The MS Society was founded in 1953 by Richard and Mary Cave. They were frustrated at the lack of treatments and support available for Mary's MS.
The first meeting of the MS Society took place on 2 December. So later this year we’ll be celebrating 70 years of working tirelessly with and for our community.
The MS Society today
We’ve achieved so much in the last 70 years. Today, as in 1953, volunteers deliver and shape many areas of our work and decision-making across over 40 volunteer roles, and co-production and consultation groups.
Our MS Helpline
We launched our MS Helpline in November 1991. In 2022, we responded to over 25,000 enquiries — including 3,370 enquiries responded to by our MS Nurses. Our MS Helpline volunteers are also there to provide support and information to help people live well with MS.
Providing high-quality information
In 2022 alone, we distributed around 31,000 printed information booklets, and visitors to our website downloaded around 110,000 online resources.
Our campaigns community stands up for the rights of everyone affected by MS. In 2021, we launched a campaign calling for an end to the Sativex postcode lottery, with some great results. By June 2022, the number of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) who state they routinely fund Sativex increased by 45%. And, last year, over 14,000 people signed up in support of our flagship cost-of-living campaign, Breaking Point.
We’ve also invested over £227 million in today’s money into world-leading research, and we’re closer than ever to stopping MS. This year, we’ve started recruitment for Octopus, our revolutionary, multi-arm, multi-stage trial. We’ve also recruited almost 1,000 people to take part to our MS-STAT2 trial — making this the largest academic-led progressive MS trial to date.
Connecting MS communities
Of course, our wonderful local groups help make sure no one has to face MS alone. Across the UK, they provide more than 1,000 regular services and activities for people with MS, and their friends and families.
Our fundraising volunteers are tireless in their quest to raise the money we need to provide support and to stop MS. In 2019 we launched our £100m Stop MS Appeal to help us to find treatments that slow or stop progression for everyone. To date we’ve raised over £70 million. In 2022 we received over £24 million from donations and legacies to the MS Society.
Celebrating our anniversary
We hope you’ll join us in December to mark this milestone in our history — perhaps as part of any end-of-year celebrations you’re planning for your group. To help you create a party atmosphere, we’ll have free items available via our online shop, including:
- pin badges
- cake toppers
Look out for more details in our October e-newsletter!