The last few months have marked a period of change here at MS-UK for our trustees.
We are wishing our Chair of the Board of Trustees, Martin Hopkins a fond farewell as he retires from his post after 12 years of service to MS-UK. As Chair, Martin oversaw a huge amount of change at the charity, including our launch of Choices booklets, our live web chat service and change of name.
Martin says, ‘One of my best friends was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) and have seen him deal with the shock of that I felt fairly helpless in terms of the practical support I could offer. I thought therefore that becoming involved with MS-UK would be a way of providing support.’
We wish Martin all the best for the future and we know he won’t be a stranger.
Stepping up to the Chair’s role will be Trustee Matthew Swan. Matthew is a Commercial Manager in the banking sector, is a treasurer for another national charity and is the Deputy Chair for the Colchester Mercury Theatre.
Matthew says, ‘MS-UK is an organisation which does tremendous work to help all affected by MS and I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with the Board and staff to help in any way I can to achieve the organisation's goals and aspirations.’ We look forward to welcoming Matthew to this role.
We have also welcomed two new trustees, Laura and Charlie
Laura lives in Colchester with her family and is a registered Occupational Therapist working as Head of Clinical Operations at St Helena, a hospice charity in north Essex. MS is one of the life-limiting illnesses that Laura helps to support in her role.
Laura is a strong believer in choice and independent living in spite of, and not limited by, a life-limiting diagnosis.
From a personal point of view, Laura’s sister-in-law lives with MS and as a family member, Laura has followed and supported her journey to date.
Charlie Stebbings is 25 years old, currently living in London and works for a sports, media and entertainment headhunting and consultancy firm. In his spare time, you’ll normally find him watching or playing some form of sport.
He has been exposed to the harsh realities that MS can bring for the last 10 years when his mother was diagnosed with relapsing remitting MS.
MS-UK was the charity that he identified with most strongly and therefore when the opportunity arose to take up the position of trustee, Charlie says it was an easy decision to take.
‘The work MS-UK does is integral to the fight against MS and ensuring that those who are affected in any way have the support and knowledge to best deal with the condition. Whether you, a family member or friend have a diagnosis of MS, learning to live with the condition is a challenging task for all and there is no substitute for having the support of those professionals who you know are always there to help if needed,’ Charlie said.
Charlie believes there is plenty of opportunities for him to influence the fantastic work currently undertaken by MS-UK and he can’t wait to get started.
We are sad to see Martin retire from MS-UK and wish him all the best for the future. This is an exciting time for MS-UK to look forward to all of the amazing work we can do with our new look Board of Trustees.