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Fundraiser of the month: Joshua

Posted on: July 13 2017

joshua.jpgThis month our fundraiser of the month is Joshua Joseph. Joshua ran the British 10k for us on 09 July and has been fundraising for the last month in support of MS-UK! Here is his story...

My name is Joshua Joseph, I’m 25 years old and I fundraised for MS-UK in the Virgin Sport British 10K run.

I chose MS-UK because very recently my best friend was diagnosed with MS. It’s in its infant stages, however I felt so lost and scared that the only thing I could do was try to raise some money and support the cause the only way I knew how. I did the British 10K in the past and thought this would be a good place to get fit and do something that showed support for my best friend.

In all honesty, I chose MS-UK because when I was looking online I really liked what I saw, plus I really liked the logo! I remember the day I found out about my best friend, this run literally came into my head and I thought it had to be done, that was my only drive to do this event.

I tend to keep quite fit, however cardio is my kryptonite, I think it always will be. I found myself out on some of the hottest days of the year, doing an odd 3K, 4K here and there. I remember one day I did an 8K and my knee was killing me, which made me realise that I needed to wear a strap when running. I wanted to have little sachets of peanut butter, but because of sheer laziness, that didn’t work out lol. I thoroughly enjoyed my training, I think that’s one thing you need to do. It’s a very serious thing and doing it really helps to get your mind in the right place. Training really allowed me to understand exactly how much my body could take.

I managed to raise (at the time of writing this) £1,206, my target was £1,000. I originally thought of aiming for £500 as I thought that might have been a push, however my friend said, ‘Go for a grand, you can do it…’ – So I did. I made the page on JustGiving.com and put the link on my Instagram and Facebook. I think because a lot of my friends have a large social following, the message spread quite quickly, that and the fact my first donation was £200, which came from a very close friend of mine, so that gave me a good bumper to start my fundraising.

In terms of fundraising, I would say don’t be shy when it comes to telling people that you’re raising money for something, especially when it’s such a great cause. I will continue to raise and I will continue to push myself to do different things.

This has been an amazing journey.

I honestly don’t think it’s set in for me that my best friend has MS yet. He was there when I was born, he named me, I honestly can’t think of a time we didn’t speak. So if by raising money, or simply answering a text or call when he’s annoyed is all I can do, I’m going to try my best to take care of him.

Thanks x

Joshua Joseph

Supporter survey - your chance to win!

Posted on: July 12 2017

enews-graphics-july-1.pngHi everyone,

You make our work possible, and we'd love to know what kind of things you enjoy doing to support MS-UK! So, this month we are running a supporter survey. We're asking about what you've done in the past to support us and what you may consider doing in the future. There are also some questions about our 25th birthday celebrations, which will be happening next year!

Take our survey online today.

As a token of our appreciation, we'll be drawing one lucky winner from the completed surveys too, who will receive a £25 Debenhams voucher! The survey closes on 20 July 2017, so don't delay! Thank you, and good luck, Jill Jill Purcell Fundraising Manager, MS-UK

Well done British 10k runners!

Posted on: July 10 2017

Hi everyone, I just want to say a massive well done to everyone who took part in the British 10k on Sunday 09 July in aid of MS-UK...you guys make our work possible!

british-10k-2017.jpg

It was a hot day (OK, it was a scorching day!) and you still got up early, made your way to our capital city and took to the streets in full force, wearing your purple with pride. It was fantastic to be a part of your day, and share in your achievement!

Check out the photos on Facebook now!

Our cheering point was definitely extremely loud and great fun to be on, and a massive thank you to all of our dedicated volunteers who clapped and cheered for hours to encourage all of the runners to keep going. We couldn’t make the day so special without you.

All of our runners have their own reasons for running, but all of you have one thing in common now – you have smashed the British 10k! And you have made a difference…the money you have raised helps us offer people a listening ear when they need one through our helpline, ensure someone gets New Pathways magazine landing on their doormat or it may pay for new exercise equipment at our centre in Essex. You are making our work possible, to help people affected by MS to really live life to the full and make the most of today.

Thank you!

Best wishes,

Jill

Jill Purcell

Fundraising Manager

Good luck to our British 10k runners!

Posted on: July 09 2017

good-luck-post-sunday-am1.pngHi everyone,

The British 10k is today in London, and time to put all the hard training to the test that our wonderful runners have been training for over the last few months. This year we have a team of 23 runners, who have currently raised between them £5,500 for MS-UK which is amazing!

I just wanted to wish our MS-UK team, and everyone else who is taking part in the event a massive GOOD LUCK! I’m sure you will smash it!

We have a cheer point on Duncannon Street, which is near Trafalgar Square. If you are in London, feel free to come and join us and help us be the loudest cheer point on the 10k route.

If you want to take part for us next year do get in touch with me by email and I can pop you on a list to contact when we know next year’s date. The minimum fundraising requirement is £200 which is really achievable.

Now, go have an amazing day!

Jenny

Jenny Poulter

Events Fundraiser

British 10k – Back to where it all began

Posted on: July 07 2017

In this guest blog, Sue Foley talks about taking on the British 10k this Sunday and where her fundraising journey with MS-UK began...

medal.jpgHi everyone, I’m Sue Foley from Colchester (aka Purplepants). On Sunday 09 July, I’ll be returning to London to run in the British 10k, three years after running my first 10k event for MS-UK and my first ever event since starting my running journey in May 2014.

I still find it amusing that I donned some running shoes back then and even more surprising that I’m still pounding the pavements now. At 50 years young, I was a late starter! I was inspired to run having watched the Virgin Money London Marathon in April 2013 from Tower Bridge. It simply gripped me so much that I felt the need to be doing something positive and challenge myself. My best friend and partner had passed away suddenly the year before so I was feeling somewhat lost in grief.

My childhood neighbour and friend Keith had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in March 2012, so I decided I’d like to fundraise for MS-UK, the charity that had helped him during the early days of his diagnosis. I contacted MS-UK to apply for one of their Gold Bond places at the Virgin Money London Marathon. What on earth was I thinking? I hadn’t even run 100 metres, let alone 26.2 miles! When I received the phone call to say I’d been offered a place, I burst into tears. It was an honour to be able to represent the charity. Fortunately, I had a whole year to fundraise and prepare myself mentally and physically for a running adventure.

My first port of call was to attend parkrun, a free, weekly 5k timed run which takes place all over the Country. I continued with parkrun alongside bootcamp and gym classes. Early in July 2014, Sam who worked at MS-UK phoned to ask if I’d like to get some experience in taking part in the British 10k. Another runner had suffered an injury, so Sam asked if I’d like to step in to replace them. It was short notice, yet I knew this would be a valuable exercise. I felt in good shape, though in reality I had only been running up to a 5k distance. I was up for the challenge all the same, realising I’d have to be sensible with my pacing.

With a week until the race, I set up an online JustGiving page which I shared via my social media and I was encouraged to see donations soon coming through. I had my name put on my running vest, so all that was left was for me to get to the start.

Race day arrived with an early alarm call. I remember feeling slightly anxious and excited. On arrival in London I remember heading across one of the bridges and noticing several people in running kit. It was my natural instinct to follow, assuming they’d all know where to go. I spoke to one runner just for reassurance that I was going the right way for the bag drop. Once I’d put my belongings in the bag drop, I proceeded to the start area. I remember vividly hearing the Chariots of Fire music sounding out as we walked through Admiralty Arch at Trafalgar Square. My eyes welled up, it was emotional to be amongst hundreds of runners, many of whom were wearing their respective charity’s vests.

tothestart.jpgThe atmosphere leading towards the start line was special as I stood side by side so many strangers, yet friends also, in a sense that we were united in representing our chosen causes. Once I crossed the line, I smiled trying to take in all the sights. Music was playing along the course and spectators cheered the runners enthusiastically. I was given a boost hearing people call out my name. Running over Westminster Bridge felt surreal. I paused for a moment to capture a photo on my phone. Let’s face it, it’s not every day you get to run in the Capital City.

Approaching the finish, I remember coming along Whitehall and spotting the same runner I’d asked directions from at the start. We crossed the line together high fiving one another in victory.

I’m excited to be putting on my purple MS-UK vest (and purple everything else!) and joining the other fabulous MS-UK fundraisers running at the British 10k. My philosophy is ‘finish lines, not finish times’, having said that, I’d like to shave off 7 minutes of my 2014 time if possible.  I’m extremely proud that through my running efforts I’ve raised over £5,000 for MS-UK over the past few years and helped to raise awareness of the charity’s work in my locality. I’ve also volunteered and been known to step into the mascot Myles’ shoes on occasions. Fundraising, volunteering and taking part in events for MS-UK has been fulfilling, fun and certainly helped given me focus and purpose. I hope I may inspire others to do the same.

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