Skip to main content

MS-UK supports the next generation of occupational therapy students

Posted on: April 05 2018

MS-UK’s Head of Services Diana Crowe and Centre Manager Dean Jeffreys inspire The University of Essex occupational therapy students

MS-UK’s Wellness Centre, Josephs Court works closely with the University of Essex to support occupational therapy students (OTS) by providing role-emerging placements while they train. 

Each year the Josephs Court team is invited to speak at a symposium with the new OT recruits about role-emerging placements at its Wellness Centre in Colchester, Essex and increase their knowledge of multiple sclerosis (MS). 

Diana Crowe, Head of Services, said: ‘We took the opportunity to promote all of our services, but focused on what we deliver at Josephs Court, such as the exercise equipment and the benefits this brings to clients.’

‘There was good interaction and we were asked about the social activities we provide, so we discussed the MS-UK Social Group in Colchester, which has regular coffee mornings and other events such as bingo!’

‘Due to recent headline news regarding HSTC there was an interest in how this treatment could impact on us as a charity and our clients. Just like everyone else we will have to wait and see how the treatment develops, but we will continue to support people with MS for as long as they need us.’

‘We split into groups, which gave us a chance to speak in more detail with some of the students,’ explains Dean Jeffreys, Centre Manager. ‘The students were interested to know about APS Therapy, how we link up with other services and how politics impacts on our strategy.’

Speakers from St Helena’s Hospice spoke about its gardening project for those at the end of life and Craig, from Pots the Soldier, spoke about his post-traumatic stress diagnosis after leaving the army and how he found a love of pottery thanks to the support of OTs – very inspirational!

‘It was great to see the students so interested in the work MS-UK does and we hope to continue to work with Essex University over the coming years. Who knows one day we may have our own MS-UK Occupational Therapist,’ adds Diana.

 

Colchester Half Marathon runners raise awareness of multiple sclerosis

Posted on: March 30 2018

On Sunday 25 March, nearly 3,000 runners took to the streets of Colchester in Essex to complete the Colchester Half Marathon. The day promised an ‘amazing mass-participation event bringing together local runners, businesses and the community’. It didn’t disappoint. With lots of excitement the runners set off at 9am sharp!

Taking part in the race and running especially for MS-UK were occupational therapy masters students from the University of Essex, Tess, Claire and Lauren. Lauren and Claire both have personal experience with multiple sclerosis (MS).

Commenting before the race, Claire said: ‘My neighbour was diagnosed three years ago and it has driven me to fundraise for this charity, I know it will make him proud.’

Photo of Purple Paddy's before the half marathon

Neil Dulieu, a Teaching Assistant at Mersea Island School, has been running semi-seriously for around five years. His wife Amanda has secondary progressive MS and he took part in this year’s Colchester Half Marathon as part of his bigger fundraising plans.

Neil explained: ‘At the end of last year I decided I really wanted to set myself a challenge for 2018 to raise money for MS. 2018km in 2018 just came to me one night, the numbers worked well, it equated to averaging a full marathon distance every week and meant I could start on 1st January and incredibly finish the challenge on my birthday, 1st December. I tend to run most days before or after school and then often run the Colchester or Mersea Park Runs on a Saturday morning to finish my week off (with one rest day on a Sunday).’

The chosen charity partners for this year’s Colchester Half Marathon were Essex & Herts Air Ambulance who will receive 75% of the proceeds and MS-UK who will receive 25%.

Jill Purcell, Fundraising Manager from MS-UK said: ‘It was great to see the turn out on Sunday and the atmosphere was buzzing. We had Myles the MS-UK mascot dancing away and spurring everyone on, as well as volunteers at water stations, marshalling and in the stadium supporting all of the runners.

‘We at MS-UK are so proud of everyone who took part and would like to thank you all for your time, dedication and effort in raising money for people with MS. The charity relies on the generous support of our fundraisers to make our work possible, and we’re delighted that we’ll be able to continue supporting people affected by multiple sclerosis.’

To see all of the great pictures taken on the day, visit the MS-UK Facebook page. Don’t forget to ‘like’ and ‘follow’ our page while you’re there!

Based in Essex? Volunteer on your doorstep!

Posted on: February 22 2018

vlm-e-news-image1-6.jpgHello, The Colchester Half Marathon will be taking place on Sunday 25 March and MS-UK has been chosen as one of the charities to benefit from the funds raised from the event! We are really excited to be part of the big day, and I would like to invite you to join us! You could volunteer to be a marshal, help us cheer our hearts out at our water station or come along to Weston Homes Community Stadium to greet runners with a smile and good luck before the race begins. It is a truly brilliant day, and cheering on #TeamPurple is really rewarding.

Ben, who volunteered with MS-UK at last year's Colchester Half Marathon, says... ‘I have been volunteering at events with MS-UK for a while, but Colchester Half Marathon is right on my doorstep so last year I joined the MS-UK team who set up at the water station at mile 11. The atmosphere was buzzing! The runners really need a final boost near the end of the race, and I felt really proud to be part of the MS-UK cheer squad who gave them that – many runners also gave us a round of applause, which was brilliant!’

So if you, your friends and family want be part of a day to remember please get in touch! You can email Catherine or call us on 01206 226500. Here's to another fantastic event on our doorstep! Jill Jill Purcell, Fundraising Manager

Meet the counselling team!

Posted on: January 12 2018

In October last year, we launched MS-UK Counselling, a brand new service for people living with multiple sclerosis (MS). We were delighted to welcome Nileema to the team as our Counselling Coordinator, and in December Jonathan and Wendy joined the team. We are all BACP registered or accredited, have many years of counselling experience and are trained in working with people with MS. So we think it’s time you get to know the latest additions to our team!

nileema-blog.pngHi, I’m Nileema. My interest in counselling started when I first had counselling myself over twenty years ago. I saw the massive difference that counselling made to my life and felt inspired to train as a counsellor many years later. I have found that no matter what the problem, there is a space for it in counselling. I have worked with individual and couple clients. I also provide training and clinical supervision to counsellors. I was really excited to join MS-UK in September 2017 to lead this exciting new service. My role is to run the service, carry out assessments with clients, ensure that we are legally compliant and work to high ethical standards, as well as provide counselling.

jonathan-blog.pngHi, my name is Jonathan. I decided to train as a counsellor after appreciating the importance subjectivity plays in our lives, and the uniqueness this holds when attempting to understand our circumstances. I am an integrative counsellor and have particular interest in the role that attachments play in our lives. One of the principles I strive to offer is autonomy, which is the respect for the client’s right to be self-governing. My intention is to offer choice to the best of my abilities, and aim to reflect this through a discussion of your expectations during our work together.

wendy-blog1.pngHi, my name is Wendy. I used to work as a learning support teacher and I became aware at the time of how children and their families needed additional support through counselling. I am a qualified person-centred counsellor here at MS-UK. I am really keen to support clients by helping them understand themselves in light of their MS. I have experienced the value that counselling can offer each individual through my own personal circumstances. As a team, we are proud to be offering the only counselling service of its kind across the UK. We believe that by listening to people affected by MS, we can shape a great service and offer something that people need and want.

If you feel you may benefit from counselling, visit our website to download the client registration form, or you can call us on 01206 226500 or email us.

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!

one1.jpg

New year, new you?

Posted on: January 05 2018

blog-graphic-050118.jpgHi everyone, 

It’s that time of year again when the resolutions begin piling up and before you know it you have given up chocolate! Well, we don’t want to ask you to do something as drastic as that, but we would love it if you’d support MS-UK as we celebrate our 25th anniversary!

If health and fitness is your thing, why not join one of our fantastic events happening in 2018…

Colchester Half Marathon

MS-UK is based in Colchester, Essex so this one is right on our doorstep, and there’s still time to join the race! 2018 is a very special year for us too, as MS-UK will be charity partners for the Colchester Half Marathon on Sunday 25 March.

Apply today on the Colchester Half Marathon website.

British 10k

Join 25,000 pairs of feet as they pound the streets of one of the world’s most iconic capital cities on Sunday 15 July.

Apply today on our website.

Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100
On Sunday 29 July the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 will start in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park before finishing on The Mall in central London.

Apply today on our website.

I would love to welcome you to #TeamPurple, so do check out our website for lots more fundraising ideas. Whatever you do in 2018, we all wish you lots of luck!

Best wishes,

Jenny

Events Fundraiser, MS-UK

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!

img_1690.jpg

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!

Rushmere Golf Club scores a hole in one for MS-UK

Posted on: November 21 2017

img_0514.jpgMy 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

Darren Fuller, Community Fundraiser

Guest blog: Making the most of your work experience

Posted on: November 17 2017

florence-work-experience-nov.jpgHi, My name is Florence, and I have recently embarked upon what will hopefully be just the beginning of my MS-UK volunteering journey. After a few tumultuous months of post-uni panic I decided I was ready to start gaining some valuable vocational experience in the marketing department of a local charity. From various internships and volunteering posts which I have enjoyed in the past I made the decision that the marketing path was the most suitable direction for me to take in the charity sector. The MS-UK marketing department has provided the perfect environment for me to pick up key skills and techniques necessary for success in the charity marketing world. I wanted to share a few top tips which have helped me to ensure that I have gained a wealth of knowledge and experience from my limited time here at MS-UK…

  1. ASK QUESTIONS! - This is without doubt the most important part of utilising your learning opportunity to the best of your ability! Nobody expects you to have all the answers as you’re quivering with feelings of inadequacy at your far-too-fancy desk. Take your colleagues seriously when they give you the ‘if you’ve got any questions just give me a shout’ spiel. Every question I’ve asked at MS-UK has been answered with a smile, and I’d still be stuck on my first task if I hadn’t plucked up the courage to admit I was somewhat clueless about the best way to make a merry poster for our Christmas fundraising appeal
  2. Find your niche - Make sure your team provide you with a wide variety of tasks to complete during your placement. Ensure you have at least one of your own personal projects to work on, however big or small, so that you have work to be proud of and claim as your own when discussing the value of your experience in future. However, don’t allow yourself to be caught up in one minute area of the job. Experiencing an assortment of aspects to the role will enable you to find your niche and understand yourself as an employee. If you work out which tasks you’re good at you can establish an understanding of the type of role you may excel in in the future and tailor your job search to these realisations
  3. Strengths and weaknesses of the company itself - Work out what sort of organisation is best suited to your needs. You may find that you rely upon a strict sense of routine, therefore a ‘flexible working hours’ policy is definitely not for you. Others may thrive in an environment where they can mix up their working pattern on a daily basis. Getting to know which aspects of the organisation you’re working for are tailored to your attributes will really aid your understanding of what it is YOU want from your workplace, as well as what THEY want from you

Find out more about MS-UK and meet our team on our website!  

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

Pages

Live Chat Software by Click4Assistance UK