Pauline, Sue and Cherie, participants in the Ms-UK knitting challenge

Knitting for MS

Joe Michael has embraced MS-UK’s Knitting Challenge! Here he explains what he’s been up to

Since 2012 I’ve been privileged to have an extended family and, each time I’m in London visiting them, ‘Aunty’ Sue Glover enriches me with her memories of her brother Richard Glover. Richard sadly died in 1992 having lived with multiple sclerosis (MS) since his diagnosis in 1980.

I didn’t know anything about MS and didn’t empathise as I should have. This was because I lacked awareness and understanding of the disease. So, for years, I was all talk and no action. I would sit and hear these wonderful stories of Richard from his daughter Catherine, and his sister Sue Glover, and occasionally I would say “I should do something for MS.” However, I’m neuro-divergent and organisation is not a strength of mine.

Last year my neighbour and good friend Richard shared with me his wife’s diagnosis of MS, so I decided to educate myself and find out a little bit about the disease. Along my journey, I signed up for the MS-UK newsletter, found out about the knitting challenge, and here I am now. I work in a small team of 14 and I asked the question “Can anyone knit? I’d like to raise some money for MS-UK”. As it turns out, the whole team has been amazing, whether it’s providing scarves and hats or purchasing gonks.

My colleague Sue Cartwright suggested holding a macramé class, teaching staff how to make macramé angels. Each person donated £5 to MS-UK and it was a great success.

We held an MS awareness session and our very own receptionist Pauline Thorpe shared her personal experience of living with MS. I think this was the highlight of my journey to raise awareness.

On the 12 December, my colleague Suze is running a pop-up shop in the Derbion Shopping Centre Derby, and all proceeds from the sale of the Christmas creations will be gifted to MS-UK.

We are also holding a raffle on 12 December. We received donations from Sue Carpenter, Catherine the ‘gonk lady’ and Rob the ‘book club man’.

It’s made me very proud of my team! I couldn’t have completed this without having these wonderful kind generous people at my side, I’ve learned some new skills and had lots of laughs.

If I can do this with my poor executive functioning, then anyone can.

If you are thinking of raising money for MS-UK, stop thinking about it and do it! You’ll be a better person for it and MS-UK will receive much-needed support.

Here is some feedback we received from Sue’s macramé class –

“You did a brilliant job demonstrating how to make lovely angels. I learned new skills and put the current one to the test. You had good patience when explaining the instructions. Positive results were attained by all. A lovely group activity. A BIG thank you to you.”

“Thank you so much for today’s lesson it was very enjoyable, and I’ve learned a new skill. We had a great time, and it was so relaxing after a hectic day. I highly recommend giving it a go. Sue, you’re a star, thank you”.

Join in MS-UK’s Knitting Challenge here!