How the sunflower lanyard helped me travel with invisible symptoms

Source MS Society: I find travelling stressful. Having to deal with invisible symptoms from MS has made it harder. I worry about being judged by other people if I need assistance when I may look fine.

The sunflower lanyard scheme, being used across UK airports, has improved my confidence in air travel.

Making hidden disabilities visible

Wearing a sunflower lanyard is a visible but discreet way of alerting staff that you may need extra assistance or have a hidden disability. The scheme was originally launched at Gatwick Airport and has now been adopted by most major airports in the UK. Work is being carried out to expand its reach further.

You can request the lanyards for free at airport customer service desks or order them cheaply through the Hidden Disabilities Store website.  Read on. 

Everyone’s MS is different

Source MS Trust:  What’s causing my symptoms?

Multiple sclerosis can cause a wide variety of symptoms, listed below. All of these symptoms can be experienced in other conditions.

In MS, the exact position of the damage to your nerves relates to the symptoms you experience, which means that each person’s experience of MS is different. Most people will only experience a small number of all the possible symptoms.  Read on. 

Dive Ability

Dive Ability: Welcome to Dive AbilityScuba diving for people with disabilities and disadvantages.

Scuba diving can be enjoyed by virtually anyone, regardless of physical ability. In fact, if you have a disability, scuba diving can offer you a unique sense of freedom by transporting you into a world of weightlessness and unlimited intrigue. Visit tropical coral reefs, historic shipwrecks, underwater caves, swim with
dolphins in their natural habitat. The possibilities are endless and every dive immerses you in your own brand new adventure.  Find out more here.

Respite care information from Independent Living

Source Independent Living: If you are taking care of another person, both of you need a break from time to time, for the sake of your physical and mental wellbeing.

Respite care is any break from your job as a carer, whether it involves the person you care for going away for a few hours to a day centre; a few days’ holiday for them in a residential centre; or someone coming into your home to look after them while you have some time for yourself. Sometimes, it is a change of scene rather than a break from the caring that is required, in which case a respite holiday which you can take with the person you care for, can be really beneficial

Ideally, respite care should be planned, giving both carer and cared-for a chance to consider the options and make a decision that suits both. Sometimes, life doesn’t work out so neatly, though, and respite care has to be organised on an emergency basis – if the carer suddenly becomes ill, for example.

Planned respite care can be a good opportunity for the person you care for to receive rehabilitation or some form of complementary therapy, or just to widen their social circle and spend time in a different environment.  Read on. 

Detailed Genetic Map Implicates Broad Immune Cell Involvement in MS, Reports Risk Variant in X Chromosome

Source Multiple Sclerosis News Today: A new large-scale genetic map implicates broad immune system dysfunction in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), suggests a key role of brain immune cells called microglia, and indicates an MS-related gene variant located in the X chromosome.

Altogether, the findings — the result of the largest reported study of MS to date — provide the basis for up to 48% of the heritability for this disease.

The study, “Multiple sclerosis genomic map implicates peripheral immune cells and microglia in susceptibility,” was published in the journal Science.

Earlier genetic studies have implicated several immune T-cell subsets in a person’s susceptibility for developing MS. But other elements of the immune system have since been linked with this disease. Aiming to better understand the risk for MS, a team within the International Multiple Sclerosis Genetic Consortium (IMSGC) assessed the genetic profile of 47,429 MS patients and 68,374 healthy individuals. Read on. 

Priority Services Register for vulnerable energy customers


uSwitch – The Priority Services Register was recently broadened by Ofgem to help as many vulnerable energy customers as possible. Find out if it could help you with this guide from uSwitch.

What is the Priority Services Register?

The Priority Services Register (PSR) is a free and voluntary system that your supplier uses to ensure the correct support is given to its most vulnerable customers.

It is a system designed and overseen by Ofgem to better ensure that individuals with special requirements have access to additional support from their energy supplier as and when they require it.

This support varies by supplier and by an individual’s circumstances, but can include:

  • Large-format or Braille bills
  • Advanced notice of service interruption
  • Priority in a power cut
  • Quarterly meter readings
  • Yearly gas safety checks
  • Meter relocation for better access

Read on. 

100 club winners September

100 club winners September:

No 4: Julia GowerNo

6: Sue DoranNo

27 John Day


Please ask reception if you are interested in joining our 100 club, it’s just £5 a month.

Sad News

Sad news.  Ian (John) MacKay, our physiotherapy for many years,  sadly passed away on Friday 23rd August.  Ian started working at the centre in April 1976 and only retired a few years ago.  His health deteriorated over the last year and after falling and breaking his hip a few month ago and getting an infection, he sadly passed away.  His funeral is being held on Monday 16th September, 2.30 at Oxford Crematorium.  The wake will be at his local drinking establishment, The Prince of Wales in Shippon.  Our condolences to his family and friends.