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Pins for Pounds

Posted on: February 21 2018

vlm-e-news-image1-2.jpgThis year is very special for MS-UK as we celebrate our 25th anniversary of supporting people affected by multiple sclerosis! So, how can you get involved? Well, you could be the proud owner of one of our limited edition anniversary pin badges! In 2018, we have a limited edition 25th anniversary pin badge especially for anyone who raises or donates £25 or more in aid of MS-UK! Whether you love getting active or prefer a cuppa and cake, fundraising for MS-UK is as much fun as you make it! Ways to support MS-UK…

Whatever you decide to do, we’re here to support you all the way. Contact the fundraising team using our online form. And good luck! Jill Jill Purcell, Fundraising Manager  

A big thank you to Colchester Marks & Spencer!

Posted on: January 08 2018

two.jpgWay back in August 2017 we published a blog all about Colchester Marks & Spencer announcing that MS-UK was their charity of the year, so we wanted to update you!

Colchester Marks & Spencer ended the year with a great finale of fundraising events for us. In December they organised for volunteers and MS-UK to take part in some festive bag packing, and local singing groups The Harmonettes and CO2 theatre group performed for the three weeks in a row in store to get shoppers in the Christmas spirit!

It was great to see how happy customers were for having help with packing their food shopping and gifts, and the singing groups enjoyed entertaining the crowds with Christmas tunes. Over those three weeks, a grand total of £839.06 was collected by M&S in aid of MS-UK – which is absolutely fantastic!

We would love to say a huge thank you to our volunteers, The Harmonettes and CO2 theatre group for giving up their time to raise vital funds for MS-UK. Every penny raised by Colchester Marks & Spencer throughout 2017 will help us continue our work supporting anyone affected by multiple sclerosis (MS), which is a disease of the central nervous system.

Approximately 100,000 people in the UK have multiple sclerosis and MS is usually diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 40. MS-UK is dedicated to empowering people affected by multiple sclerosis to make the most of today, and live life to the full, so a really huge thank you to Colchester Marks & Spencer for supporting us to make this possible!


We're celebrating #givingtuesday!

Posted on: November 28 2017

Hi everyone,


Today’s the day to do good stuff for charity!

Every year businesses and charities support the #givingtuesday campaign and it’s a day dedicated to doing good stuff for charity. Last year #givingtuesday broke a Guinness World Record for the most online donations in 24 hours, as people gave away $48 million to good causes globally. The UK was the second biggest contributor to this amount.

So, how can you get involved? A simple way to make a difference on #givingtuesday is to make a donation to MS-UK. We’re here to support anyone affected by multiple sclerosis, and your donation helps us ensure nobody faces this condition alone.

Another way to do good stuff is to sign up as a volunteer. We have lots of easy, fun ways to get involved with our work throughout the year, whether it’s supporting a bucket collection or cheering on runners at a national event. Just email me to find out more about volunteering!

Of course we couldn’t let today go by without doing good stuff ourselves, so we’re off to our local Waitrose store to help shoppers pack their bags. Keep an eye on our Twitter feed for photos!

Whatever you do today to celebrate #givingtuesday, I hope you have a wonderful day and enjoy being part of this global movement!

Best wishes,


Jill Purcell, Fundraising Manager

Colchester M&S choose MS-UK as charity of the year!

Posted on: August 07 2017

MS-UK were over the moon to receive a phone call back in March from Marks & Spencer Colchester saying that we had been selected as their charity of the year for 2017/18. Each year the store raises approximately £4,000 for good causes!


Staff nominate local good causes and a vote is cast to decide which charity the store is set to support. Staff picked MS-UK to show support for one of their store managers who is living with multiple sclerosis (MS) and coupled with the fact that MS-UK is local to Colchester – it was a clear winner!

Patrick Ablett and Zowie Guymer came to visit MS-UK to see first hand the services we provide to anyone affected by multiple sclerosis.

Patrick said, ‘I wish I had known about MS-UK when I had first been diagnosed, I had so many questions going through my mind. Seeing the centre for the first time gave me some light at the end of the tunnel, what a great team.’

MS-UK is a small national charity who supports anyone affected by MS. Locally Josephs Court, our wellness centre, offers specialised equipment which enables people living with MS to benefit from a tailored exercise programme which focuses on individual’s specific needs. The centre is much more than a gym, it provides a supportive environment for people living with MS who are facing similar challenges as well as being a great social hub too.

MS-UK also provides a helpline and publishes a magazine called New Pathways, both of which are available to anyone affected by MS. We support people emotionally and provide our clients with the information they need to make choices that are right for them so they can live life to the full.

Marks & Spencer Colchester will be raising money for MS-UK by having collection tins at the till points throughout the year as well as hosting a range of events and they have already raised over £500!

This Saturday there was a sponsored cycle in store, and a team of Marks & Spencer staff cycled their hearts out to raise awareness for the charity and raised over £560!

Staff and volunteers from MS-UK also joined in by offering shoppers a bag packing service in return for a small donation.

Jill Purcell, Fundraising Manager at MS-UK says ‘We are delighted to be working with Marks & Spencer Colchester. It’s fantastic to raise awareness of our brilliant charity locally as well as raising vital funds. MS-UK does not receive any government or pharmaceutical funding and we rely solely on our supporters to deliver our vital services to anyone affected by MS.’

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

2016 bag pack done!!!

Posted on: December 13 2016

photo-1-9.jpgOver the weekend of Saturday 10 – 11 December a group of willing volunteers all made their way to the local Marks and Spencer store to help the customers pack their shopping bags!

We all had a fantastic time and this was our way of taking part in the MS-UK Festive Frolic campaign. Holding a bag pack is so easy to do and I would recommend it to anyone! To find out more do get in touch with Nick today.

We arrived early and were all ready to start packing. Everyone choose their till and made each customer feel welcome.

Unfortunately the till I had chosen kept breaking which meant I was packing the same person’s bag for 15 minutes, but least we got to have a fun conversation. I can honestly say that by the end of the day my bag packing skills had vastly improved.

All the staff at M&S were so welcoming and made our day more enjoyable. Over the whole weekend the very generous customers donated a whooping £1,012.78. This is awesome and we cannot thank the amazing shoppers enough for their generosity!


Nick, Jeanette, Sarah and Hannah helping out at the bag pack!

This weekend couldn’t have happened without the brilliant volunteers we had over both of the days. A massive thank you must go out to M&S who helped organise the weekend with us. We are already looking forward to next years bag packing, it is a great day out and you get to meet loads of interesting people.

From the much improved bag packing king, we look forward to seeing you all at a bag pack again soon!!!


Mark Drain

Community and Events Fundraiser

Thank you for supporting us on #GivingTuesday!

Posted on: November 30 2016

Hi everyone,

Well, yesterday was great! We greeted commuters with a smile at our local train station, and then headed to our local Waitrose to help shoppers pack their bags. Doing good stuff is a lot of fun!


A massive thank you to everyone who supported MS-UK on #GivingTuesday – we had an amazing time out and about in our local community, but also on our Facebookpage and on our Twitter page, engaging with other charities and spreading a positive message.

20161129_103303.jpgWe are proud to have been featured on the #GivingTuesday website too, so a big thank you to the national campaign for making yesterday so memorable!

Of course, you can still donate to MS-UK on the Virgin Money Giving website.

Thank you again!

Now, we better get planning for 2017!

Best wishes,

Tracy signature

Tracy Wellsted

Head of Fundraising

It's Giving Tuesday!

Posted on: November 29 2016


Today is a national day of doing good stuff, known as Giving Tuesday, and MS-UK is out and about in our local community to celebrate!

This morning we greeted commuters at Colchester North train station, and this afternoon we’re at our local Waitrose store (St Andrews Avenue) helping shoppers pack their bags – so come say hello!

You can make a difference this #GivingTuesday by making a donation to MS-UK. 

Thank you!

M&S bag pack

Posted on: November 09 2016

photo-1-9.jpgOur M&S back pack was such a success last year that I’ve had no choice but to organise one again and keep the festive fun going for another year!

With help from our lovely volunteers and the amazing shoppers of M&S we managed to raise over £1200 in a weekend!

This year we will be holding the bag pack at the Colchester M&S store on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 December.

We love going out into the community and meeting such fabulous people. Last year I remember speaking to loads of different people who actually enjoyed watching me pack their shopping bag, even if I didn’t…! All the volunteers seemed to get the hang of packing quicker than I did and they all had a great time!

This bag packing weekend in December could not run without our special volunteersand again I am looking for some more sparkling volunteers to help out on both Saturday afternoon and Sunday to make the day run as smoothly as possible. Even if you can only spare a couple of hours that would be fantastic as the more volunteers we get, the more bags we can pack and help the M&S customers to enjoy their shopping even more!

To find out what times are available please contact me. I am looking forward once again to the weekend and I hope you are too!

Your bag packing king!


What is a Festive Frolic?

Posted on: October 21 2016

Hi everyone,

You may be wondering what exactly a Festive Frolic is? Well, it can be one of three things…

  1. You can organise a bag pack at your local supermarket
  2. You can organise a bucket collection at your local supermarket or in your high street
  3. You can do your own thing! Perhaps a party for close friends, or even a cuppa and cake with your colleagues?

Whatever you decide to do, if you register before 31 October you’ll get a free goody bag from us to get you started…which includes the lovely Myles, our MS-UK mascot!


Good luck, and do get in touch if you have any questions! Email me at or give me a call on 01206 226500!


Fundraising Administrator


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