Does acupuncture work for your MS?

acu 300Hello everyone!

With the many different symptoms MS likes to throw at us on occasion, sometimes we turn to complementary therapies. There are lots out there, from reflexology, massage and herbal remedies to name a few, but which ones do you choose?

I have an aromatherapy massage once every six weeks and that helps release tension from my body, as well as giving me one hour to relax with no distractions. It’s by no means a cure for my MS, but it’s beneficial to my overall wellbeing and I’ll take that.

In the upcoming issue of New Pathways I’m going to be looking at acupuncture and I would like to speak with those of you who have tried it. Did it work for you? What were the benefits? Would you recommend it? I’d love to hear your experiences, so if you’d like to share them, email me at by the 29 September.

I look forward to hearing from you all!



Editor of New Pathways

Posted in Acupuncture, Chronic illness, Complementary therapies, disability, Disabled living, Drug free alternatives, MS, MS symptoms, MS-UK, Multiple Sclerosis, neurology, New Pathways, Uncategorized, wellbeing, Wellness | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Guest blog: 30 years on…

In her latest guest blog Liz talks about the past 30 years living with multiple sclerosis (MS)…

Liz Murby_300Ours is certainly a tricky condition, like life itself, being unique to each and every one of us.., my first response to the thought/question of penning another blog was, honestly, why?…, but mindful of last night’s discussion with son #1, who shall remain nameless, I thought, well, if not you, who….? (a la ******), so here it is….,

Following a couple of recent calls to my GP, turns out, I was diagnosed with MS, in August 1987…, 30 years (just) ago…well, I don’t remember either:

  1. This happening at all, [I was in the middle of studying for my degree at the time], put vaguely scribbled 2nd year revision notes down to stress (who wouldn’t?!)
  2. That my MS has particularly stopped me from doing anything that I have been particularly keen to do in the mean time
  3.  Giving birth to, and partially raising 2 fabulous sons
  4. Gaining my Economics degree;
  5. Having a go at ski-ing!!! not great, but I did enjoy it, though probably never again!- balance/confidence etc!

Many very helpful things (for the MS community worldwide) have certainly happened, and continue, day by day…my involvement in/membership of Twitter, the Tweeting community, being one example…

Met, in person, the chap who kindly introduced me to MS publications (you know who you are C, and his fabulous wife N, they drove all the way from XXXX miles down South, but they didn’t give up, and certainly taught me a lot: my own needs, visible to others though they may, to a certain extent, are not going to stop the world from turning.)

The local (and it’s tricky here, ‘my’ county has borders with 7 others…) has very recently established a new county wide MS group: thanks M, awaiting further details, patiently, as promised.

I ‘heard’ from a trusted (MS) tweeter… of a very recent research breakthrough, that has also been successful in the treatment of pancreatic cancer (my best friend, and God-father to my elder son, died of this in 2007…, bye, still love you Coops!)

To be honest, there is nothing like the delivery of one’s first born child…his brother, exceptionally large, (12lbs, 5oz) may have been a shock to all 3 midwives involved in his delivery, and certainly it took 3 scales to confirm…, my point{s} being that, like it or not:

  1. However large your belly is, that bump is coming out, hopefully healthy and happy!
  2. Death is a part of life’s rich circle/ tapestry…
  3. The longer we’re here, the closer to a pain/trouble-free departure for us all, we become;
  4. It’s kind of obvious…
  5. However difficult in may seem,
  6. Enjoy the NOW, and maybe think of helping others first as much as you can, you may feel good for it: I do

Now, in yesterday (late) evening’s chat, I promised son 1 I’d tackle a crossword today, brain active etc, so maybe after making sure all is safe here, I’ll give that a go…wish me luck! Cheers!


Posted in blogging, Chronic illness, Diagnosis, disability, Disabled living, GPs, Guest blog, MS, MS symptoms, MS-UK, Multiple Sclerosis, neurology, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Queensferry Crossing

In this guest blog Ann Rice tells of her and her husbands walk over the Queensferry Crossing bridge in aid of MS-UK

Hi everyone,

Ann Rice 3On 03 September, my husband and I walked across the new Queensferry bridge over the river Forth. This was billed as ‘a lifetime opportunity’ as the bridge will carry cars and lorries and has no pedestrian walkway. There has been a huge public interest in Scotland, and a ballot was held for permission to walk the bridge. Only a quarter of the 200,000 applications was successful. We were among the lucky few.

This was very pleasing as we had walked the original Forth Road bridge when it opened in 1964. We were students in Sheffield and bet some friends (probably in the student bar) that we could hitchhike to the bridge faster than them. We won the bet, arriving at the bridge in the middle of the night. It was cold and sleeting. We then had to hitchhike back in the early hours of the morning.

Ann Rice 2Walking the new bridge was an opportunity to raise a little money for one of my favourite charities. Our youngest daughter has had MS for more than 20 years. After the initial shock at the diagnosis, she scoured the web for information. Among the gloom and doom she found the MS-UK website (which had a different name then). They offered hope, encouragement and lots of helpful information. This is vital for any long term illness.

It was a great experience, people with children, buggies, wheelchairs and everyone happy to have won the lottery to take part.

Best wishes to you all,

Ann Rice

Ann Rice 4  Ann Rice

Posted in Charity, Chronic illness, Diagnosis, disability, Do your own thing, family and MS, Fundraising, Guest blog, Helpline, MS, MS-UK, Multiple Sclerosis, Uncategorized, Walking, Website | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Our Impact Report…

Hello,Impact Report cover 2016

I am really pleased to say you can now read our Impact Report online at

This booklet is our way to thank you to MS-UK supporters and celebrate our success in a public way.

Our mission is to provide high quality, accessible and relevant information and support to anyone affected by multiple sclerosis and in 2016 we built upon our strong foundations to do this.

In this report you can read about the MS-UK Helpline, New Pathways magazine and our Essex-based wellness centre, Josephs Court. I hope you enjoy reading about the progress we made in 2016.

I am proud of what my team has achieved in meeting needs of our clients. Throughout the year we continued to listen to real people affected by multiple sclerosis, and use their voices to shape our services.

Thank you for being part of the journey so far, and I look forward to the future and supporting even more people affected by MS.

Best wishes,


Amy Woolf, CEO

Posted in Charity, Chronic illness, Colchester, disability, Essex, Helpline, Helpline Live Web Chat Service, Josephs Court, MS, MS-UK, MS-UK Impact report, New Pathways, supporters, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

MS-UK get their wellies on!


My name is Sarah, and I’m the General Manager here at MS-UK. Every year, I organise four team training days for all of the staff here. The team are asked to give ideas of what they would like to do which are discussed further during staff meetings.

A lot of our roles at MS-UK are part time where staff work different days and in different departments. These team days give everyone the opportunity of getting together and getting to know each other. I try to make the team days enjoyable while working with the management team to provide training necessary for our organisation, whether it be internal training or with an external trainer.

Our latest team day involved us volunteering for another charity, Wellies On, a working farm.


The day began with a talk from Wellies On Managing Director Ellie, who explained how the 40 acre farm brings together people from all walks of life who may be able to benefit from being outside in the countryside. We had a tour of the farm, followed by Ellie’s sidekick, Angus the dog!


After meeting the lovely goats and learning about the ice cream made by the farm we divided into three groups, which gave everyone a chance to catch up with members of staff in different departments.

One group took on the challenge of clearing overgrown brambles and weeds and laying a new bark pathway. They were very happy as they managed to eat a lot of blackberries during the day!

The second group made their way to the sheep pen, dismantling an old fence and digging holes for new fence posts to be erected. The sheep didn’t seem to mind us, until we cleaned the animal water troughs and they decided to come and say hello.

The third group helped out by rubbing down plaster board walls and painting the new reception area for Wellies On.

Even though they were inside, we think they still ended up the messiest!

We had lovely weather for the day, and at about 12pm we enjoyed a pizza lunch in their fantastic yurt.

Overall we had a really fulfilling day where both our team and Wellies On were very happy with the outcome.

All of our staff had a brilliant day and we were able to support another local charity.

Best wishes,


You can find out more about Wellies On at


Posted in Charity, Colchester, disability, MS, MS-UK, Multiple Sclerosis, Uncategorized, Volunteering, wellbeing | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fundraiser of the month: Tijmen Wigchert

Our fundraiser of the month for September is Tijmen Wigchert! Tijmen recently accepted one of our places for the Virgin Money London Marathon and introduced us to his company CBW, who have now chosen us as their charity of the year!

Here’s Tijmen’s story…

Tijmen Wigchert cropMy name is Tijmen Wigchert and I am going to run the Virgin Money London Marathon in 2018 and am the ‘ambassador’ of CBW’s Charity of the Year – MS-UK.

This means that CBW will support and take part in charitable activities for MS-UK until August 2019 and I’m very pleased and proud to be organising events for this over the next two years.

My mum was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) quite a few years ago. At the beginning I had no clue what MS actually was but the MS organisations helped me to get to know more and more about the disease. I have to say that I am still learning more about it every day.

My mother set up the intensive care department in a hospital in The Netherlands all by herself, so it was weird to see how she needed help after she has been helping others day in and out. She luckily still works there, but it depends how much she can work on how she feels. MS has shown me to appreciate every single moment because it can be a true rollercoaster.

This is also the reason why I am fundraising for MS-UK. I wanted to do it obviously for my mum, but also for all the other people with MS. Especially since it is so different in everybody who has the disease. Alongside this I am raising money for MS-UK as it will also be a great opportunity to create more awareness.

I can’t wait to run the Virgin Money London Marathon, this will be my first marathon and it will be such a challenge. Over the next couple of months and years I will be updating more information about CBW’s Charity of the year on CBW’s Facebook page and on my own page: Here I will be discussing my way to the marathon, and how I am raising money and awareness for MS and MS-UK.

So far, we already have a great fundraising plan and something I have learned along the way is: Don’t be afraid to ask, you will be amazed how people would like to help!

You can find out more about MS-UK’s Virgin Money London Marathon places by clicking through to our page. If you have an employer interested in partnering with MS-UK please contact Jill on or read more here.

Posted in Charity of the year, Chronic illness, Diagnosis, disability, Disabled living, family and MS, Fundraiser of the month, Fundraising, London, Marathon, MS, MS symptoms, MS-UK, Multiple Sclerosis, neurology, Running, Uncategorized, Virgin Money London Marathon | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

We have big news!

Hi everyone,


I am really pleased to announce that we have secured funding from the National Lottery for our Essex based service, Josephs Court.

The funding will span the next five years and totals £499,300. This will go towards the running costs of Josephs Court, and help us support even more people in our local area affected by multiple sclerosis (MS).

Josephs Court has a range of specialised exercise equipment and expert professionals on hand enabling people living with MS to exercise and manage their condition regardless of their levels of mobility. The Big Lottery Fund will support 72% of the costs of providing the service.

It is business as usual at Josephs Court, but thanks to the Big Lottery Fund we are definitely here to stay for the long term!

Best wishes,


Amy Woolf, CEO

Posted in Big Lottery Fund, Charity, Colchester, Essex, Josephs Court, MS, MS community, MS exercises, MS-UK, Multiple Sclerosis, neurology, Uncategorized, wellbeing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment