CMT UK, the Bournemouth-based charity that offers support to those people with the rare, inherited neurological condition Charcot-Marie-Tooth, has announced that it will appoint its first-ever fundraising manager.

The charity has also pledged £30,000 over the next three years for vital research into the progression of the condition at London’s UCL Institute of Neurology.

CMT UK said it had “bold ambitions for 2014”, aiming to increase its income to £2m over the next five years – and sees the appointment of a fundraising manager as key to these plans.

It currently provides services to more than 2,000 people affected by the disease, named after the scientists who discovered it.

Currently incurable and steadily progressive, CMT is thought to affect some 23,000 people in the UK, causing muscle weakness in the lower legs and hands.

CMT UK's Karen Butcher, said: “Advances in medical research and technology are bringing us closer than ever before to finding a viable treatment or even cure for CMT, but this requires ever increasing investment in high quality research and for this we need more funds.

“In addition, the changes in public health and social care service and the welfare benefits system are affecting our members hugely and they need support, but to give this we require more funds. “As a small charity we know we need to take a giant leap forward and while employing a fund raising manager is not huge news for many charities, it’s a big deal for us and it excites us very much.”

CMT UK has also just pledged £10,000 per year for the next three years for a study exploring the use of MRI in patients with CMT by researchers at the UCL Institute of Neurology.

One of the researches is CMT UK patron Professor Mary Reilly, a consultant neurologist at the MRC Centre for Neuromuscular Diseases, UCL Institute of Neurology and The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery.

To find out more contact Karen Butcher on 01202 432048.