Our MS Helpline provides a highly valued service to people living with MS; responding to a huge variety of questions and issues and giving support to those who need it. Last year they received some incredible awards for the help they provide, including Helpline of the Year 2018!
We’ve spoken to some of our helpline volunteers about their experiences:
Helen Cooke said: “I have MS, and I’m managing fatigue all the time, my greatest challenge was leaving work. Volunteering has restored the part of me that ‘went missing with MS’. “It’s a privilege to support people and I take pride in reassuring callers they can trust our information, especially those who are newly diagnosed. I feel part of something bigger than myself.”
Stuart Thomson’s life-experience helps him to help others with MS. His feeling of appreciation following a personal call with the Motor Neurone Society, attracted him to the helpline. “After being diagnosed in 1991, I didn’t want contact with anyone with MS. I didn’t read about it, just kept to myself. 23 years later I saw a tweet about joining the helpline. One of the first things I learnt was: not everyone’s MS is the same as mine – which I’d wrongly assumed! Everyone here works from the heart, and to be part of that is really special.”
Dorothy Sutton received a call from a lady who was really struggling. "She was not in a good way at all, and I feared for her safety. So as we talked I managed to get her address and arrange an ambulance. The paramedic assured me that she’d be alright, my helpline training was certainly put to the test!”
New: moving more with MS
Moving more with MS is a new behaviour change programme to help people get more active, and manage their symptoms better. Research suggests that physical activity improves balance, fatigue, muscle spasms, stiffness, low mood and depression.
Our new Physical Activities Specialist, Omar Tucker, will be running the programme.
Working with Sports England, this programme should help 155 people with MS to make positive changes to their lifestyle. If you currently do less than 30 minutes activity a week, Omar can help you to increase these activity levels.
Access to the programme is through the MS Helpline or via an enquiry form on our website followed by a phone call with Omar. If the service is suitable for you, support will include a personal action plan, lots of resources and regular phone calls.
Also new to our MS Helpline team is our Benefits Advice Specialist. Working alongside the Disability Law Service, Alan Blackett will be on hand to offer advice on what benefits are available to you, and to help with applications.
Contact the MS Helpline for more information, 08088008000