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BBC Two’s Big Life Fix is back

Posted on: January 12 2017

lb_sm_0.jpgProducers of the BBC Two show Big Life Fix are searching for people, who could benefit from a tailor-made invention to improve their quality of life, to take part in the second series of the programme.

The show aired in December last year and is an exciting and innovative science series that sees a skilled team of scientists, engineers and designers create bespoke technology for individuals and groups to transform their lives for the better.

In the first series, the team came up with a solution for a range of issues affecting individuals and communities, including creating a device to counter the effects of Parkinson’s disease for a young graphic designer, building a bicycle for a boy born with no hands or feet and designing a system to help a visually impaired mother take her children to the park.

If you feel that you could benefit from a tailor-made invention the show’s producers would like to hear from you. Perhaps it’s a daily task, a hobby or a lifelong dream that’s proving to be a challenge. Or maybe you have a disability you need help managing, or a problem that you and your family, or even whole community face.

If you would like to apply and share your story, call 0203 040 6908, or email (All calls are treated in the strictest of confidence).

Phil and Rachel’s story…

Posted on: January 11 2017

Phil Hawkridge from Brightlingsea, Essex, was diagnosed with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis in 1992. In this blog, his wife Rachel talks about getting support from the MS-UK Helpline with PIP forms…

img_2114.jpg‘My husband attends Josephs Court, so we knew that we would easily get help from the MS-UK Helpline,’ said Rachel, who approached the Helpline team to ask about completing the forms for Personal Independence Payment (PIP). PIP replaced Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for people with a long-term health condition or disability aged 16 to 64. The rate of support you receive depends on how your condition affects you, not the condition itself. Anyone applying for PIP will need an assessment to work out the level of help required. ‘I have to do all the paperwork, and the PIP form was very daunting,’ said Rachel. Phil’s diagnosis has changed since 1992, and he now lives with secondary progressive MS. Rachel is Phil’s carer now.

‘Ryan never rushed us and was hugely supportive. It was invaluable help.’

Taking time to discuss everything with Ryan from the MS-UK Helpline team meant that Rachel could get the best possible outcome for her husband Phil. Rachel added, ‘my husband was awarded the enhanced rate of PIP in both care and mobility, thanks entirely to Ryan.’

If PIP affects you and you need support, we want you to know that the Helpline team is here if you need us. The Helpline team all have benefits training and are able to give quality information and support to people contacting our service. We can spend time and support you to understand the processes involved and to be able to articulate your needs to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in a way that we hope will help you gain the right level of benefits for your personal circumstances. Getting in touch You can call the MS-UK Helpline for free on 0800 783 0518 during weekdays, between 9am and 5pm. Visit our live web chat page on the MS-UK website to speak to us online. Email us at

Please note that MS-UK cannot influence a decision by the DWP, and is able only to offer information and support.

We only have seven Gold Bond places left for the Virgin Money London Marathon 2017!

Posted on: January 10 2017

nick_sm.jpg‘What is a Gold Bond place?’ is a common response we hear from the title!

When I first came to work in fundraising, I had no clue what a Gold Bond place was. I had to learn quickly what they were and how they related to fundraising; and now Gold Bond places are part of my everyday language.

But to someone that isn’t immersed in fundraising all the time, or has just started out with running events, the term may mean absolutely nothing! So I thought I would write this blog post to explain what a Gold Bond place is!

In an event like the Virgin Money London Marathon, there are a couple of hundred thousand people that apply to run every year. So much so that people would be tripping over each other on the day if everyone ran!

This is where the ballot system helps.

The ballot is basically a lottery where people apply to run the Virgin Money London Marathon through their website and are randomly selected to run. This means those selected will definitely have a place to run the marathon and can choose to fundraise for MS-UK without a minimum fundraising target!

To those who don’t have a marathon place, MS-UK has hope! The Virgin Money London Marathon people kindly hold some places back for charities to get their hands on – and these are our Gold Bond places!

Gold Bond places are really useful to MS-UK. It means that we can give you the chance to run the Virgin Money London Marathon and in return raise a load of money for a cause that is close to your heart – helping people affected by MS to live life to the full. It really is a win-win! We also get the added benefit of meeting some incredible people who have some incredible stories!

So that is what we mean when we say ‘we only have seven Gold Bond places left for the Virgin Money London Marathon’!

Finally, we do actually only have seven Gold Bond places left for the 2017 race! So if you are a keen runner, or know someone that is and has a passion for fundraising for MS-UK then apply to be one of our Gold Bond runners through our website here or get in touch with me on 01206 226500 or by email at to find out more. Please do keep in mind we ask for a minimum of £2,000 in fundraising and will help you reach this target!

Thank you!


Fundraising Assistant

Counselling survey - have your say!

Posted on: January 09 2017

diana.jpgHi everyone,

As you may know, MS-UK is planning to launch a new counselling service in 2017.

But we need your help!

With your feedback, we hope to make it as relevant as possible for people affected by multiple sclerosis. So, we’re asking you to take a short service to help us shape this service for the future.

Take the survey now online

It’s important that we learn about what has and hasn’t worked for people in the past and what it is that people with MS really need.

Thank you for your help!

Best wishes,


Diana Baxter

Head of Service

Wintery winners and a big thank you!

Posted on: January 05 2017


Happy New Year from the fundraising team at MS-UK! And what a brilliant subject to write our first blog post of 2017 on, our Winter Draw. This year with your help the Winter Draw raised £3,696! Your Winter Draw entries looked a little like snow in our ticket container, and as we drew out the names of the winners there was certainly a similar feeling to the excitement of a white Christmas! To be able to give some great prizes back to our festive fundraisers who took part in the draw was an amazing feeling! So, without further ado, I’d like to announce some of our lucky winners!

  • Our first prize of £1,000 went to Marion Heaton
  • Our second prize of an iPad Air 2 went to Gareth Hadland
  • And three of our five £50 M&S vouchers went to Graham Milner, Susan Gildner and Terri Williamson

Combined with everything you did for our Festive Frolic campaign you all raised over £6,000 for MS-UK!

We would like to say thank you to everyone that took part. Whether you bought a Winter Draw ticket, held a Festive Frolic for your friends and family or organised a bag packing event at your local supermarket, you helped raise vital funds to keep our services running! If you want to find out more or have an amazing idea for a fundraiser in 2017, please get in touch with me by phone on 01206 226 500 or by email! We are very much looking forward to 2017! Nick Nicholas Adams, Fundraising Assistant

Happy new year!

Posted on: January 03 2017

Hi everyone,03-am.jpg

Well, we’re back!

If you need to chat, you can contact the MS-UK Helpline on 0800 783 0518 or use our live web chat service online right now.

We are settling back in and looking forward to some exciting projects in 2017, so keep an eye on our blog to stay posted.

You can also subscribe to our monthly e-newsletters if you want to keep your finger on the pulse.

Anyway, we hope you had a great new year, and we hope 2017 is filled with happiness for you!

Best wishes,

The MS-UK Team