Multiple Sclerosis Trust

The MS Trust's mission is to make a real difference for people with MS through the provision of information and professional education, by funding practical research and by campaigning for the improvement of MS services. We work to the highest possible standards and actively seek opportunities to work with other organisations to provide real benefit for people with MS.
Apr 20, 2011

April - quarterly update for Helping people with MS in the UK to stay mobile

core stability training
core stability training

This project will be conducting research into the benefits of Pilates-based core stability training for people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). This research project is being lead by Dr Jenny Freeman, a lecturer in rehabilitation and physiotherapy at the University of Plymouth, and research fellow at the Institute of Neurology. Dr Freeman has significant experience in undertaking clinical trials in the field of MS, and of supervising post graduate research projects at masters and doctoral level.

Dr Freeman is currently in the process of recruiting the people needed to make this research happen, including a research co-ordinator, treating therapists, and blind assessors. We are hoping to start this project in June.

A total of £3,500 has been raised to date from charitable trusts and foundations but a further £40,000 is urgently needed to be able to fund year one of this research project.

This project is really important because it will provide the clinical evidence needed to get core stability training included in the treatment and management of MS symptoms. This type of physiotherapy really can make a difference to someone with MS. Heather has been receiving core stability training which has improved her posture, strength and mobility -

‘I’d been finding it harder to walk, and spent more time in my wheelchair.  My posture wasn’t good and I was surprised to find that simple jobs like making a cup of tea were becoming more difficult.  Last year I spilt a cup of tea in my lap and burned myself badly.  Now I’m having regular core stability training to improve my posture and strengthen my muscles.  It’s making such a difference.’      (Heather, who has MS)                    


    Apr 20, 2011

    April - quarterly update on Free helpline for people with MS in the UK

    Louise and her family
    Louise and her family

    Firstly a big thank you to everyone who has made a donation towards the MS Trust's helpline for people with MS in the UK. We are very grateful for your support.

    The last three months (December 2010 to February 2011 inclusive) have been particularly busy for our Information Team who answer the calls, emails and inquiries we receive. We suspect the increase is partly to do with the Government's proposed changes to the NHS which is a real worry for people with MS as MS services are likely to be affected. Our support line will therefore be even more vital as a first point of call for those who are stressed and do not know what to do next.


    We have helped the following number of people in the last three months by answering their questions and/or providing them with information about MS related issues:

    February 2011 = 933, January 2011 = 685, December 2010 = 267 (Total of 1,885 - the total for the previous three months was 1,431)

    The majority of the calls we receive are from people with MS; 1,414 over the last three months. We received 266 calls from MS health professionals including nurses and therapists, and 118 from family members who are affected by MS.

    The most common inquiries were about core stability and MS nurses. Our most requested information book was 'Primary progressive MS exposed', and most popular factsheet was 'cognition' (memory and thinking).

    Louise's story

    Louise, aged 46, is married with two children and was diagnosed with MS in 2003.

    Initially Louise didn’t want to know about MS. Then she started researching and found out too much – with MS, it is like asking “How long is a piece of string?” – it is just too big to comprehend. But Louise feels she has now reached a point at which she can’t deny where she is, so she now wants as much information as she can get. The information and support she gets from the MS Trust helps her to make her own choices about the management and treatment of her MS. Louise says "I really appreciate the MS Trust's helpline and information service and know that it is a trusted source of information. It's my first point of call!"


    Jan 25, 2011

    An update on how our free helpline is helping people with MS in the UK


    Thank you to everyone who has donated towards our free helpline for people with MS in the UK. The donations we have received have helped us to continue answering telephone calls and emails from people who are desperately seeking information or support.

    Since posting this project in November 2010 (which was our third busiest month in ten years!), we have answered nearly 800 calls and have provided people with MS and health professionals with the personalised information they have needed. Symptoms and treatments have been the two most asked about subjects. In 2010, we received 15% more calls than in 2009. The proposed changes to the NHS are likely to have an impact on people with MS so we are expecting to see an increase in calls in 2011. This means it will be vital that we continue to seek the support of individuals and organisations to help us fund our services.

    Here is a message we received from one of the beneficiaries of our helpline:

    "I can't stress enough how much I value the support and information I get from you. No matter if by telephone, email or via your newsletters, you (and my physiotherapist) have been my lifeline throughout the past two years. Thank you."

    It is only with the support of individuals that we will be able to continue providing services, such as our helpline, for people affected by MS.

    Thank you again from everyone at the Multiple Sclerosis Trust.



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