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Swinging 60s cyclothon!

Posted on: October 30 2017

Hi everyone,

On Saturday 28 October our clients at Josephs Court got together for our swinging 60s cyclothon – and it was a great day!

60s.jpg

Thank you to everyone that got involved…you managed to clock up over 300 kilometres! Check out the Facebook photo album now.

The cyclothon event is part of our FES Appeal. We are aiming to raise £22.5k for a brand new FES bike for Josephs Court. This is our Essex based wellness centre for anyone affected by multiple sclerosis in our local area.

Thank you again for a groovy day everyone!

Best wishes,

Diana

Diana Crowe, Head of Services

Guest blog: Asking for help

Posted on: October 27 2017

chloe_new_300.jpgIn her latest guest blog Chloe deliberates over 'over-doing it' with multiple sclerosis (MS) and how she has learned she has to ask for help...

Ah, the havoc kid’s parties can create. Not only is the house a tip afterwards, but they shake me right to the core. Lib was 6 the other day, and we had not one, but two parties for her – a family one, and a friend’s one. I remember last year saying I would never do two again, but low and behold I did not heed my own words this year.

I love them, I really do, but the planning, executing and aftermath takes it toll. I did a hell of a lot of baking (which again, I love) but that ultimately means a lot of standing in one place. Not good for the MS! Or in other words – strike 1. Then there’s the running around at the actual parties – strike 2 for the MS.

Strike 3 comes from the bipolar. Running on adrenaline and manically planning things means I tend to become too high because my body can’t regulate things properly. And what comes up, must come down, so after everything was done, I crashed on an epic scale and ended up in bed for nearly 3 days. I became tingly and fatigued, and was suffering from exhaustion and depression. So yeah, another example of how everything takes it’s toll.

It wasn’t a serious relapse, so I didn’t get in touch with the MS team and I knew what it all stemmed from, but in my mind it was what I like to think of as a minor-relapse. One that will ultimately get better after a few days of rest. And it did, so everything is fine. But it did get me thinking about how fragile life with MS can be. Just a simple thing like organising a birthday can derail things on an epic scale.

But how am I meant to cope with life as a Mum of two kids and still maintain an even keel on my MS?

Life with kids is hectic, and not exactly predictable. I guess the answer is help. Asking for it, which I confess I’m really bad at doing, and accepting it when it’s offered. Plus, and perhaps more importantly, I need to accept that perhaps I can’t do what ‘normal’ Mums can do.

Working around this is going to be tricky for me, mainly because it means that at 6, Lib is now old enough to take on board things that are explained to her. So is it finally time to have a ‘conversation’ with her, or do I just carry on casually mentioning my MS in passing in the hope that it sinks in? It’s a tricky one for sure.

Chloe

You can follow Chloe’s blog at https://tantrumsandtingles.blogspot.com/

Download our ‘Am I having a relapse?’ form from our MS symptoms page.

Santa suits at the ready!

Posted on: October 24 2017

Hi,

Not to panic or anything, but Christmas is fast approaching – and we have a fantastic event that is for anyone who loves the festive time of year!

On 03 December we will be cheering on our amazing MS-UK runners as they join 4,000 Santas for a great day out in Victoria Park, London at the Santa Run.

You can choose between a 5k or a 10k route, and you can wheel, walk, jog or run the race. You’ll get a free Santa outfit to make sure you look the part (although fancy dress is positively encouraged too, and there is a costume competition on the day!)

Need some inspiration? Check out the video!

Anyone over the age of eight can take part, and four-pawed friends are welcome. There is even a free children’s fun run at the start for the little ones. The event and course is wheelchair accessible. There is a £25 registration fee when you sign up for this event. For children, the registration fee is £10.

We would love you to be part of team MS-UK for the event! Visit the website today to register and help us make a difference this Christmas!

We ho-ho-hope to see you there!
Jenny

Jenny Poulter, Events Fundraiser

Can you help shape our leaflets?

Posted on: October 19 2017

survey-graphic-1.pngHello,

We are refreshing our Choices leaflets for people affected by multiple sclerosis (MS) and we need your real life experience to help shape them!

If you have a diagnosis of MS it would be great if you could take our quick survey. The questions are about adult social care, exercise and fatigue.

We want to always provide people with the fullest range of choices available to them; not only drugs but all types of treatments and lifestyle changes. We hope that by including your experiences, our leaflets will truly resonate with people who turn to us for help.

Please be assured that any comments you give us will remain anonymous when published in our Choices leaflets.

Thank you for your help!

Best wishes,

The MS-UK Helpline team

Guest blog: Hilton's marathon story...

Posted on: October 18 2017

Next year, Hilton Lindo will be running the Virgin Money London Marathon. Find out why in Hilton’s guest blog…

hilton-lindo.jpgI was delighted to be accepted for a place in the 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon for MS-UK.

Upon accepting the offer, I set about creating a JustGiving page and decided to spread the word!

Specifically, I shared my story on Facebook, LinkedIn and emailed current and previous work colleagues.

I chose MS-UK as a charity to fundraise for, because I wanted to raise money for a cause close to my heart. As my wife has multiple sclerosis (MS) and has been progressively affected by the condition for over 13 years, I am acutely aware of the importance of the vital support delivered by fantastic organisations such as MS-UK.

At first the target of £2,000 seemed daunting but I was reasonably confident that I should be able to raise at least half of this by the end of the year, to stand me in good stead for the New Year.

So, I was delighted, humbled and thrilled to hit my target in just 21 days! This is such a fantastic testament to the great support my family and friends shown to my wife and I.

My wife has been a great support to my fundraising efforts too. My wife does great work in the community, undertaking several volunteer roles for a local community association. She reached out and shared my JustGiving page with friends and colleagues, resulting in several generous contributions to the fundraising effort.

Amazed that my fundraising went so well so early on, I recently increased my target to £3,000. I have had many promises of further donations and I also have lots of ideas for more fundraising in the coming months, so I am confident that I can exceed this target too!

My wife is planning to make Christmas cards to sell at a local Christmas event. I am planning to organise some fundraising activities at work in the Spring, including charity car washes and cake sales. Finally, we both had the great idea of working on a flyer to leave in local businesses we use to help promote the fundraising effort!

This successful fundraising to date has shown me that by being passionate about a cause, demonstrating a compelling reason to sponsor, the sky’s the limit for me!

Please read my story here: www.justgiving.com/hiltonlindo

5 ways to stave off colds this winter - flu vaccination

Posted on: October 18 2017

51.pngOur fifth and final blog this week in our series of how to stave off colds this winter is all about the flu vaccination...

It’s a controversial subject – should you or shouldn’t you have it? Flu vaccination is estimated to be effective in 17-53% of older adults compared to 70-90% of younger people.

But if you do decide to have the flu vaccination, a recent study conducted by Nottingham University has found that being in a good mood when you have your flu jab boosts its efficiency.

The team of scientists measured negative mood, positive mood, physical activity, diet and sleep three times a week over a six week period in a group of 138 older people due to have their flu jab. Then they examined how well the jab was working by measuring the amount of influenza antibody in the blood at four weeks and 16 weeks after the vaccination.

The results showed that of all of the factors measured, only positive mood over the six week observational period predicted how well the jab worked – with good mood associated with higher levels of antibody. In fact, when the researchers looked at influences on the day of vaccination itself, they found an even greater effect on how well it worked, accounting for between 8 and 14% of the variability in antibody levels.

If you would like information and support about anything we have covered this week, or would just like to chat, the MS-UK Helpline is here to help. Call us on 0800 783 0518, email us info@ms-uk.org or chat with us online at www.ms-uk.org/livewebchat.

5 ways to stave off colds this winter - number 4

Posted on: October 17 2017

5.pngNumber 4 in our list is relaxation...

The more stress and rundown we are, the more likely we are to contract a cold, so take some time to relax. It’s up to you how you do this, you might want to grab a quiet hour to read a book, take a long hot soak in the bath, try out some meditation techniques or simply go for a walk.

Meditation can be a little intimidating if you’ve never done it before, but there are lots of apps that can be downloaded to your phone or tablet device that can teach you how to do it correctly.

Headspace is a digital service that provides guided meditation sessions and mindfulness training. It offers a free trial to get you started and if you decide you like it you can sign up to get access to lots of other meditation programmes it has to offer. In April 2016, Headspace claimed to have over six million people using its app. Click here for more information.

Check back tomorrow for our fifth and final blog, all about the flu vaccination.

Ghoulishly great ideas!

Posted on: October 16 2017

halloween.jpgNeed some inspiration to take the fright out of fundraising? Check out our fangtastic top 5 ideas to get you in the spirit for Halloween!

  1. Fancy dress day

At work or at school, why not ask your friends to make a donation to come in for the day in their most freakishly thrilling costume?

  1. Jack-o’-Lantern competition

Traditional or contemporary, how you carve your pumpkin is up to you! You could ask people to pay to enter the competition, and ask a local shop to provide a prize?

  1. Thriller dance-a-thon

Could you dance the night away under the moonlight? Organise a sponsored dance-a-thon in aid of MS-UK. 

  1. Movie marathon

If you love horror films, then organising a movie marathon is a great way to fundraise at Halloween. Charge your guests a fee for coming along, and ask them to bid on which film to watch. Just don’t forget, he’s behind you! 

  1. Trick or treat bake sale

Everyone loves a devilishly good cake, so why not organise a bake sale at work or school? Charge a fee for your monster munch and donate the proceeds to MS-UK!

Order a fundraising pack by emailing Jenny or calling us on 01206 226500. We’re here to help!

Whatever you do this Halloween, stay safe and have fiendish fun!

Best wishes,

Jill and Jenny

The MS-UK fundraising team

Fundraiser of the Month: Sarah Harrison

Posted on: October 16 2017

sarah_crop.jpgOur fundraiser of the month for October is Sarah, who has supported MS-UK for years now and continues to do so! Read her story her, plus her top tips!

I’m Sarah from Derbyshire and I ran the Royal Parks Half Marathon in London for MS-UK.

I am a life-long ‘jogger’, although I have had a number of “career” breaks, I started running seriously again about 5 years ago which enabled me to slowly learn to love British weather, extra food and the views of the countryside (OK – so one of those was a lie!!) I have run a number of 10K, half-marathons, marathons (including London on an MS-UK charity entry) and Ironman 70.3s. I find the half-marathon distance is my preferred since they tend to be just long enough to enjoy a pub lunch afterwards. However, my racing ambitions seem mostly based on a principle (much like cake) of biting off more than I can chew.

With running – fun and enjoyment has always been my priority, I always felt that there was no such thing as a bad race just good stories. I loved the social nature of the running community and on some occasions even managed to perfect the skill of smiling for race photographers.

I like to follow a training plan which I think suits my lifestyle, however, my nearest and dearest will tell you that it actually takes over my entire life and I’ve continued through injuries on many occasions. Although, I guess I should be grateful for: being introduced to the joys of energy gels, an endurance runners best friend (once the stomach is trained!) that we are given 10 toe-nails for a reason… so that we can afford to lose a few and to appreciate that I now spend more money on a pair of trainers than a pair of high heels.

So why did I choose to run for MS-UK? Someone very close to me was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) which as you would imagine came as a huge shock to both them and our family, and although I’ve known of other people affected by the condition I now understand, in part, how this can impact someone’s life and those around them first hand and considering there is currently no cure my decision to run for MS-UK since 2013 was a “no-brainer” to ensure I could do my bit to raise as many funds as possible. I hope that my fundraising efforts not only raise money to provide dedicated support and information to anyone affected by MS but to also increase awareness of this life-changing condition.

Throughout my running experiences I have been truly overwhelmed by human kindness and generosity from friends, family, work colleagues, schools, gym clubs and strangers!! Which brings me to a great tip – when going out on your long runs wear your charity vest – on one occasion I saw a lady in her garden and asked if she would mind refilling my water bottle, when returning with my refill she gave me a donation of £5 and insisted that every time she saw me run past from thereon in another £5 donation would follow.

In closing – “eventually” I hear you cry! You need a good reason to get out of a warm bed and pound the streets for hours and I found that without doubt, a powerful motivating factor is the knowledge that I’m doing it for such a great cause and on race day it is with great pride I race as an ambassador for all those affected by MS.

My training tips…

  • Don’t skimp – buy good trainers and always have 2 pairs
  • Eat for tomorrow
  • If you don’t feel like training – aim to do 10 minutes and come home (I guarantee you’ll stay out for longer)
  • Choose a training plan to suit you but be prepared to be flexible (there are 100s on the internet)
  • Set yourself a bronze, silver and gold goal for race day (this way you’ll never be disappointed if things don’t go to plan)

My fundraising tips…

  • Set up an online giving page (it’s an absolute must!) and repost regularly
  • Start early
  • Don’t be afraid to be cheeky and ask, ask and ask again
  • Wear you charity vest at every opportunity
  • Tell people your golden goal – a lot will offer to double their pledge should you achieve it!

5 ways to stave off colds this winter - number 3

Posted on: October 13 2017

4_1.pngNumber 3 in our list is exercise...

Experts advise you not to exercise if you’re feeling under the weather, but when it comes to staving off colds exercise can act as a preventative.

Exercise can improve cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength, mobility, balance and coordination. It can also improve mood, increase energy levels and help with weight management.

Studies have shown that regular exercise will help prevent the common cold. In one study women who exercised regularly were found to have a 50% less risk of colds compared to those who don’t work out.

Check back tomorrow for our blog about relaxation!

In our latest issue of New Pathways, we look at strength training (page 18), pilates and MS (page 30) and our regular feature writer Ian Cook sceptically took on the gym (page 20). You can read these articles by subscribing to New Pathways on our website.

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