Information Day & Living Well with MS.
On 16th November the busy IOW Group held an awareness day to showcase their services and try and reach more people who are affected in some way by MS.
It was an enjoyable and most successful day. We were concerned that we might not get the support we deserve. We needn't have worried. The day went way beyond our expectations. Lots and lots of people, in excess of 80 in fact. We had two exceptional speakers from National Centre, plenty of information, refreshments and a wonderful feeling of community. Over 20 volunteers were on hand to answer people's questions, point them towards the answers they were seeking and ensure everything ran smoothly with a very relaxed atmosphere.
We found a quiet corner to listen to individuals if the need arose. I am pleased to say that we were able to chat with several people who were making their first contact with the society. One young lady who attended with her partner seemed to really appreciate the day having only being diagnosed with MS the day before. Two NHS MS specialist nurses attended and were kept busy by streams of people with endless questions no doubt.
The talk by Dr Sorrel Bickley was very encouraging about the direction and speed research is moving and Stuart Nixon MBE ambassador for the society, was very inspirational. He was, in his own words, 'blown away' by the whole event particularly the feeling of community within the group. Both speakers held the attention of all in the room and were well applauded.
After an extensive buffet lunch served by our volunteers, branch coordinator Paul Brading spoke of the services we offer and introduced several therapists who talked about the benefits of the treatments they offer, massage and aqua therapy were two examples.
Paul went on to thank the amazing band of volunteers. They make everything work by giving their time so generously to help run our charity shop, MS centre and coffee and cake shop in Shanklin.
The day could be summed up by the number of people who thanked us just for being there for them.

Lots of volunteers at the event

Stuart Nixon MBE, MS Society Ambassador
chatting to Group coordiator, Paul

 

Just some of the information available.
 

CHRISTMAS FAYRE
On 23rd and 24th November the busy IOW Group had a stall at a Christmas Fayre held at the John Chiverton Centre in Newport. The Centre is there for anyone living with or affected by any potentially life limiting illness. There was a most enjoyable Christmassy atmosphere there and plenty of happy people.
It was a very successful weekend where we raised nearly £430. We had a great little group of volunteers, lots of raffle prizes, hand made Christmas cards for sale and a guess the weight of a huge MS Christmas cake. Great fun was had comparing the weight of the cake to people's small children (and the occasional Elf).
Our Grand Christmas Raffle will be drawn in the Shanklin MS Centre on 14th December where there will be over 60 prizes thanks to the tremendous efforts of two volunteers, Paul and Shirley. The cake will continue to earn money until the date of the draw as people can still have a guess in our shop.
As always, we are there for people and we had many people wanting information about MS and the Island Group. It is very rewarding to be able to talk to and hopefully help someone new to the group. It's even better if you can enjoy the day too.
None of this would be possible without the dedicated support of our band of volunteers. Very many thanks to them all.
A very enjoyable event and successful weekend

Even the big kids enjoyed themselves.

A very inviting display
Capt Jack Sparrow showing support
 
Guess the weight.
 
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