We know this is a worrying time for our community. Over the last few weeks, calls to our MS Helpline have increased significantly. And more people than ever before are visiting our website for information.
Our priority is you
We’re doing all we can to make sure everyone affected by MS can get the support they need. That means over the next few months we’re going to focus on:
- supporting our MS community with the most accurate and up-to-date information, ways to connect, and practical help and support
- working closely with health and social care professionals. Helping them keep up the services our community needs and making sure decision makers in government understand the challenges we face
- making sure we have the resources, skills and tools we need to work in new ways. So our wonderful volunteers and colleagues can keep our services running online and over the phone.
Coronavirus, charities and donations
But, while demand for our services has increased, our fundraising income is at risk because of coronavirus in two main areas: community fundraising and events and legacies. Like many charities most of our income comes from donations. And we know we’re not alone in the charity sector in facing these difficulties. For us, we think the crisis could impact our income by up to 30%.
We’re working very hard on new ideas to raise money from home – please do support us if you can.
Making our resources work hard for our community
The good news is, we enter this phase as a financially secure organisation. We’ve got reserves and good cash and liquid assets, and we’re well managed.
However, with such a significant potential change to our funds, we also know we need to take some difficult decisions and focus on our priorities if we’re to secure the future of the organisation. With this in mind, we’re looking at our plans and identifying things that are essential for us to do to keep serving our community. And we’re developing a package of cost saving measures to help us get through this situation.
Some of our colleagues are unable to work during the crisis. So we've been taking up the subsidy introduced by the government under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, where it pays 80% of staff wages while they can't work. While the crisis continues, approximately one third of staff members are on a temporary leave of absence (or furlough). While these staff members are on furlough leave, the members of our Executive Group are donating 20% of their salary to the MS Society.
We’re in this together
I know these are unsettling times, but I have no doubt we will keep giving our community the very best support. Please reach out to us if you need our help, want information or just want to talk, no one has to face MS alone, we’re in this together.
Remember you're not alone
We're here for you. If you’re worried about your MS and coronavirus and want to chat to someone, call our MS Helpline on 0808 800 8000. We’re here Monday to Friday, 9am to 7pm except bank holidays.
And if you'd like to talk your worries through online with other people who know MS, visit our Online Community Forum today.
This blog was updated on Wednesday 27 May 2020