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Guest blog: Laura's reasons for running a marathon...

Posted on: December 14 2018

In this guest blog, Laura Stokes tells us all about why she's set herself the mighty challenge of running the Virgin Money London Marathon in aid of MS-UK in 2019...Photo of Laura, MS-UK fundraiser

My name is Laura and I am delighted to have been given a spot in the London Marathon in aid of MS-UK. I decided to run for MS-UK to raise awareness and funds for all those that are affected by multiple sclerosis (MS), including myself. 

Since being diagnosed earlier this year, it has really motivated me to challenge myself and I thought that the London Marathon was the perfect way to do this. I must admit, the thought of raising a minimum of £2,000 was very daunting at first however with the help of my family and friends, I was able to come up with some great ideas in order to raise as much money for the charity as possible. 

Even though I still have plenty of time before the marathon, I am the type of person who cannot relax until I am meeting targets or seeing results so I wanted to begin my fundraising as soon as possible so that I had less pressure on myself close to the run and so that I had enough time to enjoy every minute of raising money and also training.

Photo of cakes from Laura's fundraiserI have recently hosted a coffee morning at my house which initially I thought would hopefully raise about £300. I got together with my family and friends who all pulled together to create a raffle, lucky dip, a treasure hunt and not forgetting the most important part...making cakes!

I managed to create some leaflets which I posted through neighbors doors and spread the word to as many people as possible. 

When the day came, I was astonished with the amount of people who attended to support me and help me raise donations. It was a very enjoyable and successful day which left me feeling very humbled by everyones generosity.

I managed to raise an amazing £1,200 with donations still flooding in even after the event!

It has left me feeling very excited to come up with even more fundraising ideas and I am so pleased that I have been able to raise that amount of money just a few months after I was given my sport with the MS-UK team.

Inspired by Laura's story? 

You can find out more about fundraising in aid of MS-UK by getting in touch with our team today using our online form!

 

Fundraisers of the month - Karen and Maxine

Posted on: November 27 2018

Back in October Karen Shergold and Mazine Nunn took on the Royal Parks Half Marathon in aid of MS-UK. Here they tell us why fundraising for multiple sclerosis is so important to them…Photo of Karen and Maxine

‘Our sister and cousin, Nicola, 48 year old mother of three, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 2017. 

‘Obviously such a diagnosis came as a shock to us all. From the beginning the support she has received from MS-UK has been tremendous. It gave her a forum to discuss her fears and engage with people who also have MS. In turn, it continues to give her strength and courage and is empowering her to live her life to the fullest.

‘Through Nicola we heard about the MS-UK sponsored places at the Royal Parks Half Marathon and as runners, it was an obvious way for us to give back, do an activity that we love, make a difference...all in all, a win-win situation.  

‘Out the outset, as busy people, we wanted to keep our fundraising efforts simple to achieve our target of £800.

‘We canvassed family for their suggestions on how best to raise the money and the consensus was very much in favour of fundraising activities rather than just donations. This enabled us to bring our family and friends together and the desire to have some fun along the way!

‘We agreed our two events would be a garden tea party and a quiz to make the most of the lovely summer we had this year. Both activities exceeded our expectations – you can see we raised an amazing amount on our fundraising page!

‘The key challenge for us was to ensure that our guests at both events went away feeling they had an enjoyable experience and the £10 fee was good value. Feedback from both events exceeded our expectations, with suggestions we should set up our own afternoon tea business and turn the quiz into an annual event.

‘We smashed our target and raised approximately £1,200, which enabled us to spend the latter two months focusing on training for the race.  

‘Both of us came away from this experience feeling a sense of pride in achieving some personal physical targets (we both set a new personal best) and in our own small way we have made a difference.

‘So what’s next? We are delighted to be volunteer stewards for the upcoming Colchester Half Marathon and looking to engage as many family members. Maybe we will see you there!

Karen and Maxine

Karen and Maxine’s top fundraising tips...

  • Start early – although we had 6 months, we planned our events 2 – 3 months in advance of the race to ensure that we had enough time in case we needed to raise additional funds
  • Do your research – our two activities were based on feedback on what people said they would enjoy, which meant that half the battle was won 
  • Good planning and organisation – a sense of humour and excellent delegation skills  
  • Spread the load – we were able to delegate key parts of these activities to willing family members
  • Keeping it simple – as we said above – focus on fewer but better quality activities
  • Don’t underestimate the need to continue to canvass support

Guest blog: Gavin's marathon mission...

Posted on: November 19 2018

In April 2019, Gavin King will be taking on the Virgin Money London Marathon in aid of MS-UK. In this guest blog, Gavin tells us about why he’s chosen to fundraise for MS-UK, and how multiple sclerosis (MS) has had an impact on his family...Photo of Gavin, MS-UK fundraiser

‘After missing the chance to run the Virgin Money London Marathon through the ballot, I decided that for 2019 I would fundraise for a charity close to my heart, MS-UK. I'm pushing hard, taking on multiple challenges and races between now and the marathon. So far, fundraising is going ok.

‘My Dad was diagnosed with MS when I was a child. I still remember the day he sat me down and told me. I had no idea how bad MS was or how it was going to change our lives and yet it still tore me apart.

‘Sitting here now typing this still breaks my heart and brings a tear to my eye.

‘For the past 20+ years, I've seen MS take my father away from me. At first, it was only really fatigue that was noticeable and a few days where he wasn't great on his legs.

‘As time went on, he lost the ability to drive and eventually couldn't even walk or feed himself.

‘MS has also damaged his brain, wiping out his short term memory and his ability to talk. This has been the biggest impact on me, not being able to speak to him, ask him questions and all the things a son should be able to ask his father.

‘I regret not making the most of the last good years with him while I still had the chance.

My Mum cares for my Dad 24/7 which really takes its toll on her, she's stubborn though and does everything she can for him.

I chose MS-UK and the London Marathon to show my support for my family and to raise as many funds for such a supportive MS charity that gets much of its funding through the London Marathon charity places.’

You can find out more and make a donation on Gavin's JustGiving page

We’re here...

If you have been affected by this story, you can contact the MS-UK Helpline via email, on 0800 783 0518 or via live web chat. We’re here to provide information and support, or just to listen.

Good luck #TeamPurple at Royal Parks!

Posted on: October 12 2018

Photo of Jenny from MS-UKHi,

This weekend our amazing #TeamPurple runners will be taking on the challenge of the Royal Parks Half Marathon - good luck!

The event kicks off at 9am on Sunday 14 October and is set in four of London's Royal Parks: Hyde Park, The Green Park, St James's Park and Kensington Gardens. It is the perfect autumnal tour of central London’s most exquisite outdoor spaces, and we can't wait to cheer everyone on! 

If you can't make the event but want to stay updated, you can follow @MSUK6 on Twitter and enjoy the action in real time!

Good luck from all of us here at MS-UK, your efforts mean we can support people affected by multiple sclerosis to really make the most of each day - thank you!

Best wishes,

Jenny 

Events Fundraiser

Swim Serpentine success!

Posted on: September 24 2018

Kirsty finishing the Swim Serpentine!
Kirsty achieves her London Classics medal!

Hello!

It's Monday morning, but we are still excited from the amazing weekend! Our amazing #TeamPurple swimmers Jeremy, Janice and Kirsty all braved the cold waters in Hyde Park on Saturday 22 September at Swim Serpentine - and they all achieved their London Classics medal!

Swim Serpentine is a one-day open water swimming festival staged in the heart of London. Organised by London Marathon Events, the festival is held in and around the beautiful Serpentine in Hyde Park, the venue for the open water swimming competition at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Early Saturday morning myself and Laura from MS-UK set off in the rain to make sure we were ready to cheer on our dedicated swimmers, and we were not disappointed! 

Now in its third year, a record breaking 6,000 people entered Swim Serpentine this year...the atmosphere was electric and it was fantastic to hear so many people were going to complete a 2 mile swim and enter the London Classics hall of fame...The London Classics is a challenge that recognises participants who have completed all three London Classic events - the Virgin Money London Marathon, the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 and Swim Serpentine. What an achievement!

Jeremy and Janice at Swim Serpentine
Jeremy and Janice, our #TeamPurple champions!

For Jeremy, Janice and Kirsty, they realised this dream on Saturday and I was so proud to be part of the moment they grabbed their weighty London Classics medal - congratulations guys!

If you're inspired to join #TeamPurple, visit the fundraising section of our website to find out about all the different things you can do, or get in touch with the fundraising team. Plus don't forget to check out the photo album from Swim Serpentine on our Facebook page!

To all the swimmers on Saturday, a massive well done from MS-UK!

Jill

Fundraising Manager, MS-UK

The 925 Challenge has launched!

Posted on: September 10 2018

Hello,The 925 Challenge teams at the launch event.jpg

I am delighted to say that on Thursday 06 September we officially launched our 925 Challenge at Colchester Golf Club! 

The 925 Challenge will see 11 teams from local businesses go head-to-head in our very first corporate fundraising challenge, during which time they have 9 weeks, 2 days and 5 hours to raise £925 for MS-UK!

The challengers taking part include teams from Ellisons Solicitors, Charles Derby Financial Services Ltd., Harp Commercial Interiors Ltd., Whitehall Electrical Ltd., Team Pivotal, Push Energy, The White Hart, OPM Response Ltd., Direct Solutions and BeagrieCo Ltd.

The 925 Challenge is the charity’s first ever corporate challenge as part of our 25th anniversary celebrations, and I am so delighted we kicked off in style. You can check out the photos from the launch event in our Facebook album.

Thank you to every business taking part, we can't wait for the games to begin!

Jill

Jill Purcell, Fundraising Manager, MS-UK

MS-UK cyclists raise over £20k at Prudential RideLondon in the rain...

Posted on: July 30 2018

Hello,Photo of #TeamPurple at RideLondon 2018

Yesterday we had a huge team of 55 taking on the iconic Prudential RideLondon for MS-UK. The weather conditions were not the best and our cyclists were certainly challenged by the elements! They had to deal with constant rain, which affected visibility and high winds which turned the rain horizontal. The rain brought up muck on the roads, and one of our team members endured 6 punctures along the course! But they all completed the event with determination and a smile on their faces. During this 100 mile cycle event, cyclists whizzed past the iconic sights of London and took on the world-famous zig-zags of Box Hill.

I would like to say a huge thank you to #TeamPurple for taking on this ultimate cycle challenge, and for working so hard training and fundraising – especially in the hot conditions the UK has been experiencing recently. So far as a team you have raised a whopping £21,656! MS-UK are so thankful for this amazing effort...it means we can support even more people affected by multiple sclerosis (MS) and make sure we’re here to listen and offer information when we’re needed.  

As always, we can never do these events without our trusty volunteers! From cheering to handing out snacks, you were amazing at supporting our cyclists on the day, and you never seem to run out of that #TeamPurple energy and spirit - even in the pouring rain! If you fancy being part of the cheer squad, we would love your help supporting #TeamPurple at our events – just visit our website for more info. 

Check out our Facebook photo album of our fantastic cyclists!

If this has inspired you to cycle the Prudential RideLondon for MS-UK, please do get in touch with me as recruitment for the 2019 team will be open shortly! Just email me or give me a call on 01206 226500.

Thank you again to everyone involved – you make our work possible!

Best wishes,

Jenny

Events Fundraiser

Sizzling Summer Ball Silver Celebrations!

Posted on: June 28 2018

Photo of Sue Foley at Summer BallWe’re feeling summery at the MS-UK offices as we prepare for our 6th annual Summer Ball on Friday 29 June...that's right, it's tomorrow!

Taking place in Constable Country at the beautiful setting of Le Talbooth, Dedham, over 100 guests are joining the celebrations in our 25th silver anniversary year.

Following pre-dinner drinks on the stunning lawns adjacent to the River Stour, guests will enjoy a three course dinner whilst being serenaded by The Harmonettes, a 1940’s style harmony duo.

A highlight of the evening is the grand auction, hosted by Will Quince MP, when diners have an opportunity to bid against one another for a variety of exceptional treats including; concert tickets, sporting, fine dining, musical and theatre experiences. Prior to dancing the night away, we also have a fantastic raffle. This is only possible thanks to the kindness and generosity of many donors and supporters.

MS-UK are dedicated to empowering people affected by multiple sclerosis to live life to the full, so every penny raised at our Summer Ball will allow us to continue our vital work. We are truly grateful to all of our supporters and hope that those attending have a fantastic evening.

It’s almost time to ‘get the glad rags on’ and in true ‘Strictly style’ …………’Keeeeeeeeeeep dancing!’

This blog has been written by Sue (pictured), who is volunteering with MS-UK this week...and as you can see, Sue has enjoyed the Summer Ball before!

Thanks Sue!

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