Younger members wanted to support MS Society’s work
PUBLISHED: 12:00 15 February 2018
More volunteers are needed to help run a service offering friendship to hundreds of people suffering from a life-limiting condition.
The Multiple Sclerosis Society hosts regular meetings at Weston’s Lauriston Hotel and coffee mornings at Wyevale Cadbury Garden Centre in Congresbury as well as events in Weston, but is in need of help to continue organising them.
There are about 340 people with multiple sclerosis (MS) in North Somerset while about 140 are registered with the society’s branch.
The condition affects the brain and spinal cord causing a range of symptoms including problems with vision, movement and balance.
Richard Shorrock has been helping to run the society for almost 30 years along with his wife Brenda, who suffers from the condition, and wants more younger people to get on board.
He said: “We only have eight committee members and not all of them are able to be active as some have MS themselves.”
“We give grants to people if they really want things done, for example to their kitchen.
“If it wasn’t for me being able to take Brenda out she would be housebound.
“We want to try to get some younger people involved (with the group).
“We are also in need of more people on the committee to help out.”
The society has also started to hold exercise classes run by MS-trained physiotherapists from the national centre in Bradley Stoke, on the outskirts of Bristol.
Janet Smith, who organises the sessions, says the ‘friendships’ which are formed among people facing similar challenges are just as important as the support with physical activity.
She said: “It is the friendships that are made as well.
“Everybody knows what you are feeling, you don’t have to put on pretences.”
The society also has close links with North Somerset Citizens’ Advice Bureau to offer members support with benefits, housing, employment and debt.
The MS Society, which was founded in 1953, boasts more than 270 local groups nationally.
These are made up of around 30,000 members who are supported by 5,500 volunteers.
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