Jordan, who works for Diageo, explains why he’s been fundraising for the MS Society since he was in school.
My dad’s MS
I was two when my dad was diagnosed with MS. For as long as I can remember, MS has been part of my family’s life. My dad lived with MS for 18 years before he passed away in 2010.
I remember times in my childhood when people just didn’t get what MS was. More people understand what MS is now. But I still think a lot more can be done to raise awareness of the condition.
My first fundraiser
When I was at school, I decided to organise a teachers vs pupils basketball game for the MS Society.
It was great, the whole school got involved and people wore orange MS Society t-shirts in the stands. My teachers knew my dad had MS and my basketball coach was the first to step up and say he would play. He also helped recruit others too.
Any time there were charity fundraisers at school, I was always the first to put the MS Society forward.
It wasn’t just my dad who was supported by the MS Society but my family as well. There are so many people affected by MS as well as the person themselves.
That’s always been the main driver for me - I want to give back as much as possible.
Inspired by my dad
Nothing held my dad back. He was a plasterer by trade and a hands on person who played football all his life. When my dad’s mobility deteriorated, he still did plastering around the house on his knees and wouldn’t let anything put him down.
My dad was my absolute hero. He was always there for the family, even with all of the difficulties he was facing.
The support he gave and the strength he showed inspires me to raise money and awareness of MS and to encourage others to do the same.
Fundraising at work
I work in talent engagement at Diageo and the business has always really been good with fundraising for charities. I asked how you put a charity forward as one of their chosen charities and they selected the MS Society.
When you start fundraising at work, you can feel like you’re wearing your heart on your sleeve a bit. With MS especially, you can worry people aren’t going to know enough about it to donate but the response has been great.
I can’t fault how supportive colleagues have been and the level of input they’ve given.
Before the pandemic we did lots of fundraising at our office, including dress down days and bake sales. Diageo doubled any funds we raised which was amazing.
How COVID-19 has impacted my fundraising
I think the pandemic has made it more of a challenge to fundraise. But it’s also given me a lot more time to learn about how people with MS have been affected by COVID-19.
Joining some of the MS Society’s webinars and learning about people’s experiences of things like shielding, has only given me more motivation to fundraise.
Although things are really challenging at the moment, I hope I can find new innovative ways to fundraise for a cause that’s close to my heart.
If you're thinking of fundraising, check out some of the ways you can still raise funds and just do it! You’ll be surprised at how supportive people can be when it’s a cause close to your heart.