News from the Brightwell

The Brightwell has such a special welcoming atmosphere

My name is Victoria Hocquard and I am the Grants and Trusts Fundraiser at the Brightwell. I found The Brightwell completely by accident while doing some voluntary work for another charity. The moment I walked through the doors of the centre, I was blown away by an incredibly welcoming and inspirational community of people and knew that I wanted to do whatever I could to help.

I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2003 and have often struggled to find relief from my symptoms or positive ways in which I can help myself. Speaking personally, having a long-term condition has meant that I have often been fobbed off by medical professionals who are very limited in what they can offer in terms of treatment.

The Brightwell offers me the ability to benefit from oxygen therapy, and the professional team of physiotherapists who are knowledgeable about my condition have given me such a sense of control over my condition. While it is not a cure, just being able to share my experiences and talk with others who believe and empathise has been so welcome.

The Brightwell is a totally independent charity, they do not receive any large national charity or statutory funding and the centre costs in excess of £400,000 a year to run. That is why I am so passionate about raising as much money for this fantastic charity as I can. 

In the five years I have been working at The Brightwell, I have learned so much about neurological conditions and how the life-altering symptoms can affect people in different ways. I have also learned just how effective the therapies on offer can be in order to delay progression of symptoms for as long as possible. The main thing that I have learned is that it’s the spirit and humour of our service users, volunteers and staff that give The Brightwell its unique positive atmosphere and I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else.