Everyone knows their local library – it’s that place where you get books, CD’s and even do some photocopying! Libraries are really great community hubs, so we were pleased to be asked to hold a drop-in session at Braintree on Wednesday last week. We had already had a very successful visit to Halstead library earlier in the year and we were very pleased to extend this service to another area.
The lovely library ladies had already done some advertising and the result was a mention in the Braintree & Witham Times. That certainly paid off, as the first visitor to the MS-UK stand was a woman who had seen the news piece and as she had been recently diagnosed with MS, she felt she needed a bit of direction as to what to do next! Conversation flowed and soon we were joined by another couple who already know MS-UK well. They have used Josephs Court our wellness centre and have been long standing subscribers to our magazine New Pathways.
One of the areas that the Helpline gets asked many questions is about benefits. This is a complicated and confusing subject. My last visitor of the day was facing the prospect of changing over from Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to Personal Independence Payment (PIP) very soon and she needed some help as to what to expect over the next few weeks. Our Helpline staff have all received welfare benefits training and in addition, we are members of Disability Rights UK, so I am pleased to say that we are able to answer most people’s questions on DLA and PIP.
As I am mostly in the office it was so nice to be out in the community and be able to chat to people about their daily lives living with MS. We don’t always solve everyone’s problems, but that old adage “a problem shared is a problem halved” is very true indeed!
We are so pleased with our visit to Braintree that we plan to repeat the session in about six month’s time. Meanwhile, our next drop-in session will be at Witham Library, 10am to 1pm on Monday 30 November 2015 – see you there!