6th Feb | Talk on Oxygen Therapy Treatment

Our February meeting began, unusually, with a deferred AGM, due to poor attendance at the official AGM in January where not enough members were present for a quorum, so we could not vote on any official business.

However, even after a heartfelt appeal from our chairlady, Rose Chiverton, no-one volunteered to be on the new committee or to take on any of the main jobs. This resulted in the sad decision to close the club after this year’s final meeting in December. The whole of the 2020 Programme has already been arranged and the present committee said they will oversee the running of the club for its final months to see this out, but as from January 2021 Capel Ladies Club will no longer exist!

This momentous decision, although agreed on by all those present, comes after another successful year in 2019 and a celebratory 50th birthday in 2018! Maybe it’s still not too late, if a whole clutch of new members was to join us… so watch this space!

Now to our Speakers for the evening…. Audrey Sparling and Victoria Barber had come to talk to us about a charity which provides the little-known treatment of Oxygen Therapy to people suffering a wide variety of conditions.

Audrey Sparling and Victoria Barber of the Suffolk Oxygen Therapy Centre accept a cheque for £50 from Capel Ladies’ Club. The Centre is the Club’s chosen charity for 2020.

Oxygen Therapy involves breathing pure, medical grade oxygen for one hour at a time whilst sitting in a pressurised chamber. The idea was founded 36 years ago by a Dundee deep-sea diver and Multiple Sclerosis sufferer who, when recovering from “the bends” in his pressure chamber, found that it helped relieve symptoms of his M.S.

For more than thirty-five years this charity has been providing Oxygen Therapy at their centre near Ipswich, (one of 65 such centres in the country), treating conditions including Multiple Sclerosis, some forms of cancer, Motor Neurone Disease, Parkinson’s, Arthritis and many more. In addition they offer post-operative therapy, and also treat professional sportspeople, footballers, motorcyclists and marathon runners who are keen to speed up injury recovery times. This technology is well-established and has a long history, and while it does not claim to cure any condition it has been found to be of great benefit to many of them.

The centre began as one chamber on the back of a lorry in Ipswich Docks, first as a Multiple Sclerosis therapy centre, but expanded as it was found other conditions needed help too, and it moved to an industrial estate in Great Blakenham.

On site they have three spacious, purpose-built chambers in portacabins, which can provide therapy for up to 16 people at a time, and the centre is staffed by fully-trained operators and supported by a team of willing volunteers. A doctor’s referral is not necessary by they do ask that you notify your GP if you wish to undergo some Oxygen Therapy. One of the Speakers, Victoria Barber, is a Lupus sufferer, and has found the treatment has helped relieve many of her symptoms

They are currently engaged in a programme of improvements to upgrade their premises, and their eventual aim is to have a permanent brick-built centre, although this could take up to ten years! The organisation is funded entirely by donations from their members and supporters, and through fund-raising events – they receive no state funding whatsoever.

This good cause has been adopted by Capel Ladies as our charity for 2020, and after a most interesting talk a cheque for £50 was presented to Audrey and Victoria on our behalf. If you are interested to find out more about Oxygen Therapy please visit the charity’s website at www.SuffolkOxygenTherapy.co.uk or give them a call on 01473 830359.

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