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Gloucestershire Business News

Gloucestershire pupils to raise money for National Star

Tomorrow (November 16), pupils from Cheltenham College will take on Gloucestershire rivals in a charity rugby match.

The annual Cheltenham College 1st XV charity rugby match will be held at Kingsholm Stadium, with the side taking on a team from Sir Thomas Rich's School in Gloucester.

Kick-off is at 7:30pm, with all proceeds raised from the match going to Cheltenham College's chosen charity of the year - National Star.

National Star has decided that their fundraising will be invested in the innovative Mollii suit.

Lynette Barrett, chief executive of National Star, said: "Innovations, such as the Mollii suit can be life-changing for young people with disabilities. In our trials with this technology, we have seen students for the first time be able to hold their parent's hand and sit up without assistance. These small changes can greatly improve a young person's quality of life.

"But such cutting-edge technology comes at a price, a price which we, as a charity, cannot afford without community support.

"Thanks to Cheltenham College's incredible commitment to this project, National Star will be able to use these innovative suits to improve young people's lives. Through such fundraising partnerships we can make a difference."

The Mollii suit is fitted with 58 electrodes, which can be controlled and adapted to each user. Mollii uses a low-level electrical current which stimulates the muscles to contract and relax. This essential reaction is often lacking in someone with a neurological condition.

The stimulation relaxes muscles that are perhaps causing unwanted movements and activates others which may need help. Wearing the suit also ensures the stimulation is through the whole body at the same time, whereas most therapies just work on one problem area.

National Star has run trials of the suits and after just one hour of wearing it, has seen:

• Improved mobility for ambulant students (those who can walk) - they are walking taller with a longer stride

• Improved standing and sitting posture, so students are more comfortable, particularly those in wheelchairs

• Reduction in pain, which improves students' mood and mental health.

Should Cheltenham College pupils reach the fundraising target, National Star could buy 16 Mollii suits.

Tickets are on sale for tomorrow's game here at £5 each to help raise funds for the suits.

Image credit: Google Street View

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