The Scottish Parliment
United Kingdom

I strongly disagree with the decision by the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society to withdraw funding from the UK's four dedicated MS Respite Centres.

Because of these threatened closures I will be walking 260 miles from the Woodlands Respite Centre in York from Friday 10th September 2010 to Leuchie House in East Lothian, arriving there on Sunday 19th September 2010 at around mid-day. I am inviting you to join me!

'Save MS Respite’ Petitions (available from www.walktosavemsrespite.com) will be collected from the numerous pre-designated points along the journey. On the 20th September, the walk will continue to the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh to personally hand over the petition sheets to an allied MSP member.

I hope to get some media coverage both along the trip and at the start/final destinations. I will also utilise my group on facebook ‘Walk to Save MS Respite 10/09/2010' and up-to-date blogs on both www.walktosavemsrespite.com and www.savemsrespite.com to keep people in touch with the progress of the walk, along as posting the location and date of each section of it, allowing people to join me at any time and bring along any petitions they have collected themselves.

My father, who has MS, has visited Woodlands many times over the years. He has made good friends with both staff and other guests and times his visits now to meet up again. A couple of years ago my parents where lucky to find out about Leuchie House in Scotland which is the only MS respite centre offering holidays for both the MS sufferer and their carers/family. They have had a couple of wonderful holidays together and met some fantastic people.

I believe that these centres offer a unique and much needed respite service and memorable holidays to those with high dependency MS, something that cannot be matched in any other UK establishment.

The MS Society has announced that they will try and transfer care to another provider, though this will not be MS specific. Failing this these centres will CLOSE, with Leuchie House in East Lothian going first at the end of this year, and the other three Centres (Brambles in Surrey, Helen Ley in Warwickshire and Woodlands in York) set to close sometime next year.

We the undersigned representatives petition the MS Society of the UK to remain in control and supportive of their respite care centres across the UK. We believe closure or transference of this service would be detrimental to many users, carers, and families. We ask that the centres remain open and our views be taken into consideration.

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The Walk to Save Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Respite Centres petition to The Scottish Parliment was written by Andrew Keyworth and is in the category Health at GoPetition.