England Council

Our council members in England are ambassadors and advocates for people affected by MS across the UK.

During 2016, the Council will meet at the MSNC on the following dates:

  • 28 January
  • 31 March
  • 10 June
  • 18 August
  • 27 October

Meetings are open to members – you just need to register at least two weeks in advance by contacting englandcouncil@mssociety.org.uk or 020 8438 0757.

Annual meeting 2015

Meet the council members

Joan Collacott

I’m really impressed by how ambitious the MS Society is in delivering a wide range of services and financial help to people affected by MS, both nationally and locally.

I had a long career in nursing and management, and I wanted volunteer for a charity that supports people with MS.

The Society’s strength lies in the fact that it’s led by hard working volunteers at all levels. It means it can reach out and support people with MS in the best way.

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Simon Cox​

I have had MS for 30 years and my working life has been in the Construction Industry. My Volunteering for the Society started about 17 years ago only in a small way and then becoming a branch committee member, Vice Chair and then Chair.

From being Chair of the Yorkshire and Humber region I have taken a seat on the England Council. I am always working hard for PWMS to have a fulfilled and active life and wherever possible remove barriers and reinforce the work of the society. I enjoy my work as a volunteer as I feel part of a family that has to help each other and solve problems to make the most of life.

As an England council member I hope to help shape the future of how services are provided in England by the Society and Health and Social care. I feel an important role will be a conduit between members and branches views to the Council and Trustees.

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David Denholm

Looking forward, the Society faces many issues contained within our campaigns of “Fighting Back”: (emotional, social and work/career issues), and pushing for improvements in healthcare, independence and support as outlined in the “MS Manifesto.”

We have to fight back on behalf of different individuals and groups affected by MS across the English Regions – and those in the other Nations. The Council will play a key influencing role with members, volunteers and those affected by MS, as well as with trustees, MS Society staff and the Board. In addition, we have to be key opinion leaders both locally and nationally to help the Society address the health service inequalities that exist.

We cannot underestimate the challenges in the current economic climate. I want to use my experience and knowledge as a trustee of the Society and my business background to help us continue to “fight back”, move forward and secure the best possible future for those affected by MS.

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John Josephs

Shortly after my eldest son was diagnosed with MS, I joined the North of England regional committee, editing the Newsletter for six years and raising substantial amounts of money towards its cost. I served as Treasurer for four of those years. My personal experience and work on the committee have given me a deep understanding of the impact of MS on people’s lives.

My background as a Chartered Accountant, with thirty years experience in broadcasting, has given me a unique skill base to help design successful strategies and communicate them effectively, and is very relevant to the issues facing the MS Society today. I am delighted to have the opportunity to serve on the England Council.

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Jim McGown

My daughter was diagnosed with MS in 2001, following her first ‘episode’ in 1999. Having followed her progress in coping with the condition, I joined the MS Society to help others and became a volunteer with the Kettering Branch, assisting with fundraising and publicity.

I am confident that my experience in project management, sales and marketing, financial services, and running my own recruitment business, has equipped me with the skills to add value to the role of England Council member.

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Sarah Schol​

My mother bravely battled MS for over 25 years until she sadly passed away in 2010. Having seen and lived with the effects of this destructive condition, I am passionate about finding a cure.

Through my work as a senior HR professional, I have extensive experience in working with diverse teams to create and lead business strategy and implement large projects. I will listen to members and those affected by MS, bringing an unbiased view and the ability to think creatively and practically to generate the interest and revenue required to deliver the right solutions with the greatest return on investment.

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Sandra Berry

My professional background was in educational administration and in 2003 I retired as Facilities Director of an American university London Centre. My interest in health and social care led me to join Kingston Patients Forum; ultimately I became Chair of Kingston’s Healthwatch Pathfinder, communicating effectively with a wide variety of people and organisations.  Assembling and conveying to statutory bodies the views of local residents about their care services was fundamental.

Now, as Fundraiser for Richmond & Kingston MS Branch I work closely with the committee, volunteers and the public.  I have an ongoing interest in volunteering and bridging the gap between volunteers and staff.  I have seen how a successful Branch can operate and how it can transform the lives of people with MS and their families.  

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Phillip Gamble

I first became aware of the MS Society after my wife was diagnosed 19 years ago.  In those 19 years I have watched as the Society has gotten stronger and delivering more for people affected by MS.  

I have been a Branch Chair, Regional Vice Chair, Regional Treasurer and Area Treasurer.  I have worked with some amazing volunteers and could not praise highly enough the work that they do.  The strength of the Society is the branches and volunteers, offering opportunities and support to those who need them.

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Diane Lucas

Shortly after she emigrated to Western Australia, my daughter was diagnosed with MS. I couldn’t support her directly but knew I could use my ex-headteacher skills and ‘can do’ approach to help other people’s daughters and sons. That led me to the MS Society.

As MS Branch Chair I am now in a position where I can work alongside PwMS, listening and supporting at our fortnightly social/support group meetings and our weekly Tai Chi sessions. I am starting a young person’s group and am driving forward our Action Plan, focusing on innovative fundraising, support and FUN (including making crazy Raku-glazed sheep!) as well as on ‘Branch Essentials’.

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Page last updated: 14 Sep 2016

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