Today marks the beginning of Expo, four days of fun-filled excitment at ExCeL in London where runners taking on the Virgin Money London Marathon will be registering this week!
Every year over 100 runners run 26.2 miles in aid of MS-UK, raising thousands of pounds for us. Over 100,000 people in the UK live with multiple sclerosis, and we want to be able to provide our vital services to everyone who needs them, so every single penny they raise goes towards helping MS-UK continue our work.
The MS-UK fundraising team is ready to welcome #TeamPurple to Expo this week, so if you're coming along please say hi to us on stand 583!
Wednesday 18 April 11:00-20:00
Thursday 19 April 10:00-20:00
Friday 20 April 10:00-20:00
Saturday 21 April 09:00-17:00
We'll be live tweeting all week from Expo (and of course on marathon day itself this Sunday) so follow us on Twitter to stay updated!
Jill Purcell, Fundraising Manager
This year MS-UK is commemorating 25 years of supporting people affected by multiple sclerosis, and I have a fun, easy way for you to show your support and get involved!
Just add our Twibbon to your Facebook or Twitter profile picture and help us celebrate our 25th anniversary!
There are lots of other ways to support us as well, just visit our website to find out more.
Jill Purcell, Fundraising Manager
Hello, This year is very special for MS-UK as we celebrate our 25th anniversary of supporting people affected by multiple sclerosis! So, how can you get involved? Well, you could be the proud owner of one of our limited edition anniversary pin badges! In 2018, we have a limited edition 25th anniversary pin badge especially for anyone who raises or donates £25 or more in aid of MS-UK! Whether you love getting active or prefer a cuppa and cake, fundraising for MS-UK is as much fun as you make it! Ways to support MS-UK…
Whatever you decide to do, we’re here to support you all the way. Contact the fundraising team using our online form. And good luck! Jill Jill Purcell, Fundraising Manager
During the event our runners heard from us about the next steps in the lead up to Virgin Money London Marathon and we shared some top fundraising ideas.
We also had some guest speakers! Our first speaker was John Trory who has been supporting MS-UK for 18 years. John spoke about his running experiences, the highs and the lows. This will be his 45th marathon in 2018!
Next up was Jessica Armstrong who as well as running for MS-UK is a sports therapist professionally. Jessica shared some top tips about stretches for warm up and cool down as well as doing some live strengthening exercises.
We then heard from Sheena Watts who ran her first marathon last year. During Sheena’s inspirational talk she said if she can do a marathon anyone can and was full of top tips for surviving a first marathon!
The finale was led by father and son team Chris and John Bradshaw. Chris ran his first marathon for MS-UK in 2017 and in 2018 he will be running along with his dad who will be 61 years old. Chris and John were full of great advice and showed a very entertaining video which they had put together. Chris’s favourite running regime is to run at 5am which energises him for the day and he starts the day raring to go!
The biggest tip that came across during the evening was pick a training plan that works for you, the warm ups and cool downs are as important as the training to prevent injury and preparation is key!
Thanks again to Tijmen Wigchert and CBW for hosting the event for us and providing the refreshments.
Our brilliant Virgin Money London Marathon team help us continue our work supporting people affected by multiple sclerosis, and it was amazing to see so many before the big day arrives in 2018!
Jill Purcell, Fundraising Manager
Hi, 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…
Find out more about MS-UK and meet our team on our website!
On Saturday 28 October our clients at Josephs Court got together for our swinging 60s cyclothon – and it was a great day!
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!
Diana Crowe, Head of Services
I am delighted to announce that MS-UK are charity partners for the Colchester Half Marathon in 2018 and 2019….delighted?, not half!
When we received the wonderful news from the Colchester Half Marathon race organisers that MS-UK had been selected as charity partners for 2018 and 2019 a loud cheer resonated around the office. Next year’s race has been set for Sunday March 25 2018 so grab your diary, pencil it in and get involved!
MS-UK has supported this event for many years by manning the water station at mile 11 so lots of our staff and volunteers have enjoyed being a part of this event for many years. To be charity partners for the next two years is amazing news. It’s such a well-established local event which thousands of people enjoy taking part in whilst supporting local charities. The partnership holds many opportunities for MS-UK. Firstly it enables us to increase the awareness of our charity and the services we provide to support people living with multiple sclerosis.
Although we are a national charity we have Josephs Court which is our wellness centre supporting local people living with MS.
Most of our clients visit Josephs Court on a weekly basis and receive one to one support from our professional Wellness Coaches who focus on the individual’s exercise needs and goals. We see around 180 clients a month and as well as the physical benefits they achieve through their specific exercise programme our clients gain a huge amount socially from coming to Josephs Court. We hope that the awareness we can raise through the Colchester Half Marathon will encourage local businesses and the community to find out more about our work and become involved.
Secondly we will benefit from the much needed donations from the event. MS-UK does not receive government or pharmaceutical funding to run its vital services. We rely on the generous support of our fundraisers and by taking part in events such as the Virgin Money London Marathon and Prudential RideLondon.
This will be a brilliant addition to our income for the next two years which will enable us to reach more people affected by MS. In 2018 we will be working alongside Essex & Herts Air Ambulance who were charity partners for the Colchester Half Marathon last year. We are looking forward to working with their team and supporting the race organisers with volunteer recruitment and developing our relationship with another brilliant local charity.
MS-UK are hoping for a large team of runners for this event so if you would like to run and raise additional funds for us we’d be delighted to have you on the team! We will of course support you all the way to achieving your running and fundraising goals.
Registrations are now open on the Colchester Half Marathon website!
If running is not for you but you would like to be involved please contact me to find out more about the volunteering roles available. We need approximately 200 volunteers to make the event a success and keep up to 4,000 runners that will enter the race safe.
For more information on running as part of team MS-UK or volunteering at the event please email me today.
A big thank you to Colchester Half Marathon for choosing MS-UK as their charity partner, and here’s to an amazing race!
Jill Purcell, Fundraising Manager
Hi everyone, I’m Sue Foley from Colchester (aka Purplepants). On Sunday 09 July, I’ll be returning to London to run in the British 10k, three years after running my first 10k event for MS-UK and my first ever event since starting my running journey in May 2014.
I still find it amusing that I donned some running shoes back then and even more surprising that I’m still pounding the pavements now. At 50 years young, I was a late starter! I was inspired to run having watched the Virgin Money London Marathon in April 2013 from Tower Bridge. It simply gripped me so much that I felt the need to be doing something positive and challenge myself. My best friend and partner had passed away suddenly the year before so I was feeling somewhat lost in grief.
My childhood neighbour and friend Keith had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in March 2012, so I decided I’d like to fundraise for MS-UK, the charity that had helped him during the early days of his diagnosis. I contacted MS-UK to apply for one of their Gold Bond places at the Virgin Money London Marathon. What on earth was I thinking? I hadn’t even run 100 metres, let alone 26.2 miles! When I received the phone call to say I’d been offered a place, I burst into tears. It was an honour to be able to represent the charity. Fortunately, I had a whole year to fundraise and prepare myself mentally and physically for a running adventure.
My first port of call was to attend parkrun, a free, weekly 5k timed run which takes place all over the Country. I continued with parkrun alongside bootcamp and gym classes. Early in July 2014, Sam who worked at MS-UK phoned to ask if I’d like to get some experience in taking part in the British 10k. Another runner had suffered an injury, so Sam asked if I’d like to step in to replace them. It was short notice, yet I knew this would be a valuable exercise. I felt in good shape, though in reality I had only been running up to a 5k distance. I was up for the challenge all the same, realising I’d have to be sensible with my pacing.
With a week until the race, I set up an online JustGiving page which I shared via my social media and I was encouraged to see donations soon coming through. I had my name put on my running vest, so all that was left was for me to get to the start.
Race day arrived with an early alarm call. I remember feeling slightly anxious and excited. On arrival in London I remember heading across one of the bridges and noticing several people in running kit. It was my natural instinct to follow, assuming they’d all know where to go. I spoke to one runner just for reassurance that I was going the right way for the bag drop. Once I’d put my belongings in the bag drop, I proceeded to the start area. I remember vividly hearing the Chariots of Fire music sounding out as we walked through Admiralty Arch at Trafalgar Square. My eyes welled up, it was emotional to be amongst hundreds of runners, many of whom were wearing their respective charity’s vests.
The atmosphere leading towards the start line was special as I stood side by side so many strangers, yet friends also, in a sense that we were united in representing our chosen causes. Once I crossed the line, I smiled trying to take in all the sights. Music was playing along the course and spectators cheered the runners enthusiastically. I was given a boost hearing people call out my name. Running over Westminster Bridge felt surreal. I paused for a moment to capture a photo on my phone. Let’s face it, it’s not every day you get to run in the Capital City.
Approaching the finish, I remember coming along Whitehall and spotting the same runner I’d asked directions from at the start. We crossed the line together high fiving one another in victory.
I’m excited to be putting on my purple MS-UK vest (and purple everything else!) and joining the other fabulous MS-UK fundraisers running at the British 10k. My philosophy is ‘finish lines, not finish times’, having said that, I’d like to shave off 7 minutes of my 2014 time if possible. I’m extremely proud that through my running efforts I’ve raised over £5,000 for MS-UK over the past few years and helped to raise awareness of the charity’s work in my locality. I’ve also volunteered and been known to step into the mascot Myles’ shoes on occasions. Fundraising, volunteering and taking part in events for MS-UK has been fulfilling, fun and certainly helped given me focus and purpose. I hope I may inspire others to do the same.
I just wanted to say a big thank you for supporting MS-UK during MS Awareness Weekby adding my #SmilesWithMyles twibbon to your social media profile pictures!
Over 300 of you lovely people added my twibbon, and it all helped us to spread a positive message throughout the week – thank you!
MS-UK published lots of information about multiple sclerosis to celebrate MS Awareness Week, including Samreena’s real life story about HSCT, Taflyn’s story about living life to the full and an infographic about the invisible symptoms of MS, so do take a read of the MS-UK blog.
If you missed last week, you can sign up to the MS-UK e-newsletter to stay up-to-date about future campaigns such as World MS Day.
Big bear hugs!
Myles, the MS-UK mascot
MS Awareness Week has arrived, and I am pleased to say we are celebrating with our beloved mascot Myles.
Here at MS-UK, we believe that anyone affected by multiple sclerosis should be able to access the support and information they need to make their own decisions. We aim to empower people living with MS to have choice and independence, and I hope you’ll join us this MS Awareness Week.
Thank you for being part of our #SmilesWithMyles campaign – you are helping us to spread a positive message this MS Awareness Week.