VIDEO: Lancaster’s Neuro Dropin needs your help

It’s impossible not to be inspired by Neuro DropIn centre founder, Sharon Jackson, when you meet her.

Her lifeline centre was born out of her own “hammer blow”diagnosis with Multiple Sclerosis 17 years ago.

Founder of Neuro Drop In Centre, Lancaster, Sharon Jackson, Chef Gina Rae and Centre Manager Kelly Kane.

Founder of Neuro Drop In Centre, Lancaster, Sharon Jackson, Chef Gina Rae and Centre Manager Kelly Kane.

Since then, Sharon and her team have moved heaven and earth to provide invaluable help and support for people affected by neuro conditions. But much more can be done with greater awareness and more funding.

This is why we at the Lancaster Guardian are launching a campaign to spread the word about the Neuro DropIn and hopefully inspire some much-needed fundraising for this unique charity

Sharon's story

In 2001 I was 41 with a fulfilling life, loving family and a career with Reebok UK, when I was dealt the hammer blow that I had MS.

Lancaster's Neuro Dropin Centre.

Lancaster's Neuro Dropin Centre.

All I knew about Multiple Sclerosis was that it scared me, was incurable and at the time not very treatable.

There was very little support beyond leaflets about what I might expect to happen to me and no-one I could talk to about it.

My fear about the future for me and my family was compounded by the thought that being disabled would be the thing that defined me. People would look at me differently. I wouldn’t be ‘me’ anymore. Support from my husband Graham, family and friends was brilliant but I still felt very alone and a bit like an explorer setting out without a map or any idea where I was going. About 18 months after my diagnosis, I began volunteering for a national charity that supported people with MS and I soon came to realise how little support was out there for people of all ages who were affected by other neuro conditions.

I decided something had to be done about that and my idea for Neuro DropIn was born. Charity they say, begins at home, and it certainly did for us as volunteers and the local community stepped up to get Neuro DropIn open.

Sharon Jackson.

Sharon Jackson.

We have never stopped growing and now as we move forward to expand our services across the district we need help more than ever.

If you want to volunteer, donate or if your business can offer a support service please get in touch at www.neurodropin.org.uk

Thank you.

Neurological conditions can affect anyone at anytime and can leave the sufferer feeling isolated.

Lancaster's Neuro Dropin Centre.

Lancaster's Neuro Dropin Centre.

They are not age or gender specific, and they can create emotional stress as well as physical disability.

When a loved one is diagnosed, everyone can feel helpless.

But there is no need to feel alone. The Neuro DropIn centre in Lancaster is there to help.

Based at Stone Row Head, the Neuro DropIn offers a one-stop drop-in for people affected by neurological conditions such as MS, ME, Parkinson’s, MG, motor neurones, ACC, Huntington’s and cerebral palsy.

Friends, family, carers and pets are also welcome at the centre.

The centre is:

A class at Lancaster's Neuro Dropin Centre.

A class at Lancaster's Neuro Dropin Centre.

* A not-for-profit charity with no national agenda.

* Dedicated to providing a unique service in our area.

Neuro Dropin offers:

* A home from home environment.

* A listening ear.

* A warm, friendly atmosphere.

* A space to socialise and chat.

It has:

* A therapy suite offering a variety of treatments from professionally qualified therapists, including neuro physio and counselling.

* A volunteer-run bistro serving homemade cakes, freshly brewed Atkinson’s coffee or a nice cuppa.

* A blokes’ shed with ongoing projects.

Your help is needed:

As a not-for-profit charity serving your community, the centre relies solely on donations to help from the public to keep its service going.

If you or someone you know could offer a few hours a month as a volunteer, they would be delighted to hear from you.

Whether you can help with drop-in meetings and events, help raise funds or offering a therapy, it can offer everyone who wants to volunteer with them the opportunity to develop practical abilities and people skills as well as the chance to do something positive for the community.

If you or someone you know is affected by acquired brain injury, cerebral palsy, dementia, epilepsy, Huntington’s disease, ME, MG, motor neurone disease, MSA, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, stroke, or any other neurological condition ... just drop in.

Being diagnosed

with a neurological condition can leave you feeling isolated, afraid and anxious about the future.

Symptoms can change from day to day, and life as you once knew it may never be the same again.

Equally, if you are a close friend, family member or carer of someone coping with a neurological condition, it can really help being able to meet others who understand.

It makes sense for those affected to join forces, support each other, share solutions and share experiences.

Lancaster's Neuro Dropin Centre.

Lancaster's Neuro Dropin Centre.