A CHARITY founded by a Dorchester man in his home before going on to help hundreds nationwide has celebrated its tenth anniversary.

Dr Ian Stuart has built up Cavernoma Alliance UK over the past decade.

It has expanded from a one man effort in his home to a national charity with more than 950 members.

West Dorset MP Oliver Letwin and Mayor of Dorchester Robin Potter were among the guests at the celebratory event at the charity’s offices in the county town.

Mr Letwin praised what Dr Stuart had done in setting up the charity.

He said: “It is clearly fulfilling a very great need.

“What he has been explaining to me is that before it came into existence there wasn’t really anybody who was trained up to help people through what clearly can be a very difficult and traumatic disease.”

Mr Letwin added: “It’s a remarkable story.”

Cllr Potter said: “There are not many national organisations that have their headquarters in Dorchester.

“It’s such a wonderful supportive organisation.

“For Ian to start from his desk to become national supportive charity is inspiring.”

Cllr Potter said he was particularly struck by one comment on the charity’s website from someone who was helped by the charity.

They said: “Finding Cavernoma Alliance UK is like being thrown a lifeline when you are sinking.”

Dr Stuart said he was delighted to see so many people at the tenth anniversary celebration event and thanked all the people who had supported the charity on its journey to where it is today.

He added: “We are very fortunate with the support we have received.”

Cavernoma Alliance UK is the only organisation in Britain which provides advice and support to those with cavernoma and works closely with NHS neurological specialists.

A cavernoma is an abnormal swelling of blood vessels in the brain or spinal cord, which can leak blood.

To mark the ten-year anniversary, the charity has launched a new fundraising campaign to help boost its work going forward.

For information on the tenth anniversary campaign visit cavernoma.org.uk/10th-anniversary-for-cauk/