’clock arrived and I was off to a round of applause. For the first 100m my 75 year old neighbour ran alongside me and my 9 year old daughter joined us on her bike. I had a support crew of two neighbours on their electric bikes. They had cycled the route the night before hanging bed sheets on gates with good luck messages on them and writing notes on the road in chalk. As I dropped down on to the main road towards the Camp six tank transporters drove passed me heading to Pembroke – they looked massive so close up and caused quite a draft but all the drivers gave me a cheery wave! I then arrived at the first locked military gate and climbed over. Suddenly one of the tanks started its engine – I flew along the main road to the second gate. I was very happy to be out of danger!
I arrived home an hour later to a black and white finishing tape and a chequered flag being waved by my daughter! My husband, friends and neighbours were there to cheer and applaud! What a way to start my 50th birthday! It was incredible!
A huge ‘thank you’ to everyone who supported me! Together we raised a massive £1266.17 for HOPE.
A few months ago Lynne Houlston got in touch with the HOPE Centre saying that she was going to run the Longcourse 10K and would like to donate her sponsored funds to HOPE . Naturally we were delighted and disappointed when the race was then cancelled due to the lockdown. However, Lynne did not let this stop her and in her own way went on to raise £1266 for the Centre – this money is extremely timely as it is enabling us to make certain changes to the way we deliver the oxygen therapy in order to keep everyone safe when we re-open. Lynne is writing her story about how she achieved this fantastic result which we will share on this site.
The MS Society is putting on a webinar on Wednesday 16th September on the Topic of Corona Virus and MS. A consultant neurologist from Cardiff will be presenting. Please use the link below to access more information.
HOPE Directors Ken Brombley and Maureen Parry have been awarded collection certificates for sponsor monies raised at the New Year’s Swim in Saundersfoot at the start of the year. This is only part of the money raised and as always we want to thank them both for braving the cold. Seems so long ago now but looking forward to next year’s event already.
Just a few details about the lifting of our current lockdown situation. From the 6th July people will be able to travel again in Wales. Self contained accommodation providers can take bookings from the 13th July. Cafes are starting to provide safe outside seating areas and restrictions on using the Waste & Recycling sites are gradually being lifted. The libraries are launching a new Order & Collect service from the 2nd July, the bus services are increasing the frequency of their services and of course good luck to all children returning to school next week.
This week is Carers Week 2020 – lots of information and support for Carers has come out and we are passing on links below to an online course, a report about carers in the current Covid-19 crisis and a series of podcasts by individual carers talking about their own situations. Hope you find these useful.
Hafal Crossroads are commissioned by Hywel Dda University Health Board and Pembrokeshire County Council to deliver Pembrokeshire Carers Information and Support Service. This provides a range of services and support functions to unpaid carers in Pembrokeshire. These include Carers Information Packs, Carers Emergency Back-up Scheme, Carers Recognition Card, and a Carers Outreach Service. The service is available 9am-8pm Monday to Friday, 10am-1pm Saturday & Sunday during the current pandemic. A series of personal podcasts has been produced – click on the link below.
Our lovely Centre is still closed but hoping to re-open sometime soon. In the meantime if you have MS have a look at the pages below which you may find useful – these are pages extracted from the MS Society website which you will find here:
HOPE is still closed due to the Covid-19 situation and we are really sorry that we cannot continue with our treatments. In the meantime we hope you all stay well – if you are looking after someone and do need support there are posters below giving information.
We can’t wait to open our lovely Centre again and see everybody – hope it won’t be too long now.
Strange times indeed. We hope you are all staying safe and finding ways to cope with the current situation. We will be ringing round in the near future, a quick chat to see how you are and if you need any help. Until then here is some local information that might be useful and below a flyer from the Pembrokeshire Community Hub – a one stop shop for all your support needs during Covid-19. The phone number to ring is 01437 776301 and the email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
The Cake Shop in Main St., Pembroke can deliver a variety of cakes, quiches and pasties. They are on Facebook as The Cake Shop, Pembroke. Deliveries cost £5 or are free for orders of £30+
Marks & Spencers now have a delivery service for a range of grocery boxes themed on fruit or vegetables and basics, amongst others.
Argyle Medical Group – the lines are open from 8am still for a same day appointment. If you have not called them recently, don’t be alarmed by the way the phone is now answered. First of all you receive some standard information about Covid 19 – then the line goes quiet for a few seconds (don’t hang up) and next you are told that you are being put through to an operator. You will then hear some Welsh and be given the option to press 2 for English. With luck you may then hear the dialling tone or, if it is busy, hear the usual music while you wait for the dialling tone. Once you get through you’ll be added to the day’s list with a health practitioner or doctor after a triage call to determine if the consultation can be by telephone. It’s a bit different but please do not hesitate to call them if you need advice.
Tenby Cottage Hospital, Minor injuries unit tel 01834 840044. This ‘walk in’ centre is open Monday to Friday between 10am and 5pm. It is situated at Gas Lane, Tenby SA70 8AG, next door to Tenby surgery and on the access road to the large car park behind Tenby’s North beach. There’s no x-ray facility but they can deal with minor injuries e.g. burns &cuts.
On a positive note the Centre has received a donation of £2000 from the CARTEN100 cycle ride. Obviously we have no income at the moment but such generous donations all help to make sure that we will be in a position to offer you our usual service and therapies when we are allowed to re-open.
Take care and hopefully we will be seeing you soon.