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!
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.’
Guests included people who support our work at Josephs Court, fundraising volunteers as well as some of our Trustees! It was a great afternoon, with plenty of cake - all supplied by the Colchester branch of Marks & Spencer, who have nominated us as charity of the year - thank you!
It always amazes us how many people contribute to our work...we simply couldn't be the charity we are today without the hard work and dedication of our volunteers. You can view our afternoon tea party photos on Facebook now.
Best wishes, Jill and Sarah Fundraising Manager and General Manager
Over 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!
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!!!
Community and Events Fundraiser