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 just want to say a massive well done to everyone who took part in the British 10k on Sunday 09 July in aid of MS-UK...you guys make our work possible!
It was a hot day (OK, it was a scorching day!) and you still got up early, made your way to our capital city and took to the streets in full force, wearing your purple with pride. It was fantastic to be a part of your day, and share in your achievement!
Our cheering point was definitely extremely loud and great fun to be on, and a massive thank you to all of our dedicated volunteers who clapped and cheered for hours to encourage all of the runners to keep going. We couldn’t make the day so special without you.
All of our runners have their own reasons for running, but all of you have one thing in common now – you have smashed the British 10k! And you have made a difference…the money you have raised helps us offer people a listening ear when they need one through our helpline, ensure someone gets New Pathways magazine landing on their doormat or it may pay for new exercise equipment at our centre in Essex. You are making our work possible, to help people affected by MS to really live life to the full and make the most of today.
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.
Last year we ran the brilliant #PurplePants campaign, and we carried out a survey afterwards to see what you thought about it. Many of you said you wish you could have donated to MS-UK during the week.
MS Awareness Week, for us, is all about spreading a positive message, as we really want to support people affected by multiple sclerosis to make the most of today and live life to the full.
However, I understand not everyone likes shouting from the rooftops. So, this year we have set up a special JustGiving page for our Year of the Bear campaign. You can donate all year round to MS-UK, and we’ll be telling people all about the page whenever we run a campaign.
Thanks for giving us your feedback after MS Awareness Week last year, we’ll definitely be asking for it again this year!
Marketing Manager, MS-UK
So, it is finally here! Hope everyone has a great week spreading awareness of multiple sclerosis…
We are asking people to take selfies and to post these with our Twibbon on your social media channels like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
MS-UK believes that having MS shouldn’t be a barrier to a happy life, and we want to celebrate MS Awareness Week with this positive message, and some laughs along the way.
How to get involved…
1. Take a selfie. I recommend grabbing your favourite teddy bear or wearing something purple!
2. Add a Twibbon to your profile picture. This year I have my very own Twibbon, all you need to do is add it by visitingtwibbon.com/Support/smileswithmyles
3. Post your selfie on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram between 25 April and 29 April to celebrate MS Awareness Week. Use the hashtag #SmileswithMyles to show your support!
4. Don’t forget to nominate your friends and family to take their own selfie and keep the message going!
If you want to support MS-UK during MS Awareness Week but fancy giving instead of taking a selfie, you can donate to MS-UK by visiting the Myles JustGiving campaign page! Every penny will go towards helping MS-UK continue our vital work supporting anyone affected by multiple sclerosis.
Thank you for being brave enough to wear your #purplepants!
During MS Awareness Week we asked people to spread a positive message about multiple sclerosis. Over the week you posted over 150 #purplepants selfies and helped us raise awareness of MS in the UK.
Supporters included West Ham United FC, Paralympic medallist Stephanie Millward and BBC’s People’s Strictly star Trishna Bharadia, and it was amazing to receive such tremendous support from the public.
MS-UK believes that having MS shouldn’t be a barrier to a happy life, and you made our #purplepants campaign a success.