A DELIGHTED charity has been handed a major boost after it secured nearly £500,000 of funding from the National Lottery.

Josephs Court, which is one of MS-UK’s leading wellness centres, will be handed £499,300 over the next five years by the Big Lottery Fund.

The centre, which is based in Hythe Quay, Colchester, has state-of-the-art physiotherapy equipment which helps people with Multiple Sclerosis improve muscle tone and strength.

Support groups and counselling is also offered to patients who all have varying degrees of limited movement.

The charity relies heavily on fundraising initiatives and donations from the public as its main source of income.

But funding has now been secured until 2022 courtesy of the Big Lottery Fund which will now help cover 72 per cent of Josephs Courts’ costs.

MS UK chief executive Amy Woolf said the funding will help to improve the service which can be offered by staff.

She said: “We were over the moon when we found out. There were tears in the office although most of that was probably me.

“We mainly rely on fundraising efforts for income.

“We have a team who work tirelessly to get people involved but it is not only a huge ask in the current financial climate but also very difficult as it requires a lot of manpower.

“What the funds mean is we can continue to serve the community and help those with MS across the county.

“We can help manage people’s conditions and help them stay healthier for longer.”

Josephs Court first opened in 2012 after a donation of £100,000 was made by long-time supporters, the Josephs family.

This generous donation enabled MS-UK to convert a disused building next to their administration centre at Hythe Quay into a treatment and advice centre for people with Multiple Sclerosis.

After a successful first five years, staff at Josephs Court can now look forward to the future thanks to the security lottery funding has given them.

Mrs Woolf added: “Getting the funds is not about having extra money.

“It enables us to know we are secure and we can now take on a more realistic approach to individual patients.

“I am excited about the future and the possibility of offering even more people a truly holistic approach to managing their MS, ultimately improving their health and wellbeing and maintaining their independence.”