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The photo shows Lynne sitting at a desk, smiling at the camera.

Volunteering to lead a great team

Lynne Roberts

Lynne said she’d spend a year helping the MS Society Moray Group get back on its feet. Nearly five years later, she’s still there. And the group have gone from strength to strength. 

Joining the Moray Group 

The Moray Group supports people affected by MS in its local area. In 2017, it had a small number of dedicated volunteers who'd tried very hard to keep it going. But it was on the verge of closing when I responded to a message on social media, asking if anyone could help. 

I spoke to Paula from the MS Society and said I could do a couple of hours of admin here and there. But the group needed someone to take the helm and make decisions. By the time Paula was finished, I'd taken on the role of Group Coordinator. She was very persuasive! My mission was to support the other volunteers, forge relationships and come up with new ideas. And to reach as many people living with MS in Moray as possible.  

Find your local group

Developing services people need 

One of the things I’m most proud of is leading the group to develop services which were desperately needed in this area. Through the generosity of local donations, we’re able to make a real impact on people’s lives.   

We fund exercise and physiotherapy sessions with a local neuro physiotherapy service, which also offers use of an anti-gravity treadmill. This can take a large portion of someone’s body weight to allow them movement they don’t often have. Our members report great progress! 

And we’re supporting mental health too by funding a one-to-one counselling service. 

Read more about MS and mental health

People can self-refer to these services or be referred by the local MS nurse. She’s said many times that these services have made a huge difference to her patients. This kind of feedback is priceless and really makes it all worthwhile. 

Getting together online 

Geographically, we’re not the best placed for meet ups. But we’re always trying to increase our outreach and collaboration. 

A tech-savvy friend kindly helped set the group up on social media. And this has been brilliant for raising our profile over the last few years. We now share all our events, plus things which other groups and the MS Society in Scotland are doing.  

We’re also partnering with the Orkney Group. They’ve invited us to join their watercolour art class, which will be a great opportunity to meet new people.  

Browse our upcoming virtual support events

Letting everyone know we’re here  

It’s so important for our community to know the group is here to support them.  

We now have Moray Group posters in every GP and dental practice in Moray, with hospitals soon to be added. The poster also runs in a TV ad on the monitors in the local sports centre.  

A couple of years ago we did a ‘Try Curling’ session for people living with MS in Moray. We now have a team in the league called ‘The Wheelies and Feeties’ (some are wheelchair users and some play from upright positions). We have our own logo and team jumpers sponsored by the company Johnstons of Elgin.  

For every donation we receive, we send a thank you card. We designed it to follow our theme - an inviting sofa with the Moray Group logo. This theme has followed us through the last couple of years and is now recognisable as ours.  

Passing on the baton 

I’ve been told I "breathed a new lease of life" into the Moray Group. But everything we’ve achieved has been a team effort. It just took a bit of leadership and a fresh pair of eyes.  

Five years since I told Paula I’d stay for a year, I’m now supporting the next Group Coordinator. I won’t step down until everything’s in place. 

Volunteering is a real privilege 

Volunteering has made me look at myself differently. It makes me more positive, and more appreciative of the things I have. There’s no room for ego. 

If you’re thinking of volunteering – go for it! You don’t have to commit every minute of your spare time. There are lots of different opportunities. So just be realistic about what you can commit to and what you have to offer. Any amount of time you can give can make a difference.  

Get involved 

People like you make a big different to people affected by MS. Browse our volunteering opportunities today.