‘Hi there. My name is Oliver and on Sunday 25 October, I took part in the Great South Run in Portsmouth, which is a 10 mile race and the third largest in the UK after the London Marathon and the Great North Run in Newcastle. I ran the same race last year, but had a terrible time and ended up with pneumonia a month or so after the race!
A year on and it was time to have another go, but whilst my health had enjoyed an about turn, one of my dearest friends had gone in the other direction; after what must have been a horrible period of decline in his health, Ed was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in the autumn of 2014.
Ed’s had a tough time, no doubt. Some of the stories he has shared with me have been difficult to listen to, let alone imagine going through and yet he remains incredibly level headed and coping with it all so well. Since starting medication in March, he has seen a steady increase in his health from a really bad place to one where he is doing much better. We wait to see where he will get to in the fullness of time.
It seemed obvious to me that here was a great opportunity to combine my drive for a second attempt at the Great South Run whilst showing support for one of my very oldest and closest friends through fund raising for MS-UK. I asked Ed whether he would approve of my idea as I’m not sure everyone wants sweeping gestures done in their name, but he was more than happy and, in fact, I think it has acted as a really positive experience for all parties concerned including Ed’s wider family and friends.
Training for the race itself lasted 10 weeks, as I wanted to put in a decent effort. My target was to run 8 minute miles and therefore a 1 hour 20 minute race. All in all, I have loved every minute as it has been a wonderful reason to get fit and find speed and stamina I did not know I possessed. And as for the fund raising? Well, having initially thought I would aim to raise £100, I had to adjust the target several times over as the total pushed past the old one, only to finish with £2,045.14!! I am thrilled beyond belief and so grateful to all my friends, family, and colleagues who gave so generously. Hopefully the money can help MS-UK to continue to support people to have choice, control and independence. After all, if there was one theme that united all my donators, it was what a good cause the money was going to.
Oh, I managed 1 hour 22 minutes 22 seconds in the end, which whilst a little short of the all-important goal, was still an improvement of 10 minutes on my previous effort. Good times!’
Winter is coming, and we need you to #WearYourWoolly for MS-UK this December!
Our #WearYourWoolly campaign is all about raising awareness of multiple sclerosis while hopefully raising some money at the same time for MS-UK! Find out all about the campaign on our website at www.ms-uk.org/Woolly today.
We will begin really spreading the word about #WearYourWoolly from next week, but we need your selfies to get things started. Hundreds of you were brave enough to wear some #PurplePants earlier in the year for us, and we know you won’t let us down!
So, time to grab your camera and something snuggly and get creative!
Many of our supporters are already sending in their pictures, and they are amazing! Thank you to everyone who has jumped on board so far – keep them coming. All through December we will be adding photos to our #WearYourWoolly hall of fame on Facebook and sharing your photos across our media channels.
To be part of #WearYourWoolly, email your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible. Once December arrives, you can also add them to your own social media channels and nominate your friends and family to get involved. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!
Love the MS-UK Fundraising Team
This year we have had one fundraiser who has pushed himself to his limits and run an incredible 15 marathons throughout the year!
Chris Chandler has been supporting MS-UK since 2012 where he ran his first event for the charity, the British 10k. Definitely bitten (not stung, read on for more details) by the running bug, since then he hasn’t stopped running. His wife Jennie is affected by MS so supporting MS-UK has become very important.
We got the low down from Jennie who spills the beans on the goods, bads and uglies of marathon running…..
‘Favourite marathon? It has to be the Virgin Money London Marathon – it’s the third time Chris has run London, the first was for the experience, the second was for a quicker time and this year it was to enjoy it.
Worst marathon? That was the Great Barrow Challenge, only because at around the 18 mile mark, Chris ran through a disturbed wasps nest and ended up getting stung over seven times and had to stop for a medic check at the next check point! OUCH!!!
Most surprising marathon? In February, Chris took part in the Marathon Day Marathon where you run a 5 x 5.24 loop. It was such a miserable cold day and it’s such a repetitive course and yet Chris ran his fastest marathon yet and finished in 4:40:47, this is still his personal best marathon time.
Plans for next year? Chris has already signed up for a quad marathon, four days, four marathons and camping out plus a 24 hour event in which he has to run as far as he can in 24 hours.’
A massive thank you to Chris for all his hard work and support- awesome job!
Well, our Winter Appeal has now launched, and we need your help! Here’s the top 5 ways you can support us this Winter…
Give as you Live and raise money for MS-UK!
Thanks for all your support!
Marketing Manager, MS-UK
Time really seems to have flown by this year, and with so much going on it’s hard to believe Christmas really is just round the corner! I’ve already started singing Christmas songs in the office here at MS-UK.
And being the Christmas enthusiast that I am, the countdown clock is ticking which means you have 49 days of present buying time left.
That’s 1191 hours to wrap all of those presents if you are the super organised type who bought all your presents in September.
Or my personal favourite 71,453 minutes to eat as many mince pies as humanly possible. – yum yum!
With everything else you need to remember the last thing you want to do is forget to send those all-important Christmas cards, and we are here to help!
It’s National Trustee Week this week, so we’re taking the opportunity to introduce you to Fiona Sakal, one of our Trustees!
Name: Fiona Sakal
Eye colour: Green
Occupation: Floral Designer
I joined the MS-UK Board of Trustees in: 2007
I joined the Board because: My husband had fundraised for MS-UK as his eldest brother had MS so I was delighted to be asked to join the Board while I was completing my Law Degree.
If I was a movie star, I’d be: Any Bond girl alongside Daniel Craig
If was a character in a book I’d be: Andrea in ‘The Devil Wears Prada’
Three things I couldn’t live without:
Three things I love about being a Trustee:
My greatest achievement: My beautiful daughters
If you are interested in joining the MS-UK Board of Trustees, find out more about our current opportunities at www.ms-uk.org/Trustees.
You may have noticed that we have updated the design and content on the MS-UK website. Many people rely on the MS-UK website as a source of unbiased, accurate information about multiple sclerosis, so we have kept this in mind and updated the website so you can now easily access it from your mobile phone or tablet device.
Keeping in line with our overall strategy, we have also ensured greater accessibility across the whole website, by updating the BrowseAloud software on our site and by adding plain text versions of our Choices leaflets.
All of this work was possible because of a grant from The Light Fund.
The Light Fund, created in 2004, is an industrywide charity that raises monies to fund worthwhile charity projects to help children, women and men.
The Light Fund is an acronym for The Licensing Industry Giving Help Together
Since its inception, in 2004, The Light Fund has raised over £800,000 for numerous charities. Governed by a committee of dedicated people who give their time for free it gained official registered charity status in 2012.
What do you think?
I would love to know your thoughts about our new website. You can email your comments, and suggestions to help us keep improving, to me at email@example.com.
Hope you enjoy the new look and feel of the site!
Come and join me and the rest of the MS-UK team at Marks and Spencer’s in Colchester on Sunday 06, Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 December and help all the shoppers with their bag packing.
I have been lucky enough too have been offered these dates to stand in the food section and help all the Christmas shoppers with their packing. We will be looking to gain as many donations as possible as well as to raise the awareness of MS-UK in our local community.
I am looking for volunteers to either do a morning or afternoon shift or if you are feeling really brave and proactive, you could help all day! I am really looking forward to this as it’s always great to get out into the local community and speak to the general public about the work of MS-UK, as well as giving a helping hand in the process. I will be showing off my bag packing skills and you will be amazed how quickly I can pack!!! Eggs on top, right??
In the future, I am hoping for more of these days to happen and I’ll be looking for some amazing volunteers to come and support MS-UK in the local community. I need you!!
If you are interested in helping and are available on any of the dates please do contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org and we can see who will win the crown of Chief Bag Packer!
National Trustee Week this week marks the start of MS-UK’s journey in looking to strengthen the skills and experience of our board. We are looking for three people to join our passionate and dedicated Board of Trustees and steward the delivery of our strategy. We need people who have a personal commitment and empathy consistent with MS-UK’s mission, vision and values and can commit to around four days a year to prepare for, and attend board meetings.
If you would be interested in joining our board please visit www.ms-uk.org/Trustees for more information and how to apply.
I look forward to hearing from you,