The changing world is meaning that we’re having to continuously make difficult decisions about how we need to adapt as an organisation. This includes the very hard decision to stop all face-to-face support across our community, in line with government advice.
Supporting our community
Throughout this crisis our number one priority is supporting people affected by MS. We will provide the most accurate and up-to-date information, opportunities to connect, and practical help and support to our community.
- We’re keeping our webpages on COVID-19 updated on a daily basis, responding to new evidence, or changing government advice. We have seen huge volumes of people reading these pages, and know that we’re playing a vital role in keeping our community informed during these difficult times. You can see this information on our main website here.
- We’re also seeing enquiries to our helpline increase substantially, and have already deployed a number of staff from other roles across the organisation to support with responding to the urgent questions from the MS Community.
- We’re establishing new time-to-chat sessions, where people with MS can come together virtually to talk about concerns, or how they’re adapting to the challenges. You can find out more about these, along with our information webinars and wellbeing sessions, here.
- We’re working urgently to set up a new keep-in-touch service where the most vulnerable in our community can register for a weekly check-in call with a member of our team.
- We know that many of our groups have also responded by setting up new telephone or online services in their local community – thank you.
We’ve had to re-think some of our plans for some key projects this year to make sure we can deliver this support:
- Stop MS: We are postponing the next planned promotion of this externally until September. This does not mean that it has stopped, we will continue to collect donations and work on the research commitments that these are funding. You can read more about Stop MS here.
- Our new Strategy 2020-2024: We have developed our strategy but due to the situation, we’re moving the launch to later in the year. We’ll come back to you on that, in the meantime take a look on the website here.
- MS Week: Due to the delay of Stop MS, we will be focussing our MS Week campaign on our essential services to support the community.
How you can still volunteer and help others
We know that many of our local groups have already set up online or telephone support for their local community, and we would encourage all our groups to work with their volunteer team and local staff to consider how you can respond.
We’ll also be creating new opportunities to volunteer for our national services over the coming weeks. But there are also ways that you can support the wider community, should you feel able to:
- The NHS have asked for 1.5 million volunteers to help respond to the crisis. This includes options for those who cannot leave their homes, through phone calls with other isolated people. Go to the website here for more information.
- Many local groups have been created throughout the country, to offer help to their local community offering shopping and prescription collection and drop off for those who aren’t able to leave the house. Have a look on the Mutual Aid website for more information.
Make sure you’re getting the right support and information from us
We want to make sure you are receiving the correct support and information from us, about your role, and how it might be affected.
If you’re a volunteer with access to the portal please make sure that the list your group of volunteers is accurate, and the contact details are up to date.
Where a group service or activity is currently suspended, please update your listings on the Portal to reflect this.
Please contact the Supporter Care team if you need anything updated.