An 'unforgettable' AGM
Pictured: Vivian Smith, MSNTC Development Advisor and Roger Jefcoate CBE, Patron of MSNTC, with a member of the Hilton staff who came to our rescue
The 2009 MSNTC AGM, held in Milton Keynes on 28 June, will be remembered for a long time by those who attended.
'Self-help' and the Hilton Hotel, Milton Keynes save the day
Forty-five people arrived to find the gates of the venue for the AGM locked and bolted. Once it became obvious that there was no-one coming to open up the venue (which had been booked well in advance for the AGM), the members of MSNTC lived up to their motto of 'self-help is our way of action'. They quickly identified the Hilton Hotel at Timbold Drive, Kents Hill Park, as a possible alternative venue and David Wray, MSNTC's newest trustee, contacted the Hilton. The hotel sprang into action and provided a meeting room with disabled access, refreshments and even allowed the MSNTC members to use the outside dining area for their own picnic lunch.
"The AGM began only one hour late and it was a great success despite the problems at the start", said Neil Kemsley, Chairman of MSNTC. "We are extremely grateful to the Hilton Hotel for their help at such short notice, which allowed us to go ahead with this important annual event."
Representatives from 15 Member centres attended the AGM, together with Dr Petra Kliempt, our Medical Advisor, and Professor Philip James. Guests included our patron, Roger Jefcoate CBE and his wife Jean; Stewart Long from the MS Society; Pam Macfarlane and Nicola Russell from the MS Trust; and Abi Crawford from MS Resources. After the AGM, Professor Philip James gave a talk on Oxygen Treatment. Duncan Richardson, of JDI, led a lively brainstorming session after lunch on Transport Best Practice, Attracting New Members and Volunteers.
Pictures, clockwise from top-left:
» Dr Petra Kleimpt and Professor Philip James chatting to Neil Kemsley
» Duncan Richardson of JDI leading the brainstorming session after lunch
» The audience at the AGM
» Al fresco lunch
Is this the most remarkable fundraiser ever?
On Saturday 12 September, personal fitness trainer Simon Barnes sets off from John O'Groats to run to Lands End. He aims to cover the 871 miles in just 16 days. That is the equivalent of 16 consecutive ultra-marathons.
He is running to support the work of the MS Resource Centre and to raise the profile of the issues faced by people with MS as highlighted by the MSRC Patron, the former rugby international and BBC commentator Alastair Hignell.
To help him on his way, Therapy Centres along the planned route will be turning out to encourage Simon and to provide physiotherapy when he needs it.
To find out more about the man and the plan, follow the following link to the MSRC website: http://www.msrc.co.uk/index.cfm?fuseaction=show&pageid=2883
Collaboration between MSNTC and the MS Society
The two largest societies in the field of MS are the MS Society (with approximately 40,000 members) and the Therapy Centres who are part of MSNTC (with approximately 12,000 members). Attendees at the Open Meeting heard about recent new collaborative developments between these two charities.
In October the MS Society and MSNTC issued a statement affirming their joint wish to work together at national, regional and local levels. You can find the full MSNTC/MS Society joint statement here.
Under this new initiative, the two charities will look at the ways in which a sample of local MS Therapy Centres and MS Society branches are already working together to improve the quality and range of services available to members of both organisations. It will identify not only the 'success factors' but also those obstacles that have hindered co-operation. The aim is to define a set of criteria which will help MS Therapy Centres and MS Society Branches to improve their working relationships and provide more coordinated help for the people that both organisations exist to serve.