A mum says her daughter wouldn’t be able to walk unaided if it wasn’t for the work of a Herefordshire charity.

Teenager Ruby Phillips, who has cerebral palsy, has been attending sessions at Megan Baker House (MBH), Ledbury, since she was three.

Mum Liza said the sessions have done wonders for Ruby’s strength, stability, balance, coordination and even her social skills.

Ruby is among the hundreds of children and adults supported by MBH, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

The Orchard Lane-based charity uses a learning method called conductive education to help children with a wide variety of movement disorders and adults with Parkinson’s, stroke and multiple sclerosis.

Hereford Times: Ruby takes part in a conductive education session at Megan Baker HouseRuby takes part in a conductive education session at Megan Baker House

Ms Phillps said she first brought Ruby for an assessment having heard about MBH at a primary school parents evening.

“We wanted Ruby to do this because at this stage we were very new to cerebral palsy, we didn’t know what her future would hold,” she said.

“At the time, Ruby wasn’t able to walk unaided, she was using a walking frame. We started these sessions and it became apparent it was something that would suit Ruby.

Lockdown support

“The routine of what they were doing every week really helped Ruby. They did lots of core work, fine motor skills, it helps with her balance and even down to the social aspect of it. She enjoys being with like-minded people.”

MBH continued to support Ruby during the pandemic, ensuring she didn’t lose any of the progress she’d made.

“In lockdown, there was a six-week gap when we were all figuring out what was happening, then the sessions continued on Zoom,” said Ms Phillps.

“It was great because Ruby had been thrown out of her routine and it was quite unsettling, but to have these regular sessions was a godsend.”

Sue Mechan, head of client services at MBH, said: “Ruby came to us when she was three years old. Now she’s 16 and has gone to college.

“She is now walking and living an independent life. Her latest goal is to tie her hair into a bobble, which her mum wouldn’t have thought she could do but she is learning to do it now.”