AGM 2012 - Northern Ireland candidates
- Peter Eakin
- Margaret Fry
- Derek McCambley
- Margaret Bagwell
- Pamela McMillan
- Liz Connor
- Tom Hunter
- Iain Crosbie
I have been involved with MS Society for over 18 years now as a member of my local Foyle Branch and served on the committee for that time and still do presently. I served as Chairman of the Foyle Branch for 8 years. I found this time very rewarding working at local level which is the grass roots of MS Society and where so much good work happens.
I am currently Chairman of the MS Society Council in Northern Ireland where I feel as a Council we have carried out some very good work over the last 3 years including lobbying our local Government, producing better services and providing better support for everyone living with MS in Northern Ireland.
I hope the next 3 years will bring more success and we could build on the work we have started, we will face tough challenges in the tough times we are living in. I feel if we carry on our work in the MSS Northern Ireland Council, raise awareness of our work within Northern Ireland we can make a real difference to people lives living with MS.
I have lived with MS for over 20 years. After diagnosis I was grateful for the reliable and up to date information provided by the MS Society. The Society’s strength lies in the fact that its volunteers are united by a common aim; “to beat MS”.
In my role as a volunteer at branch level I am aware of the importance of remaining active within the community in order to avoid isolation, form new friendships and enhance self esteem. Living with MS can be difficult however I feel it is vital to encourage people to seize every opportunity to enjoy life not just to endure it.
I am keen that the Northern Ireland Council continues to campaign and influence decision makers to ensure that the standards of care delivered to people affected by MS do not decline at this time of severe financial restrictions. The experience and skills gained in my professional life (Vice Principal in a large school) coupled with my positive attitude would enable me to provide a sound contribution to the valuable work of the Northern Ireland Council.
My name is Derek McCambley, I’m 50 from Bangor and I have had MS since 2005. I have also been a member of the Northern Ireland Council since its reformation and would very much like to continue this role.
I bring a lot of relevant experience to my role as a Council member, having worked extensively in the Voluntary Sector. This aside I also bring a strongly held belief in the MS Society’s value base and I want to do what I can to support it. I’m fighting back against MS and I want to make sure the MS Society is there as a strong force to help others do so as well.
My particular areas of interest are the needs of Younger People and Families, to build our Public Profile and Lobbying role, to continue to support our Branches to be the best they can be, to network and develop links with other Neurological organisations and to ensure that the Council is an effective and relevant voice for People with MS. I would ask you to give me the opportunity to continue my role as a Council member.
My name is Margaret Bagwell. When I was diagnosed in 2000 it was confirmed that I had secondary progressive MS. My first episode occurred when I was thirty years of age and during the intervening years I had bouts of strange illnesses which were all symptoms of Relapsing Remitting MS. At the time, my G.P. told me it had been suspected, for a number of years, that I had MS. Nowadays you are given the diagnosis immediately.
I have lived with MS for nearly forty years, so I have been there and done that etc. I have found that my years living with MS have taught me to voice my opinion strongly whilst on the Northern Ireland Council in order to speak up for the people living with MS. It horrifies me that so many people know little or nothing about MS.
In Northern Ireland we have the highest incidence of MS, per capita of population, in the whole world. I place MS leaflets everywhere I go, whether it’s with a Stormont MLA or a taxi driver, I make sure they know all about MS. The Northern Ireland Council has made great headway during the last three years but for me the expansion of the neuro-physiotherapy service has been the greatest achievement.
I have benefited personally from this service and it has provided me with considerable relief. I will do all I can to continue to help people living with MS for as long as I can. I hope I will be given the opportunity to serve a further term on the Northern Ireland Council for the MS Society.
I have been a member of the MS Society for 44 years following my husband’s diagnosis. We had only been married for six months. I qualified as a Registered General Nurse in1966 and held a number of different posts in the Royal Hospital (which was my training school) including Theatre Sister right up to Senior Management.
I have been Vice-Chair on the NI MSS Council for the past 3 years and am also Vice-Chair of the Omagh Branch.
I was Secretary of the Fermanagh Branch of the MS Society since its inception in the late 1970s until May of this year. I am married with 4 children and work part-time as a Personal Secretary to the Nursing Directorate in the South West Acute Hospital in Enniskillen. My interest in MS came about with my mother being diagnosed in the 1960s. With the premature death of my father, my sister and I became her principal carers.
I have lobbied, since the year 2000, for a change in the Charity law to ensure that Northern Ireland charities are accountable to the general public as to their expenditure. A Charities Commission has now been appointed in Northern Ireland. I have been a member of the NI Council since its inception, a role which I have enjoyed immensely.
The reason why I would like to be re-elected to the MS Council is to give a voice to those who have experience of MS but, living on the periphery of the Province, we feel that sometimes our voice is not heard. I would also hope that with my experience from both living and working with someone who has MS that I would make a worthwhile contribution to the Council.
Firstly, I would say that it would be an honour if I was chosen to be a council member. I have relapsing remitting MS and I see the Society as a family, that not only supports me, but is there to support everyone affected by MS; ranging from those who have the condition, to family members and carers.
The main thing that I have taken from the MS Society is that I have not been shown sympathy or pity, but empathy, and this is something that I would hopefully build upon and be able to show to others. I was working as a broker in London when I started to feel the effects of my MS and after my return to Northern Ireland in 2006, for a less stressful life, I had a major relapse that led me to being diagnosed in 2008.
I have been fortunate that my business experience has enabled me to develop a skill set that the MS Society is looking for in a council member. I have now trained as a counsellor and volunteer for the MS Society two days a week offering counseling to a range of people affected by MS.
A key message I observed at the annual meeting was a need for communication, lobbying and local support. This is something that resonated with me as I am an effective communicator and have lobbied with the Director of the Society at Stormont for local services. I know lobbying locally about local issues is a major challenge given austerity measures and proposed changes to Disability Living Allowance.
I was diagnosed with MS in 2004. In my working life I was a Senior Project Manager for a large multinational company and worked in Europe and North America until my medical retirement in 2009. I feel my skills in managing diverse, multicultural and multilingual projects have some relevance to the council activities, as do with my knowledge and understanding of governance and compliance issues. Together with other MS Society members, I was instrumental in setting up the Belfast Branch and chaired for 2 terms. I have experience dealing with newly diagnosed colleagues.
I also have been with the national MS Society Research Network since 2005,and have reviewed numerous grant proposal applications. Since 2009 I have been with the Research Network Steering Committee which is both rewarding and challenging. Becoming a Council member would be a privilege.