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Expo has arrived!

Posted on: April 18 2018

Hi everyone,Photo of the MS-UK fundraising team

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!

Expo hours

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

Jill Purcell, Fundraising Manager

Colchester Half Marathon runners raise awareness of multiple sclerosis

Posted on: March 30 2018

On Sunday 25 March, nearly 3,000 runners took to the streets of Colchester in Essex to complete the Colchester Half Marathon. The day promised an ‘amazing mass-participation event bringing together local runners, businesses and the community’. It didn’t disappoint. With lots of excitement the runners set off at 9am sharp!

Taking part in the race and running especially for MS-UK were occupational therapy masters students from the University of Essex, Tess, Claire and Lauren. Lauren and Claire both have personal experience with multiple sclerosis (MS).

Commenting before the race, Claire said: ‘My neighbour was diagnosed three years ago and it has driven me to fundraise for this charity, I know it will make him proud.’

Photo of Purple Paddy's before the half marathon

Neil Dulieu, a Teaching Assistant at Mersea Island School, has been running semi-seriously for around five years. His wife Amanda has secondary progressive MS and he took part in this year’s Colchester Half Marathon as part of his bigger fundraising plans.

Neil explained: ‘At the end of last year I decided I really wanted to set myself a challenge for 2018 to raise money for MS. 2018km in 2018 just came to me one night, the numbers worked well, it equated to averaging a full marathon distance every week and meant I could start on 1st January and incredibly finish the challenge on my birthday, 1st December. I tend to run most days before or after school and then often run the Colchester or Mersea Park Runs on a Saturday morning to finish my week off (with one rest day on a Sunday).’

The chosen charity partners for this year’s Colchester Half Marathon were Essex & Herts Air Ambulance who will receive 75% of the proceeds and MS-UK who will receive 25%.

Jill Purcell, Fundraising Manager from MS-UK said: ‘It was great to see the turn out on Sunday and the atmosphere was buzzing. We had Myles the MS-UK mascot dancing away and spurring everyone on, as well as volunteers at water stations, marshalling and in the stadium supporting all of the runners.

‘We at MS-UK are so proud of everyone who took part and would like to thank you all for your time, dedication and effort in raising money for people with MS. The charity relies on the generous support of our fundraisers to make our work possible, and we’re delighted that we’ll be able to continue supporting people affected by multiple sclerosis.’

To see all of the great pictures taken on the day, visit the MS-UK Facebook page. Don’t forget to ‘like’ and ‘follow’ our page while you’re there!

Add our 25th anniversary Twibbon today!

Posted on: March 12 2018

61.jpgHi everyone,

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.

Happy twibbon-ing!

Jill

Jill Purcell, Fundraising Manager

Pins for pounds!

Posted on: February 21 2018

vlm-e-news-image1-2.jpgHello, 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  

Guest blog: Fiona's two truths and a lie!

Posted on: February 15 2018

fiona.jpgFiona Sakal, who has been a Trustee of MS-UK for over decade, recently joined us in the office for a week to see what we do to support people affected by multiple sclerosis (MS) on a daily basis. We couldn't resist asking for an interview, and we started off with a 'two truths and a lie' question...

Two truths and a lie…
I was born and raised in Germany
I qualified for the Olympic Equestrian team
I was Cabin Crew, based at London Heathrow

Read on to find out all about Fiona…

I joined the board of MS-UK in 2007, when we were still MSRC and working from Peartree Industrial Estate with three car parking spaces, one toilet and not enough windows. My brother-in-law had MS for 24 years and although I was not fortunate enough to meet him, the impact his condition had on the rest of the family remains, so I was delighted to be asked to join the Board of Trustees.
Obviously, I was full of enthusiasm and committed to running the Virgin Money London Marathon the following spring! I definitely did not take into account the enormity of the training schedule that had to fit in alongside my final law exams, a full house renovation and a wedding. Ten years later and

I am almost ready to commit again, but not quite!

When Peter and I married in 2008 we decided that we would like to raise money for the charity rather than receive gifts. We were overwhelmed by the generosity of family, friends and clients and with the help of Roger Dakin and a game of heads and tails at our wedding reception, we raised £12,000.

Fast forward 11 years and two little girls, I am still as passionate about MS-UK as ever and love to get involved wherever possible. Under the leadership of Amy, the charity has grown to such an extent that I was beginning to need a flow chart to understand how everything fit together and wasn’t confidant that I was able to contribute effectively as a trustee. So here I am!

I have really enjoyed my ‘work experience’ and have found it invaluable to get to know everybody and experience first-hand what each role entails, both in the office and at Josephs Court. The atmosphere is very warm and welcoming and it is clear that everyone has a real passion for what they do. I am incredibly proud to represent MS-UK and excited to see what we can achieve in the future.

So, what was the lie?

I qualified for the Olympic Equestrian team!

Marathon meet up!

Posted on: November 17 2017

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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!

Best wishes,

Jill

Jill Purcell, Fundraising Manager

Guest blog: Making the most of your work experience

Posted on: November 17 2017

florence-work-experience-nov.jpgHi, 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…

  1. ASK QUESTIONS! - This is without doubt the most important part of utilising your learning opportunity to the best of your ability! Nobody expects you to have all the answers as you’re quivering with feelings of inadequacy at your far-too-fancy desk. Take your colleagues seriously when they give you the ‘if you’ve got any questions just give me a shout’ spiel. Every question I’ve asked at MS-UK has been answered with a smile, and I’d still be stuck on my first task if I hadn’t plucked up the courage to admit I was somewhat clueless about the best way to make a merry poster for our Christmas fundraising appeal
  2. Find your niche - Make sure your team provide you with a wide variety of tasks to complete during your placement. Ensure you have at least one of your own personal projects to work on, however big or small, so that you have work to be proud of and claim as your own when discussing the value of your experience in future. However, don’t allow yourself to be caught up in one minute area of the job. Experiencing an assortment of aspects to the role will enable you to find your niche and understand yourself as an employee. If you work out which tasks you’re good at you can establish an understanding of the type of role you may excel in in the future and tailor your job search to these realisations
  3. Strengths and weaknesses of the company itself - Work out what sort of organisation is best suited to your needs. You may find that you rely upon a strict sense of routine, therefore a ‘flexible working hours’ policy is definitely not for you. Others may thrive in an environment where they can mix up their working pattern on a daily basis. Getting to know which aspects of the organisation you’re working for are tailored to your attributes will really aid your understanding of what it is YOU want from your workplace, as well as what THEY want from you

Find out more about MS-UK and meet our team on our website!  

Taking it all in at the MS Trust conference

Posted on: November 14 2017

Hi everyone,

On Monday 13 November Nileema (our Counselling Coordinator) and myself went along to the MS Trust conference in Hinckley, Leicester!

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The MS Trust is a UK charity that produce multiple sclerosis (MS) information and support MS specialist health professionals. This year they celebrated their 21st annual conference, welcoming some 300 guests to learn, share expertise and focus on improving care for people living with MS.

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We went along to seminars about sharing best practice and understanding MS and mental health. At the plenary session we learnt more about high risk MS drugs and keeping safe, as well as understanding and supporting risk perception to people with MS. All of the speakers were excellent, and it was a fantastic day.

Nileema and I also spoke to people about our new service – MS-UK Counselling. This is a brand new telephone counselling service for people living with MS in the UK. You can find out more and register on our website at www.ms-uk.org/counselling.

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Thank you to the MS Trust for making us feel so welcome, and thank you to all of the MS professionals who stopped by our stand and chatted with us.

Looking forward to next year’s conference!

Laura

Laura May

Marketing Manager

Christmas is coming!

Posted on: November 07 2017

Ho-ho-hello!

We have made a short film to let you know how you can support MS-UK this Christmas so please take a look  today on YouTube!

If you’d like to order a free Christmas collection box, just email Jenny or call us on 01206 226500. Every penny you raise helps us support people affected by multiple sclerosis, so thank you!

Best seasons wishes!

The MS-UK fundraising team

Swinging 60s cyclothon!

Posted on: October 30 2017

Hi everyone,

On Saturday 28 October our clients at Josephs Court got together for our swinging 60s cyclothon – and it was a great day!

60s.jpg

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!

Best wishes,

Diana

Diana Crowe, Head of Services

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