Columbyne Lodge & EAMBA support Suffolk Therapy Centre

EAMBA Columbyne MS 2019 April
Columbyne Mark Lodge based in Stowmarket, agreed to donate £250 to Suffolk Oxygen Therapy Centre, which is part of the Suffolk MS Therapy Centre. This followed a proposition from one of the lodge members who volunteers at the facility. Match funding was then sought from the East Anglian Mark Benevolent Association, which was granted and resulted in a total donation of £500.

Centre Manager, Sean Chrysanthou attended Columbyne Lodge for the presentation, thanking the lodge for the generous donation which would contribute towards refurbishing the disabled toilets.

The Suffolk Oxygen Therapy Centre has been operating for over 30 years and was one of the first of its kind specifically designed to offer Oxygen Therapy to people with Multiple Sclerosis. With three barometric chambers (decompression chambers) they are able to treat up to sixteen people at a time.

Located in Great Blakenham, just outside Ipswich, the centre is staffed by fully trained operators and supported by volunteers, who pride themselves on the friendly and relaxed environment they create. It is funded entirely by donations from its members for their therapy, fund-raising activities and donations from outside individuals and groups.

Oxygen Therapy involves breathing medical grade oxygen through a mask whilst sitting, for an hour, in a barometric chamber at 1.5 to 2 normal atmospheric pressure. We all live under the pressure of the atmosphere, therefore the extra pressure required for the therapy is minimal. The technology is well-established and has a 100-year history. However, it is only relatively recently been recognised, that even when the level of oxygen in the blood is normal, there can be severe deficiency in tissues. Now the science is understood, the use of Oxygen Therapy is expanding rapidly around the world. It has been found to benefit a wide variety of conditions, including Multiple Sclerosis.

£500 donation to MND Fundraising Group


Downham Market based St Winnold Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners took advantage of the East Anglian Mark Benevolent Association match funding scheme, giving £500 to the King’s Lynn Motor Neurone Disease Fundraising Group.

Motor Neurone Disease is a fatal, rapidly progressive disease affecting the brain and spinal cord. It attacks the nerves, so muscles no longer work. People can still think and feel, but rapidly become unable to move, talk, swallow and eventually, breathe.

There is no cure and there are no effective treatments. A third of people die within a year of diagnosis, more than half within two years.

The grant has been earmarked for a special fund to provide short breaks at Park House Hotel, Sandringham - a Leonard Cheshire hotel which supports disabled guests to have a holiday or a period of respite, providing first class care in a safe environment. The opportunity for a few days away in a lovely setting can be a life line for a person living with Motor Neurone Disease and their partner or carer.

On behalf of the Province and EAMBA, I presented the donation to Jane Lewis, Chair of the King’s Lynn Motor Neurone Disease Fundraising Group, together with members of St Winnold RAM.

After the presentation, Jane gave us an insight into motor neurone disease and the valuable work of the King’s Lynn MNDA fundraising group.

Listening to Jane and there being no cure, you realise the difference our grant towards respite care, will make to a family affected by the disease. The EAMBA match funding scheme really gives lodges the opportunity to increase their donations to further benefit the community.

The photo shows David Swift and Allan Hilton from St Winnold RAM, Jane Lewis from King's Lynn MNDA and Richard Pryor, Provincial Grand Senior Warden.

Richard Pryor
Provincial Grand Senior Warden