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Easter fun for MS-UK

Posted on: March 24 2016

If you’re stuck for something to do this Easter Weekend why not head down to the Kings Head in Brightlingsea on Saturday 26 March and help raise money for MS-UK?

jbbs.jpgOne of our regular clients, John Baines, is running a family fundraiser to help us continue to support those affected by multiple sclerosis. He hopes to raise money for specialist equipment for our Wellness Centre, Josephs Court, which helps to improve strength and muscle tone for people with multiple sclerosis and other neurological conditions.

Activities on the day will include an Easter egg hunt, fancy dress competition, buffet, raffle, an open mic afternoon and hummers. Plus live music by Full Mental Racket, Essex’s home-grown classic rock cover band!

If you’d like to attend then the afternoon commences at 2pm at The Kings Head, 41 Victoria Place, Brightlingsea, Colchester, CO7 0HT.

If you can’t make it but would still like to support our vital work then head over to John’s Virgin Money Giving Page to donate.


Virgin Money London Marathon volunteers

Posted on: March 23 2016

volunteer_0.pngHave you ever seen snippets of the Virgin Money London Marathon on television, and wondered what it’s like to see the real thing? This is usually followed by a ‘maybe next year’ thought, a look at the crowds and contemplation of how you’d get close enough to actually see the runners, and then you go back to nursing your cup of tea and forget all about it until the next year when it pops up on your television again – maybe this time…?

We’re giving you the opportunity to finally see it in the flesh. By signing up as one of our Virgin Money London Marathon volunteers you can join us on the big day! You can either be a walker – leading our weary runners back to the post-race reception, or you can join us at one of our cheer points and see the runners as they make their way round the famous course.

All volunteers receive a free MS-UK t-shirt but this is primarily an opportunity to soak up the atmosphere at one of the world’s most prestigious marathons whilst supporting our cause. The Virgin Money London Marathon is our biggest fundraiser of the year, and every penny raised by our runners goes towards supporting our services. We rely on volunteers to make it the best day possible for our runners so we can celebrate the hours they’ve given up to achieve their fundraising and training goals, and so the day wouldn’t be possible without people like you!

If you’d like to join us then please download the form and send it to


Getting to know you - take our survey

Posted on: March 22 2016

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to let you know about a survey we are running at the moment.

We would like to know more about you so we can provide services that really meet your needs. We also want to make sure we’re reaching as many different people as possible!

We are asking all of our supporters to complete an online survey. All of the questions are about you, and will help us see who we’re reaching.

Everything is completely anonymous, and we won’t be asking you for any contact details at all.

Complete the online survey now

Thanks for considering this, and if you have any questions give me a shout!

Best wishes,


Laura May, Marketing Manager

Independent newspaper looking for case studies

Posted on: March 17 2016

Hi everyone,

Today I had a call from Katie Grant, an Independent journalist who is looking to speak with people with disabilities about how the Budget announcement will affect them.

The Independent are looking to run a story on how people with disabilities could be affected by the new Budget.

If you’d like to find out more or be a case study for the Independent, you can email Katie directly at

Remember – being a case study is your choice, and it may involve being named or photographed.



Marketing Manager, MS-UK

Send in your Easter selfies to win!

Posted on: March 17 2016

Hi everyone, Myles here!

I’m giving away an MS-UK goody bag to one lucky winner. Here’s how to take part…

  1. Take a selfie. Remember, Easter is the theme, so anything with eggs, chocolate or chicks is probably good!
  2. Email your photo to me at before Friday 18 March 2016 to make sure your snaps are included in my Easter Instagram album
  3. Sit back and hope you are a winner! Remember though, even if you don’t win the goody bag you’ll be helping me raise awareness of multiple sclerosis, and that’s a great thing to do!

I will be adding all the photos you send me to my account at in time for Easter at the end of March, so remember to follow me on Instagram.

The winner of the MS-UK goody bag will be picked at random. We will contact you by email to confirm your postal address, then send you some goodies, including an MS-UK pin badge, a trolley keyring, the latest issue of our New Pathways magazine and of course a mini Myles teddy bear.

Good luck everyone!


Our top fundraising tips

Posted on: March 16 2016


Do something you enjoy
You may struggle to comprehend how anyone could enjoy running a marathon, but that’s the great thing about fundraising for MS-UK, there’s something for everyone. Whether you find pleasure in baking, pub quizzes, dance-offs, fancy dress, ultramarathons or sky dives there’s a way to raise money doing something you love for a cause you care about.

Set up an online fundraising page
With JustGiving and Virgin Money Giving you can quickly set up a fundraising page that tells your story and means people can donate with just a few clicks. This makes it easier for your friends, family and supporters to donate but also means that anyone, anywhere in the world can help your cause (meaning your Aunt in New Zealand has no excuse)! Add a picture to your account and on average you’ll raise £400 more, add a target and the average fundraising goes up even further!

Shout about it
Shout it from the rooftops! Share your online fundraising pages on social media and email links round to your friends. Ask local businesses that you use often if they’re willing to display a collection tin and poster, put a collection box in the office break room and get your family and friends involved. You only have so many friends, but if you ask your mum’s friends and your friend’s friends and your boss’s friends to contribute £1, before you know it you’ll be half way to your target!

Keep it safe
We don’t want any run-ins with the law so before your event make sure you’re following the rules! There’s a full list of precautions in our A-Z Fundraising Guide, but in general it’s important to follow food safety laws, ensure you have the licences necessary for your type of event, check if you need to register your raffle and get permission before taking photos at events with children.

Money, Money, Money
We’ll automatically receive all your online fundraising! You can transfer any offline fundraising directly into our bank account, contact us for details, or make out a cheque payable to MS-UK and post it to us (Unsworth House, Hythe Quay, Colchester, CO2 8JF).

Don’t forget to ask someone else to count your money to verify the amount! And if you have any problems email me at and I’ll help you out!

Fundraiser of the Month!

Posted on: March 15 2016

osborne-marathon.pngEvery month we feature a Fundraiser of the Month in our fundraising e-newsletter…and we always post the full story here!

Fundraiser of the Month

Matt Osborne
My name is Matt Osborne. I’m a 21 year old student at the University of Gloucestershire and I am the current 1st XI captain and community engagement officer for the men’s hockey team. For my last ever BUCS league hockey match, myself and Johnny Ashwin, the club captain, wanted to take the opportunity to raise money for two charities very close to our hearts (MS-UK and Meningitis Research Foundation), and hope to leave behind a lasting legacy for future hockey students at our university.

The charity match took place on Wednesday 09 March vs Swansea University 1stteam. I would like to thank both Swansea University Hockey club and the University of Gloucestershire Students Union for all their help in the build up to this event. And a special thanks for all the help we have received from MS-UK and Meningitis Research Foundation. This event would not have been possible without you!

The reason I chose to raise money for MS-UK is because they offer support for those who suffer from a disease that has greatly affected my family. My mum was diagnosed with the ‘Primary Progressive’ form of MS in December 2007 and so I know first hand the struggle that those affected go through day in day out in an unrelenting battle with MS. The way that my mum has dealt with the disease since being diagnosed and continues to fight everyday is an inspiration to me and makes me truly proud to be her son. Because of this I always try to raise as much money as I can for MS-UK. So far I have run the Reading Half Marathon and, in 2014, I was one of the youngest MS-UK representatives to run the London marathon at 19 years old, raising around £3,000. The money raised during the hockey match will be divided equally between MS-UK and Meningitis Research Foundation.

Be the first to hear about our amazing Fundraisers of the Month just by subscribing to the MS-UK fundraising e-newsletter today!


Last chance to have your say!

Posted on: March 15 2016

Hi everyone,msu_0296.jpg

I’m really excited to let you know we have added two more focus groups to our 555 project!

Working in partnership with Healthwatch Essex and the Essex Neurology Network, we are inviting anyone affected by a neurological condition, including brain injury, epilepsy, Huntington’s Disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Progressive Supranuclear Palsy or stroke.

Both of our forthcoming focus groups will be held on Saturday 16 April, 2016.

Morning group
10am – 1pm

Afternoon group
2.00pm – 5.00pm

The venue
Newport House,
Hollycroft, Molrams Lane,
Great Baddow, Chelmsford

Just visit or give me a call on 01206 226500 if you’d like to book your place at one of these focus groups.

We would love to see you there!

Best wishes,


Laura May, Marketing Manager

Websites for every kind of runner

Posted on: March 09 2016

20160224_104022.jpgI’ve been digging through the world wide web to bring you my top running websites…

The Running Bug
Run by runners, for runners, this is essentially Facebook for the running inclined. Now the biggest social network for running, The Running Bug offers articles on every aspect of running from nutrition and training to gear and lifestyle pieces. Plus it’s somewhere you can go to chat to other runners, whether you’re running the Marathon Des Sables or just like a jog round the park every Sunday – you’ll find a kindred spirit.
For the more scientific amongst you there’s The editor and author used to be an anatomy professor, and here he has combined his love of running with his love of science to create a website where you can find loads of information on running science, running shoes and running form. There’s even a shoe finder so you can find the perfect trainer for your class, exact foot size and price range. Sore arches and twinging joints be gone!

Lazy Girl Running
Laura targets her website at people who just love running, whether you’re a seasoned marathon pro or simply looking to take your first foray into the world of jogging, she has articles for you, and all with a friendly, non-judgemental tone. As well as this there’s loads of posts about lifestyle, fitness, health and social media, proving that running blogs don’t have to be a constant stream of go, go, GO!

I couldn’t resist including this website, I promise it’s safe for work! A running blog with a difference this website simply involves beautiful photos of the scenic destinations people get to run in. Forget endless miles of grey pavements and muddy parks, here you can see shots from routes all over the world, each as breath-taking as the last. (I promise it’s still a running blog – there are people running in some of the photos after all…)

I hope you enjoy browsing these, and do let me know in the comments below if you have a favourite running website that could be included in this list!


P.S. Don’t forget we still have places for the British 10k if you fancy running around London for MS-UK!

MS-SMART trial continues – but what is it?

Posted on: March 04 2016

Hi everyone,

Just thought I would update you on the MS-SMART trials, as we have been chatting about it here in the office…

Even if the MS-SMART trial is not suitable for you, or not something you would consider taking part in, as there are currently no medications available for people with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS) it is worth knowing this is happening.

MS-SMART is a phase 2 clinical trial looking at disease progression in people with secondary progressive MS (SPMS). The fact that this trial started straight to ‘Phase 2’ means that the safety and tolerability of the drugs being tested is already known.

The study involves testing three medications that are already available and licenced for use in other conditions. This trial is seen as innovative as it is studying more than one drug at the same time, which could greatly speed up the process of making them available should the overall trial be successful.

It is thought that the medications being studied have neuroprotective qualities and the aim of the trial is to see if they can save nerves from being damaged further and slow down the progression of disability.

The medications being trialled are:

  • Amiloride – used for treating a heart disease
  • Riluzole – used for people with Motor Neurone Disease
  • Fluoxetine – used for treating depression and more commonly known as Prozac

The trial is running at various sites around the UK including London, Liverpool, Brighton, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Nottingham, Oxford, Plymouth, Sheffield, Stoke-on-Trent and Truro. The trial is open and in total needs to recruit 440 participants. It is recruiting up until the end of April 2016.

The lead researcher is Jeremy Chataway based at University College London. The trial has an inclusion criteria which anyone wishing to take part must meet. For more information including how to contact the researchers and for the inclusion criteria please see The MS-SMART website may also be of interest at

We will share updates and the results of the trial when they become available, but in the meantime if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me on the MS-UK Helpline – you can call 0800 783 0518 or connect via our live web chat service.

Best wishes,


Ryan Jones, MS-UK Helpline