Swindon Therapy Centre offers a range of therapies and support to those living with multiple sclerosis and other neurological conditions.
The charity has received three loans from Charity Bank to assist with the purchase and refurbishment of their main offices and therapy centre Bradbury House. Centre Manager Louise Walker tells us how this expansion has allowed them to continue expanding and help more people.
“Swindon Therapy Centre started life in 1981 as a regular meeting offering dietary advice for people with multiple sclerosis (MS). By 1983, it started to expand and was also providing access to a small oxygen chamber. As demand continued, the charity moved into a small industrial unit where it was able to offer physiotherapy sessions and pilates classes.
“By 2010, we were looking for a larger, permanent home to enable us to cater for more people and to continue expanding the support and therapies we offered. With the help of our first Charity Bank loan, we purchased the ground floor of Bradbury House. This was a fantastic first step that allowed us to buy a larger oxygen chamber, offer more physio classes and one-to-one physio sessions, as well as increasing our range of classes to include tai chi and yoga.
“Five years later, we were in a position to buy the remaining space in the building with assistance from another Charity Bank loan. This provided the space to further increase the therapies available and to build a fantastic gym. It has also provided us with a platform to extend our reach and become more sustainable. We can hold fundraising events, offer other charities a place for their activities, and provide comfortable communal areas for our members to relax and socialise.
“Working with Charity Bank you receive more than just a loan. You also get a supportive relationship you wouldn’t normally find with a mortgage provider. Our account manager has always been very interested in what we do and is always available to talk. We know that Charity Bank is as committed to the continued success of the centre as we are, and we would always look to them first if we needed a loan.
“It’s also important to us and our members to know that any money we receive is coming from an ethical source. We’re in the business of improving lives. With our repayments going to help others in the same way we have benefitted from Charity Bank funds, we are remaining in line with our mission.
“When you save or invest with a social lender like Charity Bank, you are making a real impact. Being diagnosed with a neurological condition can cause isolation and emotional distress. Our centre is a lifeline for many people. Charity Bank’s investment in our growth means we’ve been able to continually improve the support, therapies and services we offer, and this has had a profoundly positive effect on the people we work with.”