Onwards and upwards – MS Members move to bigger premises

21 October 2014

When one door closes, another door opens.

Fortunately, a much bigger door has opened for the Members of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of WA (MSWA) as they bade farewell to Seabrooke House in Rockingham after almost 19 years and moved into a newer and larger premises on Council Avenue last Friday.

A farewell party was held to celebrate the move where more than 50 people turned up to say their last goodbyes.

Attendees included former masseuses, staff members, volunteers and MSWA Ambassador and West Coast Eagles player, Josh Kennedy.

Seabrooke’s Secretary and Treasurer, Jan Wakelam, said: “It was so nice of him to come along. Everyone wanted his autograph and to have a chat with him and he was so lovely. He’s very down to earth.”

Jan has been with Seabrooke for the past 15 years while her husband Barry was a founding member and past President.

She added: “We’ve been actively involved with the MS Society for a long time and we’ve seen them go from strength to strength, so this is another move upwards.”

The new premises are bigger, which allows for more room for people in electric wheelchairs and it also has purpose built facilities including a kitchen and servery.

MSWA’s Senior Outreach Co-ordinator, Nicola Ryan expects that the bigger premises and purpose built facilities will attract even more members because there’s the possibility to extend the services on offer.

She said: “…we’ll be providing physiotherapy and massage services on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and lunch on Friday.

“But we think we might start bringing in more people from Mandurah and Pinjarra, who’ll come to take advantage of these great facilities and the range of services on offer.”

“When that happens we might open up for lunch on another day and have coffee pop-in times for people who have been newly diagnosed with MS and want to know more about the services that we offer.”

Seventy-year-old Angie Wallace, Seabrooke House Committee Member, has been going to Seabrooke for the past 11 years to meet with friends and enjoy their range of services including physiotherapy and podiatry sessions, massages, advice from nurses and counsellors as well as a weekly two-course lunch provided by the outreach centre.

While she has many good memories of Seabrooke House, she said: “… the new place on Council Avenue is just great. It’s much bigger so we’ve got more room for physiotherapy and massages.

“It’s very exciting for all of us. It’s wonderful the services that the MS Society provides.”