New centre opened for MS patients in Norfolk

Centre manager Paul Ray, Diane Proctor, and Norwich clinical director of neurology Dr Jeff Cochius o

Centre manager Paul Ray, Diane Proctor, and Norwich clinical director of neurology Dr Jeff Cochius official open the new location of the Norwich and district branch of the Multiple Sclerosis Society at Alkmaar Way, Norwich. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: Archant Norfolk

Patients with multiple sclerosis and other neurological conditions in Norfolk are set to get more support following the opening of a new centre.

Officials and supporters from the Norwich and district branch of the Multiple Sclerosis Society gathered yesterday for an open day at their new base, which will provide a range of support, treatment and therapy services.

The official opening of the £250,000 centre, near Norwich International Airport, follows 12 years of fundraising by volunteers and an extensive search to find larger premises in the Norwich area.

The facility replaces the branch's cramped headquarters in Witard Road and was funded solely on local fundraising and donations.

Officials from the MS Society branch hope to double their membership, which currently stands at 400 people from across Norfolk, with the opening of the centre at Iceni Court in Alkmaar Way, which has consulting and therapy rooms as well as educational facilities and a meeting place.


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Diane Proctor, head of service development at the MS Society branch, said the centre would make a huge difference to patients, particularly when a stair lift is installed and the first floor of the building is fully operational.

'It has taken so long and I am absolutely thrilled.

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'We have built some strong relationships with colleagues at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and colleagues at social services so patients get the best deal,' she said.

The venue was officially opened by Jeff Cochius, clinical director of neurology at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital with Norwich's Lord Mayor Ralph Gayton also attending.

Dr Cochius said the last 12 years had been a 'roller coaster' of emotions for the volunteers and it had been a 'monumental task' to get the centre opened.

The centre received the support of Norfolk adult social services, MS Society, Norfolk and Waveney NHS, and Norfolk Community Health and Care Trust.

For more information, contact the centre on 01603 488561 or email mscentrenorwich@gmail.com.

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