08 November 2018
Around the corner from the MS-UK offices in Essex, a bright-red boat is moored by the quayside. It's an impressive sight. The deck is busy with cranes and pulleys. Porthole windows gaze out across the water. The light tower that rises from the deck is seen by hundreds (possibly thousands) of commuters crossing the nearby bridge on their way to and from work.
So imagine our surprise when the Colchester Sea Cadets, who use the boat as their base once a week, said that they'd be willing to turn the tower light purple to show their support for MS-UK.
Last Wednesday evening, we made the short trip down the riverfront to see the purple light in full glow. It was astounding to behold! Set against the dark night sky, the light blazed, bathing the riverside in bright purple and causing a few passing heads to turn.
We spoke to a couple of cadets who had come to meet us, and they talked us through how they had planned the fantastic show of colour. While most of their explanation was far beyond our understanding of all things nautical, we were incredibly grateful to them for pulling off something so magical for MS-UK!
Thanks to Colchester Sea Cadets for welcoming us to their one-of-a-kind home and for helping us 'paint the town purple' in preparation for the Colchester Half Marathon 2019.
Dean, Wellness Centre Manager at Josephs Court in Essex, tells us all about his recent visit to the Rotary Club of Centurion Colchester...
On 17 October, I was delighted to deliver a presentation to the Rotary Club of Colchester Centurion, who do a fantastic amount of voluntary work and fundraising for charities and good causes in Essex.
We were very well received! The club members were keen to know more about MS-UK and what we do both locally and across the UK.
We were privileged to be joined by Judy Sexton, one of our long standing Josephs Court clients. Judy shared a moving personal story of her time at Josephs Court, the heartfelt account of her experiences living with multiple sclerosis (MS) and attending the centre really touching a chord with those in the room.
We were also joined by the Chairman of our Board of Trustees, Martin Hopkins, who outlined the charity's vision for supporting those with MS. Members of the Rotary Club of Colchester Centurion are now planning to visit Josephs Court to see the facilities for themselves and learn more about how access to our centre improves the lives of local people affected by MS.
To top off a successful morning, the club generously donated £2,000 to MS-UK in order for Josephs Court to purchase a brand new piece of equipment! We have been looking to offer resistance-based exercises at the centre for a long time. This form of training has been shown to benefit people with MS by increasing muscle mass, improving tone and ultimately making daily functions easier. In addition, the benefits can be seen on a physiological level, improving neural transmissions from the brain to the muscles and reducing the progression of brain atrophy (shrinking). With that in mind, we cannot wait for our shiny new weighted pulley machine to arrive!
We would like to say a huge thank you to Rotary Club of Colchester Centurion for their very kind donation. I will certainly be letting them know how our clients are getting on with the new machine when it arrives. Thank you!
Wellness Centre Manager at Josephs Court
I am thrilled to share a sneak peak into the latest issue of New Pathways magazine, which is out now!
Our cover star this issue is MSer and HR Specialist Rebecca Armstrong, who discusses being your own boss and taking a step into self-employment on page 16.
On page 24-25, wellness coach and Director of Work.Live.Thrive Zoe Flint discusses how relaxation can help boost your immune and central nervous systems. This feature all about mindfulness for MS shares Zoe's insights and her top 5 things to get your started.
Also, MSer and Feature Writer Ian Cook reveals his first-hand experience of becoming a carer. Ian says, 'It may sound strange to say this but I believe being disabled is, in many ways, the perfect qualification to care for another disabled person.' Read the full article on page 12, and don't forget to check out his 'revisited' article on page 42 all about Shopmobility.
Fats have once again been dominating the news of late, so we asked MSer and Nutritional Science Researcher Sharon Peck to reveal the truth and explain what we really need to know on page 19. We also take a look at the natural remedies lurking in the back of your kitchen cupboard that could help relieve MS symptoms on page 18.
If you would like to see something specific in New Pathways please email me and let me know your thoughts or feedback.
Editor, New Pathways
I am delighted to say that our Annual Review 2017 is now published. This booklet is our way to thank our supporters and celebrate our success in a public way, and I hope you enjoy reading it.
Our vision is a world where anyone affected by multiple sclerosis (MS) can access the information and support they need to make their own decisions. Since 1993 we have led the way in promoting choice, tackling taboos and remaining independently funded. We are built on a foundation of listening and acting according to the needs of people affected by MS. I am thrilled to see that this is reflected in our work from last year.
We are driven by our values, guiding principles that inform every aspect of our work. In 2017 we were able to bring these values to life, and our services supported thousands of people. Every service is shaped by people affected by MS. By listening to people, we are able to offer services that are truly community led.
Thank you to every single person who has shared their voice with MS-UK or supported us so on our journey so far.
Our work would not be possible without the support of so many people.
It's not every day that you see a patient bed out in the wild.
On Tuesday 16 October, I paid a visit to One Colchester Shop in Colchester, Essex to check out the local Healthwatch Patient Bed Roadshow. The striking visual event, which is travelling the length and breadth of Essex on a five day tour, invited people from the street to sit on a bed (no need for pyjamas!) and talk about what they thought about health and social care in the area.
The Healthwatch Essex team, who strive to represent the views of local people about health and care services in the county, hope that the stunt can help raise awareness of issues that individuals of every age face day to day. Plenty of people opened up about their experiences during my visit, and no two responses were quite the same. Some highlighted a lack of mental health support in healthcare, while others criticised GP waiting times and staff shortages. Plenty more heaped praise on the doctors and nurses of the NHS who cared for loved ones.
As well as the bed interview showpiece, a team took to the road with a handful of pens, colourful post-it notes, and an old-fashioned notice board to get passersby to jot down a quick sentence summarising their thoughts. This rainbow of thoughts were then stuck to the board and displayed at the exhibition.
You can still catch the event for yourself in Southend and Harlow. Check out the Healthwatch Essex events calendar to find out where and when.
Last week we saw the annual ECTRIMS meeting in Berlin where the world’s multiple sclerosis (MS) experts, consultants, researchers and neurologists came together to share their knowledge and keep up to date with the latest developments in MS.
To help you trawl through the 1,500 plus research extracts that were published for the conference, we've hand-picked the top five stories that you need to know about!
Don’t forget to share your comments and lookout for more ECTRIMS news in the coming weeks!
Editor of New Pathways Magazine
In the task, you will be presented with fifty short descriptions of different scenarios. This will be split into ten blocks of five, with a rating task after each block.
Using a 4-point scale, the researchers would like you to rate how similar in meaning each sentence is to the description that you read with that title. The ratings will be used to inform the materials for tasks, and it’s completely anonymous.
You can do the task online using this link: https://kcliop.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_5cAkSnZHlxPZ1nT
Chew’s research is focusing on identifying the cognitive mechanisms which underpin and maintain anxiety surrounding illness uncertainty within MS. Jowinn Chew is supervised by Dr Colette Hirsch and Prof Rona Moss-Morris.
It’s World Mental Health Day, an annual day to highlight the importance of looking after your mental wellbeing that is recognised by the World Health Organisation.
To recognise the day, the Prime Minister Theresa May has appointed a minister for suicide prevention. Jackie Doyle-Price will add this to her role as Health Minister to help tackle the stigma surrounding suicide.
Here at MS-UK, we have been told that when it comes to living with multiple sclerosis (MS) the mind is often overlooked. That’s why this time last year we launched MS-UK Counselling, a confidential telephone counselling service for people with a diagnosis of MS.
I wanted to let you know a bit more about it, as it is World Mental Health Day. The only service of its kind, MS-UK Counselling is focused on helping people with MS explore the emotional impact of living with this condition.
It is very common for people to struggle with coming to terms with a diagnosis or dealing with the uncertainty of how their condition may progress. For some, MS-specific counselling is crucial in supporting them to come to terms with their condition, understand their feelings and live positively with MS.
So if you are thinking about your mental health today with all the media attention on World Mental Health Day, do visit our web page to find out more about MS-UK Counselling. Our team of counsellors are here to help and support you,
Head of Services
Meet the winners of this year's Friends of MS-UK Awards!
Every day this week, we'll be revealing each of the well-deserved winners and finding out, in their own words, what it means to be awarded such an accolade...
When Chris’ wife Jennie was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 2011, they turned to MS-UK for help. Since then, Chris has run in aid of MS-UK...and run, and run, and…
In 2013 Chris ran the Virgin Money London Marathon and since then he has applied dedication (and endless hours) to reaching an amazing milestone – completing 100 hundred marathons in aid of MS-UK. That’s over 2,500 miles!
This year, Chris officially joined the 100 Marathon Club when he completed his 100th run at Betteshanger Country Park.
He said: 'I am delighted to receive this award, it was a nice surprise. It has been a pleasure to help raise money for MS-UK and watch them grow and develop over the years. I have fundraised for them and see how the money myself and others raise goes to good use.'
As today is Book Lovers Day, I couldn't resist asking staff at MS-UK what their favourite books are about multiple sclerosis (MS).
So, here's the top 5...
Check out Amazon for the books if you want to!
Happy Book Lovers Day everyone,
Marketing Manager, MS-UK