Each time we’ve run a charity event on Bruuuce.com, we’ve included the Merlin Project. On the one occasion we didn’t, enough people asked to support them to pus through a change of plans.
That means an incredible amount to the founders of this charity for Multiple Sclerosis care. It’s based in a small village in my home county of Cornwall, and is the only one of its kind for hundreds in miles, right in the middle of the area with the highest rate of multiple sclerosis in the UK.
The founders, Derek and Eileen Murphy, started this venture on their own in 2001. They’ve taken a very personal interest in your donations in the past, and are very humbled that people from around the world would want to donate to their project.
Sadly, in recent times, the Merlin Centre has faced a number of challenges. The UK government withdrew their promised funding, leaving the centre to find £300,000 a year to stay in operation. There have been times that closure even seemed likely. But the sheer determination of Dr Murphy and Eileen, coupled with an outstanding community spirit, has given hope. The generosity of people like yourselves is a great comfort and support, and it genuinely means a great deal to them that people an ocean away sincerely want to help.
Speaking to all Bruuuce.com visitors in a letter shortly before the Centre’s opening in 2006, Dr Murphy told us:
“You will always have a stake in the building and I hope that you will be proud of it – we want it to be a landmark for Cornwall and a real source of pride for the county and the area. It is certainly going to be a major asset and it is so badly needed… thank you, from us all, for helping Merlin to make a great change for everyone living with MS in Cornwall – a really big thing to do and one for which there are so many grateful people”.
Recent times, though, have been especially difficult. Dr Murphy suffered a stroke in April, and a month later, whilst helping with his recuperation and on her 83rd birthday, his wife Eileen passed away.
The Merlin Centre is in existence thanks to the tireless work of the Murphys, and they are the inspiration behind fundraising efforts on this site. With support such as yours – and you’ve already provided it in the most wonderful way – we hope their legacy will continue for decades to come.
The Centre has begun to offer a number of additional services beyond caring for patients wit Multiple Sclerosis. They run exercise classes, counselling, free physiotherapy and “services to relieve isolation and loneliness”. Based in a small village with a largely elderly population, it has become a community centre as well.
This year they are aiming to raise money for a hydrotherapy pool, which will cost a further £680,000 (around $920,000) before it can be built. They have the planning permission to build, and they’re just waiting to get started,
I promise to make May 6’s Daily Dose Day the absolute best that it can be for the Merlin Centre, the Murphys and the ALS Association. Thank you very much for visiting this page.
You can donate to the Merlin Centre at our JustGiving page or by using the yellow “Donate” button on the right.
– Si Twining.