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Setting up your MS Support service

In this online presentation, find out what's required to set up your MS Support service, and the information and support available. View it in full screen and in Google Chrome for the best experience. Instructions on how to use this presentation are also available.

If you prefer to read this presentation offline, a distance learning pack is available.

  1. Download our distance learning pack

We want MS Support to be available to everyone who needs it, wherever they are in the UK. By offering an MS Support service, your group will help us meet this goal. We want MS Support to be available to everyone who needs it, wherever they are in the UK. By offering an MS Support service, your group will help us meet this goal.

See Group Handbook D1: Offering MS Support

We only provide support activities that meet our MS Support priorities and are safe, accessible and impactful. A well planned MS Support service considers these matters:

  1. Understanding local need
  2. Planning your MS Support service
  3. Our MS Support volunteer roles
  4. How to recruit Support Volunteers
  5. Need support?

Understanding local need

Before your group decides which MS Support activities to deliver, we want you to find out what is needed locally. Local staff, our members, MS professionals and your wider MS community can help you understand local need.

  1. See Developing services and activities for guidance on how to identify local need.


Planning your MS Support service

Once you understand what MS Support is needed locally, we want your Coordinating Team to consider these questions:

  • How will the activities you want to offer meet our four MS Support priorities?
  • How do you plan to cover the costs of offering MS Support?
  • What methods will you use to promote your MS Support service?
  • Do you have trained volunteers in place to provide your MS Support service?


Our MS Support volunteer roles

Support Volunteer

To offer an MS Support service, you must have a minimum of one Support Volunteer who has completed Support Volunteer Training and holds a current disclosure check. This enables your group to offer:

  • Emotional support
  • Enhanced information giving
  • Signposting to specialist advice
  • Help to complete grant applications and access financial support
  1. See our Support Volunteer role page

Lead Support Volunteer

If your group decides to set up an MS Support team, we recommend that you appoint a Lead Support Volunteer to coordinate your MS Support activities. They take additional responsibility for:

  • Assisting your Group Coordinator to recruit Support Volunteers
  • Coordinating and supporting your Support Volunteers
  • Delegating tasks within the team
  • Planning rotas
  • Reporting on your MS Support service at Coordinating Team meetings
  1. See our Lead Support Volunteer role page


Recruiting Support Volunteers

Your Group Coordinator has overall responsibility for recruiting, selecting and inducting group volunteers. However, they may choose to share this task with others.

If your group offers an MS Support service, you may have a Lead Support Volunteer who coordinates Support Volunteer recruitment.

Recruitment resources

We recruit all group roles with our agreed recruitment process, using our volunteer application form, role descriptions and recruitment guidance.

We make our selection based on whether a role meets an applicant’s aspirations, is within their capabilities, and suits the time they want to give us.

  1. Find out more about Recruiting volunteers

Support Volunteer tasks

To offer an MS Support service, all the tasks listed on our Support Volunteer role description must be covered, by one or more Support Volunteers.

  1. Download our Support Volunteer role description

All volunteers that carry out Support Volunteer tasks must complete Support Volunteer Training and hold a current disclosure check.


All potential Lead Support Volunteers and Support Volunteers must complete a disclosure check before being invited to attend Support Volunteer Training and being allowed to offer any new or existing MS Support activity.

  1. Find out more about Disclosure checks


Need support?

You support people affected by MS, but who supports you?

We do - with practical, emotional and peer support options, access to our specialist signposting database, regular knowledge updates and key MS Support resources.

  1. Find out how we Support your team


Back to Offering MS Support

Offering support