Ever since my diagnosis of MS in 2013, I had always wanted to give back to the charities that gave me support when I needed it most. After I had got my head around the fact that I had this long term health condition, I wanted to arm myself with as much information as I could.
The MS Society was the first website I came across and it provided me with stacks of knowledge and advice on how to come to terms with everything. The first thing I did, was to order (what felt like a million and one!) information booklets covering everything I needed to know about my diagnosis. Symptoms, treatments, how to recover from relapses; basically anything and everything relating to MS, I ordered copies of. There was so much to find out and although some of the information didn’t relate to me at that present time, I knew that it could one day.
When things got really tough and I needed to talk to someone, I called up their helpline to ramble to a friendly voice. I asked about various treatments, what sort of future I could expect and many other random questions. The lady I spoke to was very friendly and understanding of my fears and put my mind at ease.
Their social forum was and still is, one of the most valuable tools I have found to cope with everday hiccups of living with a chronic condition. When I am unsure about a strange symptom, want some advice on what medication to consider taking or just generally connecting with others in the same position as myself; this is where I always head to.
So when work mentioned in their weekly bulletin, that they were looking for their next charity to support; I knew I had to get involved.
Over the course of 6 months, myself and my team organised various events across our office in order to raise any funds for the charity. I would like to mention that ‘come to work in your onesie day’ should be an every day event! This was just one of the charity days held; along with cake sales, dressing up as ghoulish characters on Halloween and dress down days. In total we managed to raise £550.11 which I was chuffed to pieces with. A special shout out to Barbara and Chris (my Mum’s friends), who also donated money after reading this blog – thank you so much!
I instantly got in touch with the Southampton and District Branch of The MS Society to let them know of our efforts. I organised for Donna and Debbie from the branch, to come to the office so that I could find out more about what they do.
The local branches organise various events and support groups for MS sufferers, as well as friends and families to get involved in. Meet ups, information talks and excersise classes; the branch covers it all. They work hard to fundraise the much needed money in order to run these events, as well as raising awareness for such an important cause. I hope to carry on raising as much money as I can for them in any way possible.