Our fundraiser of the month for September is Tijmen Wigchert! Tijmen recently accepted one of our places for the Virgin Money London Marathon and introduced us to his company CBW, who have now chosen us as their charity of the year! Here’s Tijmen’s story...
This means that CBW will support and take part in charitable activities for MS-UK until August 2019 and I’m very pleased and proud to be organising events for this over the next two years.
My mum was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) quite a few years ago. At the beginning I had no clue what MS actually was but the MS organisations helped me to get to know more and more about the disease. I have to say that I am still learning more about it every day.
My mother set up the intensive care department in a hospital in The Netherlands all by herself, so it was weird to see how she needed help after she has been helping others day in and out. She luckily still works there, but it depends how much she can work on how she feels. MS has shown me to appreciate every single moment because it can be a true rollercoaster.
This is also the reason why I am fundraising for MS-UK. I wanted to do it obviously for my mum, but also for all the other people with MS. Especially since it is so different in everybody who has the disease. Alongside this I am raising money for MS-UK as it will also be a great opportunity to create more awareness.
I can’t wait to run the Virgin Money London Marathon, this will be my first marathon and it will be such a challenge. Over the next couple of months and years I will be updating more information about CBW’s Charity of the year on CBW’s Facebook page and on my own page: marathon.tijmenwigchert.com. Here I will be discussing my way to the marathon, and how I am raising money and awareness for MS and MS-UK.
So far, we already have a great fundraising plan and something I have learned along the way is: Don’t be afraid to ask, you will be amazed how people would like to help!
You can find out more about MS-UK’s Virgin Money London Marathon places by clicking through to our page. If you have an employer interested in partnering with MS-UK please contact Jill on Jill@ms-uk.org or read more here.
I am really pleased to announce that we have secured funding from the National Lottery for our Essex based service, Josephs Court.
The funding will span the next five years and totals £499,300. This will go towards the running costs of Josephs Court, and help us support even more people in our local area affected by multiple sclerosis (MS).
Josephs Court has a range of specialised exercise equipment and expert professionals on hand enabling people living with MS to exercise and manage their condition regardless of their levels of mobility. The Big Lottery Fund will support 72% of the costs of providing the service.
It is business as usual at Josephs Court, but thanks to the Big Lottery Fund we are definitely here to stay for the long term!
Amy Woolf, CEO
I just wanted to let you know about a vacancy we have here in the MS-UK fundraising team. We’re looking for an experienced fundraiser to join us and develop a wide range of community activities.
If you love working in a fast paced, high energy environment, have excellent communication skills and a passion for growing longstanding, successful fundraising relationships in the local and wider community then this is the role for you!
You can read the full job description and find out everything you need to know about applying for the role on our website at www.ms-uk.org/jobs. The closing date is 18 September at 5pm.
Best wishes, and good luck!
Jill Purcell, Fundraising Manager
National Curry Week is coming up next month (from 09 October) and we’re already feeling spicy here at the MS-UK!
I couldn’t resist getting a head start…check out my short video for my curry recipe.
If you’d like to organise your own event for MS-UK during National Curry Week, get in touch today to order a fundraising welcome pack. It’s full of great ideas and top tips!
Contact us using our online form or call us on 01206 226500 today!
Good luck you saucy lot, and remember to keep calm and curry on!
In her latest guest blog Chloe describes her time over the school summer holidays and the joys of a 'staycation'...
Well, they’re over, but between you and me, I secretly like the summer holidays. Sure it’s incredibly tiring, but it makes me far more creative in my parenting. I get stuck in a bit of a rut with the kids sometimes and school holidays gives us more options.
Instead of me having to rely on weekends (many of which I’ve been ill) to do fun stuff with the kids, in the holidays we can be spontaneous and head out when I’m feeling ok, which is always a bit of a weight off my mind.
Overall we had a really successful summer holiday this year. My stamina has been much better since starting Tysabri, so I felt able to make the most of it. Sure there were a few blips, but then that’s life with MS for you.
So the holiday was full of fun, frolics, and rest for me whenever I could. Like most people, having a holiday away from home is always a must.
I’ve never attempted to travel abroad with the children though. It seems far too daunting. I’ve had a couple of instances where travelling has really flared up my MS, so navigating an airport especially is a bit terrifying to me, let alone doing it with two kids in tow. There’s just so much walking, standing and hanging around, and though last time I flew I did accept the help from the airport (use of a wheelchair, etc) it was still a bit of an ordeal. Add to that the packing beforehand, and the stress of travelling with children, and in my mind’s eye it all equates to a nightmare experience.
Maybe I’ve built it up in my head too much, but I’d rather discover the delights of the UK until the kids are much older.
So this year we went to Wales (twice!) and we had a great time.
Holidays are hard work though.
On our most recent holiday we felt like we had to the get the kids out of the house every day, which on reflection is something I wouldn’t do at home. I’m lucky if we managed one day trip a week at home so all of these adventures meant I was greatly in need of some rest halfway through and ended up being bed-ridden one day.
I stupidly didn’t pack my mobility scooter, because I felt confident and well when I packed at home, but I really could have done with it to take the pressure off. This is a major thing that I need to get my head around. If in doubt I should always use my scooter. There’s no point in pushing it and hoping that I can muddle through. The scooter is there to help, and I need to use it for self-preservation, not just as an aid when I‘ve reached rock bottom.
Ironically we went to a place called Folly Farm which was incredibly accessible for scooters. I notice these things now, whenever I travel anywhere, and it’s amazing how hit and miss it can be. Some places just aren’t suitable for disabled visitors which is a real shame.
But we’re back home now, and getting ready for the next school term, and for things to calm down a bit. I’ve learnt that getting back into a routine is the key…not just for my health, but for my sanity!
Want to chat about multiple sclerosis?
Contact the MS-UK Helpline on 0800 783 0518 or visit our website to live chat with an MS Advisor.
In the past month we’ve been updating some of our Choices leaflets, and you can now read them on our website.
Watch our short video today about how we update our Choices leaflets.
We have updated our leaflets about…
If you have any questions about any of the topics covered in our Choices leaflets, you can get in touch with me to any of the MS-UK Helpline team via live web chat or by calling us on 0800 783 0510.