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
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.
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 email@example.com once a payment has been made.
Our bank details are:
Account Name: MS-UK
Account Number: 41623508
Sort Code: 40-23-10
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).
Jenny Poulter, Events Fundraiser
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!
In her latest guest blog Joanne ponders on Christmas, multiple sclerosis (MS) and ‘me time’...
Like 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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
Sarah 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.
I 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.
We would like to wish you all a very merry Christmas on behalf of the whole MS-UK team!
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!
In 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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
To receive your own fundraising pack and collection box in time for the Christmas period email Jenny or call 01206 226500!
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 Poulter, Events Fundraiser
The 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…
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!