Our Scotland Council works on behalf of people living with MS in Scotland.
The Council is ultimately accountable to our Board of Trustees.
Our meeting dates for 2022 are:
- Thursday 24 February
- Thursday 19 May
- Friday 2 September
- Monday 24 October
Meetings (except for occasional confidential items) are open to MS Society members.
If you’d like to join a Scotland Council meeting online, please contact us by email at [email protected].
Follow the Scotland Council's twitter account for the latest news and Scotland Council updates.
Meet our Scotland Council members
Laura Ingram (Chair)
My diagnosis of RRMS in March 2014 changed my life and my family’s forever. This wasn’t anticipated, desired or expected and I immediately entered both shock and denial. It’s taken me several years to acknowledge my MS and the MS Society and MS nurses have been a huge part of this.
Raising awareness of MS, raising awareness of support services and therapies, diversifying how we connect with communities and fundraising are key priorities for the MS Society and us as your council. Scotland council always have and always will do our best to represent the voices of people impacted by MS. If you’d like to contact a fellow volunteer, or have any recommendations how we can do this please drop me a line [email protected]
I experienced my first symptom of MS at the age of 19 and after further episodes I was diagnosed with relapsing remitting MS at the age of 21. I am currently in my final year of university, studying Animal Biology. I also volunteer on my local committee and on the Research Network.
Being 22, I can be a voice for young people affected with MS in Scotland and also for the younger volunteers of the MS Society. This is a voice I believe is under-represented in the Scottish Council. I would like to be part of increasing the number of young people who volunteer with the MS Society by ensuring they benefit from their volunteering as much as the organisation does.
Being from the generation that has grown up online, I’m very PC literate. I believe systems like online applications could help increase volunteers, even those unaffected by MS. This would not only increase volunteer numbers but also increase awareness of MS.
I'm lucky that since starting my disease modifying therapy (DMT) my condition has been very stable allowing me to put a lot of time into volunteering, I’m very committed to continue and increase my impact.
I was diagnosed with MS in 2007. Receiving the news wasn’t really a shock, but I had no idea what would happen next.Thankfully, I quickly found out about the wonderful support that the MS Society and MS nurses offer.
I also met people with MS, all of whom challenge MS in their own way. Challenging my own MS has since become a mantra for me, whether it has been running marathons, organising bake sales, or simply speaking in public about my diagnosis.
My professional background lies in challenging policy makers and campaigning for change. For the last nine years, I have led a policy and research team at a national charity, working to improve the lives of our clients. Speaking up for those who may struggle to be heard, and working to achieve positive change, are goals that I share with the MS Society. My experience of MS has been positive and I want to contribute towards the MS Society's work in ensuring everybody's experience of MS is as positive as it can be. I am honoured that my next step in challenging MS is as a member of the Scotland Council.
I’m a supporter, friend and family member of multiple people living with MS. And I’m passionate about making the voices of carers and supporters are heard. Although I don’t have MS myself, I do have a chronic condition. This means I live through similar healthcare challenges. And every time my loved one is waiting for results or I see their condition change, I live those moments with them.
The MS Society has given me valuable information on how to support our loved ones through hard times. I aim to help the voice of carers, supporters, friends and champions to be heard. I’ve campaigned and fundraised for years and now I’m a proud member of your MS Scotland Council.
Scott Burgess (Vice-Chair)
My MS diagnosis in 2018 came as shock as I had no prior symptoms. Following treatment with Lemtrada I resumed my passions of running, hillwalking and martial arts. I have fundraised for the MS Society through sponsored runs and I’m keen to show that it’s possible to keep active with MS.
The MS Society is invaluable in providing information and research about this unpredictable condition. It’s important to raise awareness of MS so that everyone understands both what it is and, equally, what it’s not.
I have a blog, grapplingwithms.com, where I write about my own experiences and stay connected with the MS community on Twitter @grapplingwithms and @msscotcouncil.
The MS Society’s aim is to beat MS, to beat MS now and in the future. To beat MS now we need to have provision for the best medication, care and support. To beat MS in the future we need to ensure support for world class research and endeavours towards treatment, cure and prevention. My background is in early stage development of new therapeutics from the academic sphere and directing these to industry uptake to develop new cures. I worked on MS research in Edinburgh funded by the MS Society Scotland in the late 1990s.
My background in therapeutics development, communication of science and business ideas to many audiences and my work in MS together with management experience in a senior position I believe will allow me to make a valuable contribution to the aims of the MS Society. I have previously been involved in many community activities in particular as a member of my local community council.
Two childhood friends’ lives have been severely impacted by MS. This and the support I received from the MS Society Scotland makes me enthusiastic, motivated and determined to provide the support I believe I can provide to the MS Society through the council.
Stephen O'Keane (Vice-Chair)
My mother has had MS for nearly 50 years, so it’s been a constant in my family’s life. We’ve been through every emotion together when accessing support and care. And when waiting for new treatments becoming available. Like other council members, I’m keen to raise awareness and understanding of MS.
I want to challenge myths and give a voice to carers. I’ve worked in financial services for 10 years in a variety of senior roles. I want to use my skills to support the MS Society’s work, and help it go further to reach more people.