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!
My name is Darren, and I’ve recently joined MS-UK as the Community Fundraiser. As a golfer, I was thrilled to hear about my first task – visiting Richard at Rushmere Golf Club!
During Richard Ford’s tenure as club captain of Rushmere Golf Club in the past year, he chose MS-UK as his captain’s charity of the year. On 14 November I went along to be presented with the cheque from Richard at Rushmere Golf Club.
Richard’s sister-in-law Julie lives with multiple sclerosis (MS) and uses the facilities of Josephs Court, the MS-UK wellness centre based in Colchester. One of the many pieces of equipment in Josephs Court is an FES bike (functional electrical stimulation bike). Julie has used the FES bike and seen first-hand the benefits of it for people who live with MS.
The FES bike currently used is now approaching 20 years old and needs replacing so the FES Appeal was launched earlier this year to raise the £22,500 needed to purchase a new one!
During Richards’s time as club captain, himself and the other members of Rushmere Golf Club raised £2,295 which is a fantastic! This contribution will go to our FES Appeal, and has now put the appeal total well over a third of the way there.
I want to say a big thank you to Richard, the club and everyone who has raised this money towards our FES Appeal!
Darren Fuller, Community Fundraiser
During the event our runners heard from us about the next steps in the lead up to Virgin Money London Marathon and we shared some top fundraising ideas.
We also had some guest speakers! Our first speaker was John Trory who has been supporting MS-UK for 18 years. John spoke about his running experiences, the highs and the lows. This will be his 45th marathon in 2018!
Next up was Jessica Armstrong who as well as running for MS-UK is a sports therapist professionally. Jessica shared some top tips about stretches for warm up and cool down as well as doing some live strengthening exercises.
We then heard from Sheena Watts who ran her first marathon last year. During Sheena’s inspirational talk she said if she can do a marathon anyone can and was full of top tips for surviving a first marathon!
The finale was led by father and son team Chris and John Bradshaw. Chris ran his first marathon for MS-UK in 2017 and in 2018 he will be running along with his dad who will be 61 years old. Chris and John were full of great advice and showed a very entertaining video which they had put together. Chris’s favourite running regime is to run at 5am which energises him for the day and he starts the day raring to go!
The biggest tip that came across during the evening was pick a training plan that works for you, the warm ups and cool downs are as important as the training to prevent injury and preparation is key!
Thanks again to Tijmen Wigchert and CBW for hosting the event for us and providing the refreshments.
Our brilliant Virgin Money London Marathon team help us continue our work supporting people affected by multiple sclerosis, and it was amazing to see so many before the big day arrives in 2018!
Jill Purcell, Fundraising Manager
Last week I went along to meet the team from CBW with Jenny, our Events Fundraiser.
In September, Tijmen Wigchert from CBW starred as our Fundraiser of the Month (read his blog here). He is taking on the Virgin Money London Marathon in 2018, and he put MS-UK forward to his employer to as Charity of the Year.
Established in 1957, CBW is an award winning accountancy firm based in London, in the city. Last week 40 members of the CBW team from across all departments of the business gave up their lunch hour to enjoy a pizza with us and learn all about the work we do supporting people affected by multiple sclerosis.
It was great to hear about their fundraising ideas to support us…a team of Directors will be taking on the Three Peaks Challenge and the whole company is thinking of creating a cookbook of recipes from around the world to reflect the diversity of their team and raise money for MS-UK!
I would like to say a big thank you to CBW for choosing MS-UK as their Charity of the Year, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds!
Want to get your company involved?
If you would like to make MS-UK your Charity of the Year, please do get in touch! You can call me on 01206 226500 or email me at email@example.com. To find out more about the business benefits, take a look at our website.
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.
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.’
I am delighted to announce that MS-UK are charity partners for the Colchester Half Marathon in 2018 and 2019….delighted?, not half!
When we received the wonderful news from the Colchester Half Marathon race organisers that MS-UK had been selected as charity partners for 2018 and 2019 a loud cheer resonated around the office. Next year’s race has been set for Sunday March 25 2018 so grab your diary, pencil it in and get involved!
MS-UK has supported this event for many years by manning the water station at mile 11 so lots of our staff and volunteers have enjoyed being a part of this event for many years. To be charity partners for the next two years is amazing news. It’s such a well-established local event which thousands of people enjoy taking part in whilst supporting local charities. The partnership holds many opportunities for MS-UK. Firstly it enables us to increase the awareness of our charity and the services we provide to support people living with multiple sclerosis.
Although we are a national charity we have Josephs Court which is our wellness centre supporting local people living with MS.
Most of our clients visit Josephs Court on a weekly basis and receive one to one support from our professional Wellness Coaches who focus on the individual’s exercise needs and goals. We see around 180 clients a month and as well as the physical benefits they achieve through their specific exercise programme our clients gain a huge amount socially from coming to Josephs Court. We hope that the awareness we can raise through the Colchester Half Marathon will encourage local businesses and the community to find out more about our work and become involved.
Secondly we will benefit from the much needed donations from the event. MS-UK does not receive government or pharmaceutical funding to run its vital services. We rely on the generous support of our fundraisers and by taking part in events such as the Virgin Money London Marathon and Prudential RideLondon.
This will be a brilliant addition to our income for the next two years which will enable us to reach more people affected by MS. In 2018 we will be working alongside Essex & Herts Air Ambulance who were charity partners for the Colchester Half Marathon last year. We are looking forward to working with their team and supporting the race organisers with volunteer recruitment and developing our relationship with another brilliant local charity.
MS-UK are hoping for a large team of runners for this event so if you would like to run and raise additional funds for us we’d be delighted to have you on the team! We will of course support you all the way to achieving your running and fundraising goals.
Registrations are now open on the Colchester Half Marathon website!
If running is not for you but you would like to be involved please contact me to find out more about the volunteering roles available. We need approximately 200 volunteers to make the event a success and keep up to 4,000 runners that will enter the race safe.
For more information on running as part of team MS-UK or volunteering at the event please email me today.
A big thank you to Colchester Half Marathon for choosing MS-UK as their charity partner, and here’s to an amazing race!
Jill Purcell, Fundraising Manager
We wanted to let you all know about an opportunity for MS-UK that we didn’t want to miss!
We are hoping to be TSB Colchester’s charity of the year, and this is where we need your help. Selections will be made on how many nominations the charity gets from the public. Please take a moment for vote for us and ask friends and family to vote too!
Some information that may be useful for the form:
The nominations close at 5pm on Tuesday 30 May.
Thank you for your help!
The fundraising team at MS-UK