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Still got a Christmas collection box? Send in your donations today...

Posted on: February 08 2018

img_1714.jpgHi everyone,

December may feel like it was ages ago, but you may still have a MS-UK Christmas collection box at home and I wanted to let you know how you could send the money in to us before we close the appeal at the end of February!

Ways to donate

Cheque

Please make your cheque payable to MS-UK and send it to us in an envelope. Just write FREEPOST MS-UK on the front, you don’t need a stamp. Please remember to include your name and address with your donation so we are able to acknowledge your wonderful support for MS-UK.

Bank transfer

You can put a donation straight into our bank account if you want to. Please put in your name and state that the money is from a Christmas collection box, then email accounts@ms-uk.org once a payment has been made.

Our bank details are:
HSBC
Account Name: MS-UK
Account Number: 41623508
Sort Code: 40-23-10

Donate online

You can make a donation online using our website. Please state that the money is from a Christmas collection box.

Thank you so much! Every penny raised from our Christmas collection boxes helps us support even more people affected by multiple sclerosis (MS).

Best wishes,

Jenny

Jenny Poulter, Events Fundraiser

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!

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Guest blog: New Year ponderings

Posted on: January 04 2018

In her latest guest blog Joanne ponders on Christmas, multiple sclerosis (MS) and ‘me time’...

jo-blog-jan-500.jpgLike many of us, a #christmas #break was on my list but didn’t happen.

For the simple reason, there has been too much going on. The family has been battling bugs (which has made my #MS rubbish), many festivities with late nights, #travelling, #family politics and eating indulgent food. It has all had a toll. All adding up to putting my #writing on the back burner.

Many recent events can be put down to MS. My rubbish #walking (I’ve realised Prosecco doesn’t help, despite it tasting nice), #speech sounds like I’m drunk (I’m not but everyone assumes I’ve had a few!) #spilling drinks (more noticeable at this time of year when transporting from the kitchen to guests) breaking wine glasses which need clearing up (another sign that things aren’t right) and #forgetting important things like turning my Dad’s home upside down as I convinced myself that I’d lost my wedding rings (they were back at home). I’m also contending with lots of pain.

You can say I’m just a clumsy, forgetful cow and despite resting, I’ve probably pushed myself too much, resulting in the MonSter coming out.

Christmas has made me realise how real MS is. OK, so I knew MS was real. There has been lots of tears. Tears because I know this is my reality as I’m so frustrated. Like a well known sports brand “just do it” is what I want to be like, what I was previously to #multiplesclerosis but I can’t “just do it” because of this stupid disease. My body has given up. As that advert says, we are in that Christmas limbo period, when we’re probably having a break before new year. I’m sat in my pjs (it’s 4pm, hopefully no one is coming around), watching Christmas television on catch up and doing very little because I’m exhausted. I’m getting my break now.

So with a #newyear on the horizon, reflection in the air, what do I want differently for #2018:

Do the best you can

MS is a daily battle but remember you only have one shot at being you. Tears have come and gone. I will have good and bad days but doing the best I can is the only option.

Recharge

There’s no magic pill to pop for MS (I’ve been told take this or eat that). Nothing cures, it may help, who knows. Fatigue for me, feels like I’m swimming in thick chocolate (there is probably too much of it at this time of year!) Recharging doesn’t cure MS fatigue but helps. I wrote my tips for managing #fatigue as a mummy with MS for the #MSSociety. I said “MS is like having a battery that can’t be fully charged, so know your energy drainers, those things that just zap the life from you”. Christmas is an energy drainer. But I know next Christmas (or any big event) has to be different.

Don’t put pressure on yourself

In my past #writing, I’ve talked about this. I feel guilty for having no energy. I will continue to remind myself to cut some slack, especially as next year comes with more of little man’s milestones. I live with MS, that’s pressure enough.

Acceptance 

This links with the previous point. This year has been full of acceptance. I’ve had grab rails, a walking stick, Blue Badge and a EDSS scale of 6 ( I had to google too!) All physical reminders that I’m no superwoman (I probably wasn’t before MS although I thought I was!) Life might be tough but accept all help and adjustment. Anything for a better life.

More ‘me time’

This year, #stleonardsyork have been great giving me more “me time”. I’ve tried #arttherapy, #laughteryoga and various treatments like #reflexogy. With my weekly stint of #pilates, I will plan in more “me time” for next year. Everyone deserves it. This year, I’ve used writing as my therapy. I will continue to. Thank you to everyone who believes in me. All there is to say, is have a fab 2018. Let’s hope it’s full of love, health and happiness. And sod resolutions!

Jo

Merry Christmas!

Posted on: December 22 2017

amy-woolf-ceo-at-ms-uk.jpgHello,

We will now be closed until the new year, so I wanted to wish you all a very merry Christmas from all of us here at MS-UK.

In 2017 your support has been fantastic, so thank you!

I am looking forward to a bright 2018 as we celebrate our 25th anniversary of supporting people affected by multiple sclerosis.

We will be re-open at 9am on Tuesday 02 January 2018, so until then, Merry Christmas!

Amy sig

Amy Woolf

CEO

Guest blog: Festive fundraising!

Posted on: December 20 2017

3.jpgSarah is running the Virgin Money London Marathon for MS-UK. Here she tells of how she raised funds for her marathon fundraising by holding a mince pie and mulled wine afternoon...

I am so happy to be running the London Marathon for MS-UK. The reason that I am running for MS-UK is because my sister has multiple sclerosis. She was diagnosed over 10 years ago and she never seems to let it rule her even though I know some days she really does struggle but she won’t let it beat her. She truly does inspire me and when things are tough in my training I will think of her and it will really help keep me going. So, to get my fundraising started, I hosted a mulled wine and mince pie party at my home for my friends and family. The idea was that they would donate some money for the privilege. I thought it would be a great idea as Christmas is coming and what a fab reason to get together and raise some money whilst doing so.

2.jpgI also have a teddy which needs a name and a home for £1 entry. Everyone loved him/her and most definitely wanted to take it home. The draw will take place next week but has so far raised £26. I had also made a few bits of jewellery to sell which I made about £5. I also used the opportunity to sell some of my old Christmas decorations. These included Winnie the Pooh, Tigger and Piglet. These were in great condition but my children had out grown them, I got £7. It really was a really great afternoon and in total I raised £112.50.

Sarah

Visit Sarah's fundraising page on JustGiving

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Me and my lovely sister who has MS

 

Our Christmas opening hours...

Posted on: December 18 2017

We would like to wish you all a very merry Christmas on behalf of the whole MS-UK team!

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Over Christmas the MS-UK Helpline service will be closing from 1pm on Friday 22 December. This service will be up and running again at 9am on Tuesday 02 January.

Our local wellness centre for anyone affected by multiple sclerosis, Josephs Court will be open for some of the Christmas period. Our opening hours over Christmas are as follows:

Saturday 23 December, 10am – 4pm
Monday 25 – Tuesday 26 December closed
Wednesday 27 December, 10am – 2pm
Thursday 28 December closed
Friday 29 December, 10am – 2pm
Saturday 30 December, 10am – 4pm
Monday 01 January closed
Tuesday 02 January 9am – 5pm

We hope you have a lovely Christmas!

Guest blog: Christmas and MS

Posted on: December 14 2017

joanna-christmas-blog-small.jpgIn her latest guest blog Joanne writes about Christmas and multiple sclerosis (MS)...

Sorry it’s taken me so long to write. I’ve been battling bugs and the MonSter has come out with vengeance.

With Christmas only around the corner, I put my best foot forward (left if you’re asking!), grab my stick (I’ve realised it doesn’t work well in winter) put some lippy on and carry on Christmas starts in full swing. I may look like I’m in the Christmas spirit, but on the inside, my MS is bubbling away.

I’m secretly wanting peace and quiet.

I probably sound all bah hum bug as on the one hand, it is the most wonderful time of the year but it also feels like an assault course. Twinkly lights, the smell of evergreen, secret eating of cheap chocolate coins, knowing the big FC is coming soon and everyone running around like headless chickens.

Little man is still too young to fully understand but he does love Christmas like his mummy.

Christmas and MS don’t mix. MS is holding me back. I’ve had to scale back. What am I doing to make Christmas run as smoothly as possible:

Keep calm and carry on

Don’t stress out. With pressure to have this perfect Christmas, whatever perfect is, I try to ease the pressure by focusing on what’s important and remembering I live with MS, that’s pressure enough. Remember it’s only one day. Don’t over commit yourself. Do what’s right for you.

Rest

Tiring for all, but exhausting for you. There’s more travelling whether it’s seeing folks or going out and about. Food and drink topped with long days have their toll. Don’t ignore any vegging opportunities but plan rest. Like Christmas presents, MSers need our batteries charged too!

Cold

Blooming heck it is cold! It’s snowed recently, dark days and the heating is on full whack, so I’m feeling more tired, the cold is making my MS worse, getting out of a warm shower is my cryptonite and if someone sneezes, I’ll probably get the germs. Many things to contend with, so the girl guide in me is being even more prepared. I’ve bought supplements, wear lots of layers and my wheat toy monkey is on standby for placing on my MS mad hands or warming me up. Plus little man thinks it’s funny seeing him spin round in the microwave.

Focus 

I can’t write, so no card writing. Annoying but probably a blessing. I try to focus on what’s important, rather than what I can’t do. Charities get my card money instead of the card manufacturers. I insist on hubby having time to help, whether it is present wrapping or shopping. Instead of list writing, I use the internet to save all my gift ideas and finally shop. It also helps with requests for buying for little man.

Magic

Christmas is about many things, for me, it’s also about random acts of kindness.

When little man saw the big man, the kind staff made it easier for me. Obviously you’d like it to be magical (and value for money) but I was also thinking about me. Not judging my mobility, was the cherry on the cake.

Recently I emailed ahead to get a table at a local bar. The bar reserved the table, so I could sit and enjoy drinks with ease. My friends have cooked meals and brought as a surprise. Many acts of random kindness. Before I wanted handbags or shoes, now I dream of kindness ( I still have the bag and shoes, although make them lovely flat ones!) So as the saying goes, I hope this isn’t just for Christmas.

So whatever your Christmas brings, let’s hope it’s happy, merry and kind. Remember kindness costs nothing (not like a drone at £500!)

Health and happiness to all.

Happy Christmas!

It's your last chance to order a collection box before Christmas!

Posted on: December 05 2017

img_1712.jpgWant to support MS-UK this Christmas? Grab a festive collection box today! Just email Jenny or call 01206 226500! Here are 5 festive fundraising ideas to help you fill it up...

  1. Host a Christmas jumble sale at your local village hall! Do you like to de-clutter in the approach to a new year? Ask your local village hall for permission to host a jumble sale, gather together some friends and family and take part in some festive flogging to raise money for MS-UK
  2. Are you gifted in the gift-wrapping department? Offer up your gift-wrapping services this Christmas and wrap gifts in exchange for a donation. You could even ask your local department store to let you set up a giftwrapping stall, if you provide paper and gift tags. Some happy shoppers will be elated to avoid their last-minute Christmas eve elf imitations!
  3. Water or Wine? Wrap up lots of empty wine bottles filled with water and a few still full of wine in Christmas wrapping paper. Take them to your work Christmas party and charge punters £1 per pinot-shaped parcel. This liquor lottery should raise a few pounds for MS-UK whilst making some party-goers very happy!
  4. Are you part of a musical ensemble or choir? Raise vital funds for MS-UK this Christmas by staging a small carol concert or musical performance at your local Church, pub or shopping precinct. We're even hosting our own concert this year in Essex! You can order tickets online today for the MS-UK carol concert!
  5. Host a bauble-fuelled bake sale. Bake some Christmas cakes and cookies with a group of friends and host a bake sale from your own home. Invite friends and family for some tea and cake and true to festive spirit you'll be helping others in your efforts. You may even have some left to leave out for Santa on Christmas Eve :)

To receive your own fundraising pack and collection box in time for the Christmas period email Jenny or call 01206 226500!

Last chance to join the Santa Run!

Posted on: November 27 2017

sr-4.pngHo-ho-hello!

Here at MS-UK we are gearing up to attend in our first Santa Run! The event takes place at Victoria Park on 03 December. Our fantastic runners will be joining 4,000 other Santa’s completing a 5k or 10k distance by walking, running or jogging in a Santa suit. The event organisers are also holding a fancy dress competition so it will be interesting to see what other festive friends will be on the course!

Once our team members have collected their medals, they will be joining us for a mini festive picnic as a thank you from us. There will be other festive entertainment to enjoy after the event including carol singers and a Christmas market. Something for all the family to enjoy!

We have just a few places left for this cracker of an event, so email me today or give me a call on 01206 226500 to grab a place! It’s £25 to register, and £100.00 minimum sponsorship commitment. Children over the age of 8 can enter too for a £10 registration fee. You can run, jog, walk, wheel the course, and you can also bring the dog! The course is fully accessible so anyone can join our team!

Yule be sad to miss it!

Jenny

Jenny Poulter, Events Fundraiser

12 days of Christmas fundraising!

Posted on: November 10 2017

12-days-image.jpgThe MS-UK fundraising team are being busy little Christmas elves organising all the fun events for the festive season! Here are our ‘12 Days of Christmas’ fun ideas to support MS-UK in the run up to Christmas…

  1. Guess the candy canes in a jar. Charge £1 per go. You could use any seasonal treat or to make it harder by using dried fruit!
  2. Festive hat day! Why not get your colleagues involved and get them to have a wear a festive hat day at your place of work for a contribution to MS-UK? Other Christmas clothing could be an alternative.
  3. Name the Christmas toy. £1 a go. Choose a name from a list (we can provide one). When all the names have been chosen put the names in a (Santa) hat and film the person picking out the winning name!
  4. Give a gift online. Why not donate to MS-UK instead of sending Christmas cards this year?
  5. Christmas swear jars. Ban a particular Christmas word and if a colleague/family member is heard saying it they have to put a ‘fine’ into the jar.
  6. Christmas craft party. Charge an entry fee, and lead them to create a design. Supply some nibbles and a drink, and you’ll have a fab night.
  7. Christmas beard competition. Challenge your male friends to grow a Santa beards in return for donations.
  8. Card creations. Make your own festive Christmas cards this year and sell them to your friends in aid of MS-UK.
  9. Host a Christmas dinner party! Rather than having your annual Christmas get together with your friends at a bar or restaurant, get your pals to follow a ‘pay as you feel’ policy and cook them a festive feast at home! Donate the proceeds (if there are any, depending on your culinary abilities) to MS-UK!
  10. Get quizzing! Approach your local pub and see if they would be interested in hosting a Christmas quiz night for you. Charge per participant or by team to enter. You could even see if they will donate a prize to the winning team like a case of wine.
  11. Bake. Everybody likes cake, and now is the perfect excuse to have a slice. Why not take some festive cakes into your place of work, hold a stall at your childrens school Christmas bazaar or take along to a social group you attend. Get friends and family to join in too, the more the merrier!
  12. Sing, sing, sing! Love to sing? Why not create your own festive jukebox? Get friends and family to donate for you to sing their favourite Christmas song. You could even charge for extras such as wearing fancy dress or doing a duet. Film yourself doing them and share on social media with a link to your online fundraising page!

Order a fundraising pack today and you'll get a free Christmas collection box! Email Jenny or call 01206 226500. Remember... Every penny you raise helps MS-UK support even more people affected by multiple sclerosis (MS). We wouldn't be here without you - thank you!  

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