Alessandra from Mogrify shares how they created a running team to support MS-UK
It’s a sunny summer afternoon in June 2021, and I’m wrapping up a meeting with my colleague Rodrigo. He tells me that he’ll soon be going for his evening run, and I tell him that I haven’t been running in ages. Why not? – he asks me. Busy life, little time, and perhaps lack of motivation, I reply – the last time I trained for something was 10 years ago, when I ran a half marathon for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. That’s interesting, he says – I’m really keen to do something to support people living with multiple sclerosis (MS). That’s it. We decide then and there that we’re going to do something for MS-UK, and we start looking for a running event at which we could raise some money for a cause close to both of our hearts.
A week later we catch up again. The event is chosen and we’re thinking about how to make the most of the fundraising campaign. How about involving our colleagues through our social club, Mogrify Social Committee (MoSo)? – says Rodrigo. What a brilliant idea! Let’s go for it! – I reply. And that’s the way it all started. The initiative has a great uptake: MoSo organizes the fundraising website (and makes a donation – thanks MoSo!), the T-shirt delivery and coordinates weekly training. We’re a group of 13 (nearly 20% of the company!) and we make a video to promote our initiative. We even have a name, Los Pinatas, and a mascot! Everybody is very excited about the run which is approaching fast.
Early on Sunday 26 September early (at least for my standards on a weekend!), we’re all in front of beautiful Ely cathedral. The weather is perfect - light breeze, overcast but no rain. We’re all fresh and raring to go. Some of us are doing the half marathon, some the 10K, everybody determined to complete their chosen task.
We made it! All hot and sweaty we cross the finishing line, thinking whether this was our personal best or just glad it’s all over!
With a sense of achievement, we sit down on the lawn with a lovely picnic offered by MoSo. We’re unmissable in our MS-UK purple T-shirts that promote awareness of multiple sclerosis and also attract the attention of the organisers, Ely Tri Club. So much so that they offer to donate the value of our tickets to our MS-UK fundraising page. We’re grateful and chuffed!
Thank you to all those who’ve supported us and MS-UK. We hope that our contribution positively impacts the lives of our family members, friends and people we don’t personally know who live with MS.
Undoubtedly you have positively impacted our lives, inspiring and motivating us to pull us together for a great cause.
We’re so excited to announce the launch of the MS-UK Supporters’ Club and we’d love to have you join! The Supporters’ Club is a way to help sustain the future of MS-UK and the services that we provide to everyone affected by multiple sclerosis (MS). Here are five reasons why you should join today!
Easy to set up
It couldn’t be simpler to set up your monthly contribution to the MS-UK Supporters’ Club. All you need to do is fill out this form and pick your donation amount via JustGiving. It can be one of our pre-selected amounts or you can pick your own contribution. Every penny counts and goes directly towards supporting people living with MS.
Support the community
When you donate to MS-UK, you’ll be safe in the knowledge that 100% of your donation goes into supporting our services and providing them for those who need our help. A monthly contribution helps to plan the future of MS-UK, and to develop the services that the community needs so much. Whether it’s access to the helpline or the ongoing e-learning courses to support professionals and raise awareness of multiple sclerosis, your membership to the MS-UK Supporters’ Club makes all of these worthy ventures possible.
Build the future of MS-UK
MS-UK is a national, independent charity that relies on donations and fundraising to fund our counselling, helpline and online services. Without this, we wouldn’t be able to offer the support needed. By regularly donating, you’ll be having a direct impact on the progression of MS-UK and the variety of available services.
Increase availability of services
By becoming part of the MS-UK Supporters’ Club you’ll be helping us secure the availability of the services we already offer. Earlier this year, the counselling service had to stop taking referrals due to the high demand for this specialist and one-of-a-kind offering throughout the UK. One counselling session costs £50, so your membership to the MS-UK Supporters’ Club will help secure the availability of services such as this.
We understand that everyone is in a different financial position and that this can change. Your donation can be changed or cancelled at any time to reflect the amount that you’re able to give. Whether you donate £2 or £10 a month, we’re incredibly thankful for everyone’s donations to MS-UK and delighted to have you join #TeamPurple and the Supporters’ Club.
When you join the MS-UK Supporters’ Club, you’ll receive a thank you letter from us, and you’ll be kept in the loop with the latest updates from the charity to see how your donation has made a difference. If you’re unable to support MS-UK financially, why not become a Community Champion or join our Virtual Insight Panel? Every single volunteer, fundraiser and donor makes a huge difference to people living with MS and others that are affected by the life-long condition.
To celebrate International Day of Charity on 05 September, we’ve put together a blog to let you know all the different ways that you can contribute to MS-UK and support the vital work that we do for people affected by multiple sclerosis (MS).
International Day of Charity was established by the United Nations to encourage people all around the world to help others ‘through volunteer and philanthropic activities’. To learn more about this global celebration of charities and the objective behind International Day of Charity, click here.
There’s several different ways that you can support MS-UK, and we’d love to have you involved in any way that you can and become a part of #TeamPurple. Our fundraising events are a great way to achieve something amazing for a good cause whilst creating memories that last a lifetime.
From the Virgin Money London Marathon, the Three Peaks Challenge, National Skydive Day and everything in between, all of our fundraisers’ efforts are hugely appreciated and make an enormous difference. If you’d like to learn more about how you can fundraise for MS-UK click here, or contact our Fundraising team today who will support you every step of the way!
If you choose to donate to MS-UK, there’s a variety of ways that you can do this. As an independent charity, we do not receive any government funding and rely on donations. By donating, you’ll be directly supporting people with MS to live happier and healthier lives and help improve our services. From our Helpline to the specialised MS counselling that MS-UK offers, and our huge range of online activities, there’s something for anyone who needs support.
Join our Supporters’ Club!
We’re so excited to launch our brand-new Supporters’ Club! It’s a wonderful way to support MS-UK and ensure that anyone affected by MS can access the help that they need today, tomorrow and in the future. A small monthly donation can make a huge difference. From as little as £5 a month, you can help someone’s mental and physical health, helping them to live a happier and healthier life.
To find out more and set up your membership to the MS-UK Supporters’ Club, click here.
Make a single donation
If you’d like to make a single donation to help maintain MS-UK’s services, you can do so by clicking here. Just £5 can fund a chair yoga session for one hour to help support someone’s mental and physical wellbeing.
Donate at no extra cost!
That’s right, you can donate to MS-UK at no extra cost to yourself. Pick MS-UK as your charity of choice on Amazon Smile or on Give As You Live. MS-UK receives donations every time you make qualifying purchases
It’s really easy to donate via text to MS-UK, and it’s a convenient way donate on a one-off basis. Choose to give £5, £10 or £20 and you will be billed by your network provider. Find out more about how you can do this by clicking here.
Leave a legacy
Including a donation in your will to MS-UK can be a great way to ensure that future generations who live with MS get the support they need. To learn more about this, click here to access our downloadable information pack.
Win cash prizes!
By playing in the Make a Smile Lottery, you could win weekly cash prizes, all whilst supporting MS-UK and the people who need us most. You can set up a direct debit to take part each week or play as and when you like for just £1. Find out how you can get involved here.
If you’re unable to make a financial contribution to MS-UK but you would still like to be involved, there’s lots of different things you can do. Our Community Champions do important work within their local areas to raise funds by distributing donation pots. If you’re pressed for time on a regular basis, this is a wonderful way to support MS-UK.
Our events are back! Come and support #TeamPurple and become a part of the family by attending events. For more information on this, you can contact our Fundraising team today.
Without our fundraisers and volunteers, we couldn’t provide the services that we do at MS-UK. We appreciate every single one of our #TeamPurple family and the contribution that all of you have made to MS-UK. Thank you!
To be honest with you, the past eight years that I have run the London Marathon, New York Marathon, a few 10k's and swam the Serpentine (let’s not talk about that one!), I have never had a problem raising money for the wonderful charity that is MS-UK.
I am in the very fortunate position to work for Slimming World and have very large groups, therefore raising money was never an issue. I would simply set up a MS-UK table with my sponsorship forms and tins and with over 500 people walking through my doors on a weekly basis… the money always rolled in.
However, this year is very different and without being negative, fundraising has been difficult. I think people are unaware that the marathon is October, they always expect it to be in April. And for me, numbers of members at work have dropped dramatically as we worked virtually for over a year, and potential members don’t know we are back open.
Even though I have managed to raise some money, it’s not at the level I have before, and it’s really bothering me. I’ve realised that I’ve got to look at other ways of trying to get that so much needed cash for MS-UK.
A few things have worked for me. I’m not very good on social media but have started to put all my runs on my Facebook page and talking about how I’ve got to run a certain mileage and taking photos along the route and then posting them. I’ve always found that if it’s raining (which it always seems to do just as I’m going out for my run) and I take a picture of me wet, and someone will always send me some money whilst they are laughing!
I am trying to talk about it all the time and boring people stupid. I even had an estate agent over the afternoon I wrote this blog, and when he saw my medals, ‘Aha!’ I thought ... ‘An opportunity here!’. It worked, £20 in the bag!
Also, when I’ve been posting my JustGiving page, I have been adding how MS-UK really struggled through the pandemic and how they had to sell their building in order to keep the charity going, pulling on their heart strings… but sadly the truth. Another £50 in the pot.
I wish I could offer more helpful tips. But one thing I do know (though not something you should rely on), that on the two weeks up to the marathon people start to come forward a little bit more to donate, especially if you keep reminding them how far you had run that week. Also, the day after the marathon when you limp into work in your slippers, they feel so sorry for you they have no option but to hand you money!
Good luck and happy running.
'I was contacted by Molly from MS-UK regarding donating a prize for their first virtual auction. We were of course delighted to donate a case of our World’s Favourite Wine Selection in order to help raise funds and support such an important charity and the vital work that they do', says Dan Farrell-Wright, director at Wickhams.
Dan continues, 'The 'World’s Favourite Wine Selection' case includes six bottles, one from each of the big beasts of the wine world including a Pinot Grigio, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Chardonnay and Malbec. All of the wines in the case are great examples of their type and have been carefully selected by us. The case includes a bottle of Peculiar Mr Pat, Punto Alto Malbec, Sierra Grande Cabernet Sauvignon, One Chain 'The Googly' Chardonnay, San Antini Pinot Grigio and Whale Point Sauvignon Blanc.
Sourcing the finest Estate bottled wines, here at Wickhams online wine and spirit merchant, we curate collections from the everyday to the classics while ensuring there's something to suit all tastes. We passionately believe in stocking wines, spirits and gift sets at a range of price points, to ensure our products are accessible to all.'
'I was contacted by Molly from MS-UK to donate a prize for their first virtual auction. Experience Days provides thousands of experience gifts across the UK, from bungee jumping to spa days - so no matter what your giftee loves to do, you’ll find something for them.
We have a long history of engaging with and helping charities with auctions and events, donating our vouchers as prizes – so we were only too happy to join in! MS-UK is a cause we have followed and donated to in the past; supporting those with multiple sclerosis with a range of resources, MS-UK is an essential charity and one we are proud to support. We hope that our donation to their virtual raffle goes some way to help this worthy cause.
We wish MS-UK the best of luck with their virtual auction!'
I work for the print company Penrose Group, and the company has supported charities for several years, with donations and supporting charities with their printed marketing assets.
The culture of the company, supporting others, inspired me to take up this cycling sportive challenge. I have close family members with MS and friends with family members with learning disabilities. I wanted to help them all and opted to split all the donations equally.
Dramatize, located within walking distance from Penrose Group, provides vital support for adults with learning difficulties. At Penrose Group, we believe in supporting our local and the wider community. Raising funds for Dramatize is helping our local community, and sharing the funds raised will support MS-UK provide their services nationally, and I know I will be helping my friends and family.
To date, I have completed three sportives - 100-mile Rutland Border Epique - who starts with hilly 100-mile? The flatter, 75 miles, Giant Sportive Doddington Sportive.
My third sportive destroyed me. The 70-mile, off-road Surrey Hills Epic tested my resolve to the limit on one of the hottest days in July (17th). Mountain biking is new to me, and I assumed the course would be pleasant bridleways, cross picturesque fields and gentle winding hills. I could not have been more wrong. Aggressive hill climbs, uneven tracks, sharp twists, and turns through the Surrey jungle repeatedly throw me off the bike. Thankfully the hedges broke my fall. The thrill of the descents terrified me and bought back happier memories of my childhood on a BMX hurtling down the hills where I grew up in Leicester. I sustained a few cuts and bruises, but they were worth it.
I have added another 100-mile Sportive to my original four rides - the JETRide Sportive. The JETRide Sportive starts a couple of miles from my front door, at RAF Cranwell. I thought it would be rude not to include this, being so close to my home.
My final sport is the 99-mile route of the Lincoln Le Petite Sportive in Sept 2021. In Sept 2019, the Lincoln Petite was my first sportive (I started cycling in June 2019), over 700 cyclists, and I came in last. I was so far behind that they began to pack up the finish line the minute I crossed the finish line. I'm determined not to finish last this September.
There is a rumour that I may add the 105-mile Lincoln Grand Prix Sport in Oct 2021; I'll keep you posted if I add this event.
If you would like to donate, please click here.
As I prepare to embark on my 3rd and 4th marathons respectively, the biggest difference this time around is just how much this particular charity means to me. The training is never easy and the marathon itself is hardly a picnic but the cause, which is so very close to my heart, will keep driving me on all the way to the finish. Yes, there is a small matter of 26 miles! Or 52 in my case! However, this is a small distance to cover in comparison to the much bigger objective of doing all I can to help the charity, my cousin and all her fellow MSers. Nothing will stop me.
I have often been told that I have an infectious energy and enthusiasm, and perhaps that goes some way to explain why so many people around me have also now become so passionate about multiple sclerosis (MS) and fully embraced the cause, which has been very heart-warming to see. It is also helping raise awareness about the condition and the charity, as well as much-needed funds. Long may it continue.
In such unprecedented times, there have been a few obstacles in terms of how to fundraise. However, I am a strong believer that every challenge presents an opportunity and I love a challenge, especially when it is for such a fantastic cause. This pandemic is a great reminder of the importance of togetherness, helping others, being kind and I want to do absolutely everything I can for MS.
In previous fundraising, I was able to generate money through selling clothes, footwear, food, and drink primarily to my colleagues at work. This not only helped clear out my wardrobe but also helped me test and hone my baking skills. Lockdown means I am now hoarding a lot more stuff and eating all the sweet treats myself, but I am sure it is all good fuel for those long training runs…?
Kids and dogs are good and are certainly having the desired effect, but you just can’t beat the impact of alcohol. I like a drink and I like even more encouraging others to drink, particularly when I know those strings on the wallets and purses become that bit looser. As a salesperson, I must admit that I have won many a deal courtesy of wining, dining, and dancing (maybe less so with the latter, as my dancing is an acquired taste). So, it would be silly not to apply the same tried and tested approach to my charity fundraising. I am actually spending more time talking to customers about the charity than what I selling. I hope my boss doesn’t read this!
The event itself is just a sideshow, a reason to fundraise, but for me, this is all about this wonderful charity and making a difference. Just over halfway through another eventful year, I am determined to make 2021 live long in my memory for all the right reasons, which for me is all about supporting MS.
Inspired by Emily's story, you can make a donation to her fundraising page by visiting her JustGiving page here.
Meet Sadie. At only five years old, she's accomplished an amazing fundraising activity to support MS-UK! Here's her story...
My sister, Amber age six, climbed Snowdon last year for MS-UK and I said to my Dad I think its my turn to climb a mountain this year, but I am only five. We decided to try a different mountain, so we chose Scafell Pike which is not as tall, but it is steeper. I set up my donation page, bought some new walking boots and got training. As the weekend approached, we noticed the weather looked very bad so I suggested we go a day earlier and climb on the Friday.
We drove late Thursday and arrived at our hotel after 10pm. On the morning, the weather was lovely and we set off climbing at 10am. Before we started, my Dad stood in a big cowpat which made me laugh and him stink a bit! The climb was very steep, I had to use my hands a lot. The best part was where we had to climb across a stream and we didn’t even get a little bit wet. I had fruit pastelles to get me to the top or as I called them ‘Super boosting sweets’. It took 2.15 hours to get to the top. We turned straight round and came all the way down. In total it took 4.08 hours. The climb was very very tough and I got some bad blisters but I knew we had to finish. My dad told me how proud so many people were of my achievement (he said he wasn’t crying but his eyes had lots of water coming out of them) and I was allowed to have dessert before my dinner that evening.
My grandad had multiple sclerosis (MS) for 22 years and had such courage. Unfortunately, he passed away in 2019 and I miss him a lot. I wanted to do something to make him proud and carry on his memory. I did it for MS-UK as they supported him and my family. They do wonderful things for people with MS. We raised over £2,000 and have made a memory for life.
Helpline and Information Supervisor, Laura is taking on a swimming challenge in memory of her dad. Here's her story...
Well, here we go again!
I first started my swimming challenge in October 2019. I had set myself the challenge of swimming 80kms over the course of a year to mark what would have been my Dad’s 80th birthday. He lived with MS for more years than without. I also work on the MS-UK Helpline, so not only have I seen and felt the impact of MS personally, but I also hear other people’s stories each week.
My challenge came to a grinding halt in March 2020 due to Covid. I had managed to cover 60 lengths every week for 20 weeks, I was well into the swing of things and really enjoying my time in the water. I was feeling fit, and each week was becoming easier. I felt really on track to achieve the distance.
The pools closed and I could not do anything about it. The months went by and in July 2020, we marked ten years of Dad’s passing. I felt disappointed that I could not continue my swim in his memory. Being in and out of lockdown, combined with restricted pool hours, meant my challenge was temporarily on hold.
Fast forward to this year when lockdown was once again lifted, the pool reopened with more flexible opening times. I had lost my swimming mojo though and kept making excuses that life was once again too busy, or I could not log into the new online booking system!
Then something clicked and I pulled my finger out! Last week saw me enter the water for the first time in 15months. I was quite nervous, I thought there is no way I will be able to cover the distance having not swum for so long. Being back in the water was so nice and although it took me several lengths to get my mind focussed, once I got going before I knew it, I had swum 60 lengths. It felt so good!
I have booked to go tonight, and I have made a promise to myself to do my best to go every week until I have reached the final distance of 80km. So far, I have covered 31.5km of my target. That means if I swim 60 lengths each week, I have another 32 weeks to go! I would love to complete it by the end of the year if I can. I will need to go more than once a week, but I am determined to finish what I started. Dad was the most determined person I have ever known, he is always my inspiration.
To donate to my Justgiving page, please visit the page here.