AN engineering firm has come to the rescue of a charity facing the cost of potentially expensive and disruptive building work.

Wilton Engineering chief executive Bill Scott quickly ‘hatched’ a plan to help the MS Therapy Centre in South Bank, Middlesbrough, after it was told it must improve access to a compressor, which powers its oxygen therapy chamber.

Rather than demolishing and rebuilding the separate brick building containing the compressor, the firm came up with a simple solution to allow for easier inspection and maintenance.

Measurements were taken and a steel frame and lockable steel hatch were fabricated at the company’s Port Clarence site.

Maintenance engineer, Steve McIntosh, then arrived to remove the necessary brickwork and install the access hatch without disrupting the charity’s services.

Mr Scott discovered the charity quite by chance after being told his father Bill Snr, who is suffering from cancer, required oxygen therapy.

The charity, which provides support to more than 80 MS sufferers in the area, gains valuable income by providing additional sessions to other people requiring oxygen therapy when there is spare capacity.

Mr Scott, who was awarded an OBE in the New Year’s Honours list for services to engineering and the Teesside community, said: “I was delighted that the MS Therapy Centre was able to provide oxygen therapy for my father, without him having to undergo the added strain of having to travel to Hull or Liverpool.

“I very impressed by the charity and its volunteers, so when mention was made of a problem involving the compressor, we were only too glad to help.”

Alan Riddiough, centre manager and chairman of trustees, said: “This solution has saved a great deal of expense – money that can be better spent directly supporting MS sufferers.

“I’d like to thank Bill and Steve McIntosh for coming up with such a neat solution and for undertaking the work free of charge.

“It’s a very kind offer because the charity receives no government funding and our income comes from member donations and the fundraising efforts of our members, volunteers and local businesses.”

The MS Therapy Centre, which was founded in 1985, is open Tuesday to Friday and provides oxygen therapy for around 80 people in return for a small membership fee.

For further details call 01642-461673.