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Coventry’s Muscular Dystrophy Support Centre awarded £300,000 of National Lottery money

A support centre in Coventry for people with muscular dystrophy is celebrating after being awarded almost £300,000 from The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK.

Muscular Dystrophy Support Centre, based at Hereward College, is the only one of its kind in the Midlands and just one of two across the UK. Around 70,000 people in the UK experience muscular dystrophy – an incurable disease which weakens muscles over time.

Thanks to National Lottery funding, the centre will be able to expand its work to offer lifelong therapy to more people with muscular dystrophy. The centre provides sessions with physiotherapists who specialise in the condition, so that people can receive tailored and bespoke support for their needs. This empowers them to become more independent, increase their confidence and improve their physical and mental wellbeing.

The new grant will help to open up satellite clinics across the Midlands, moving support and therapy closer to people’s homes. It will also bring people with muscular dystrophy and their families together, to shape what the new clinics and support will look like. This will create a connected community of people with first-hand experience of the condition.

Patient receiving therapy

Ruth Hereford, Chair of Trustees at Muscular Dystrophy Support Centre, said: 

“This new National Lottery funding is fantastic and will help us to provide much-needed support to more people across the UK. There’s so little support of this type available nationwide that we see people travelling to our centre from as far as London and Lancashire – it’s a lifeline for many. I developed muscular dystrophy when I was 11, so I know how crucial bespoke support and therapy is for people with this disease.

“It not only helps people physically, but emotionally as well. I’ve seen people first come to our centre feeling down about life and not leaving the house, but thanks to our support they’re now taking their children for a walk in the park, driving, going to work and even horse riding. It really does transform people’s lives.”

Judy Welby, 81, from Hinckley, has been receiving support from the centre since 2014. She said: 

“I first heard about the centre when I happened to meet Ruth on a train as we were both travelling to London for a muscular dystrophy event. I have been coming here twice a month ever since. The centre’s physiotherapist unknotted muscles that had been seized up for years. I wouldn’t be able to do half of the things I do now without their support. I’m still gardening, hanging up the washing, volunteering at my local church, and I even did a sky dive a few years ago to raise money for the centre.”

Nicola Thurbon, Senior Head of Regional Funding for the Midlands at The National Lottery Community Fund, said: 

“We are delighted to be funding Muscular Dystrophy Support Centre so that more people can receive tailored support to increase their independence and confidence. It’s fantastic to see a community working together to tackle issues caused by muscular dystrophy. Thanks to National Lottery players, this is one of many life changing causes that has helped communities to thrive over the past 25 years.”

This month, 25 years ago, saw the advent of The National Lottery, which has raised £40 billion for good causes to date. The National Lottery Community Fund distributes money raised by National Lottery players for good causes. Last year it awarded £1.4 million a day on average to projects that help people and communities thrive. To find out more visit

Notes to Editors

We are the largest community funder in the UK – we’re proud to award money raised by National Lottery players to communities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Since June 2004, we have made over 200,000 grants and awarded over £9 billion to projects that have benefited millions of people.

We are passionate about funding great ideas that matter to communities and make a difference to people’s lives. At the heart of everything we do is the belief that when people are in the lead, communities thrive. Thanks to the support of National Lottery players, our funding is open to everyone. We’re privileged to be able to work with the smallest of local groups right up to UK-wide charities, enabling people and communities to bring their ambitions to life.

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