‘Through volunteering I have met so many people’

Gwynfa explains why she volunteers for MS-UK and what she gets out of giving her time to the charity

Volunteering for MS-UK was never part of any master plan – it just happened and it soon became an important and significant part of life in the Pod household. I can’t even recall how or when it started but it did- and I have never looked back.

I first came to MS-UK in 1990 when it was ARMS and my husband was newly diagnosed – then as indeed now, the support and help has been huge and ongoing, and through volunteering we are both able to say a little thank you to the charity.

I would recommend volunteering wholeheartedly. It does not need to be any great commitment or grand gesture or even helping on a regular basis. Just do what you can, when you can and it will be greatly appreciated by everyone associated with MS-UK.

There is no ‘job description’ and there are so many ways you can offer time and energy and many others you have not even thought about – yet!

My volunteering includes helping at Swim Serpentine and the Excel Stand pre-Marathon, cheering runners on in the London 5K (as was) and the London Marathon and then perhaps the largest part for me is fundraising – making marmalade and jam, offering plants nurtured by friends and family for donations, and London station bucket collections.

Volunteering has much to do with raising the charity’s profile, such as wearing MS-UK T shirts, cycle shirts, MS-UK Monkeysox wearing, selling donated items including commemorative 50p coins, and charity pot collections from local shops, for example. They all generate conversations about multiple sclerosis and MS-UK.

Through volunteering I have met so many people, made so many friends, and made so many connections. All of these bring so much and are so rewarding in countless ways. Knowing how much volunteering means to others is reward enough.

So, if you are thinking about volunteering, please don’t hesitate about getting in touch. The wonderful team at MS-UK will help you every step of the way. They will value every contribution, however small or large. All you need is some time, some energy and lots of enthusiasm.

You will gain so much on a personal level too. Getting involved when you can, knowing how much every contribution is valued takes you places you may never even have thought of.