Our Cymru Council works on behalf of people living with MS in Cymru/Wales.
Cymraeg | English
The Council is ultimately accountable to our Board of Trustees.
Our meeting dates for 2021 are:
- Saturday 20 February
- Saturday 8 May
- Saturday 4 September
- Saturday 13 November
Meetings (except for occasional confidential items) are open to MS Society members. If you’d like to join a Cymru Council meeting online, please contact us by email at [email protected]y.org.uk
Meet our Cymru Council members
Kath Foot, Chair
My family has been affected by MS for 10 years. We were faced with a condition we knew little about - it was scary, emotional and we did not know where to turn. We then discovered local MS Society groups, and realised we were not alone.
The MS Society was a huge help then, and continues to be. There is so much to focus on – access to the right treatment, social care, respite and help for carers, employment support, understanding the welfare bill - all are issues my family have faced. I am also an active fundraiser.
Ann Jones, Vice Chair
I was diagnosed with Secondary Progressive MS in 2001, and as a result have an understanding of MS and the effects of living with the condition. It never fails to amaze me how many people still remain unaware of the problems experienced by those with MS.
I am the secretary for the Rhondda Cynon Taff, and Merthyr local groups of the MS Society. I also try to raise awareness of MS and the work of the Society. The role of the Council is an important one; I hope that my skills and experience help me contribute in even a small way.
Glyn Furnival-Jones (Vice Chair)
I was diagnosed with MS in 2004, and the following week I joined a rugby club then spent the next ten years not looking - or feeling - particularly disabled.
Since then I've become progressively more disabled and found myself stunned by how different life is, and how seemingly ordinary things like buses, taxis, and toilets can so easily be the things that lead to isolation and depression because of the obstacles they cause.
Thanks to a group in Cardiff that the Society supports, I've found my MS community and through it I've started getting involved.
I was a time served mechanic when I was diagnosed in 2003. This news devastated me, but I was helped by the MS Society. I appreciate how valuable the organisation is not only to me and my family but to everyone living with and affected by MS.
Being active in the MS community is very important to me. I am involved in campaigning and supporting the MS Society groups in West Wales.
Volunteering in the My MS My Rights My Choices project is also giving me the opportunity to learn new skills while supporting people living with MS.
I was diagnosed with MS in 1997 and have lived since then with the problem of fatigue. I have developed a range of responses to well- meaning people who say - oh yes, I get tired too.
I use this as an opportunity to inform people about MS and the varied range of symptoms, and the work of the MS Society in helping people with MS and affected by MS.
I am now happily retired and have the time to support and help causes that I feel passionately about. I am very pleased to be a member of the Cymru Council and will contribute in whatever way I can towards the vision of a world free from the effects of MS.
I’m a barrister practising mainly in Family and Criminal Law. I was diagnosed with relapsing MS in March 2019.
I have lots of experience representing the views of others and have experience of being a Trustee of large representative charities in Wales. Although I live in Somerset with my family, we are regularly back in Cardiff (when allowed!) and maintain lots of links with organisations and people across Wales.
I am looking forward to working with members to ensure the Council truly represents those living with MS in Wales and advocates for them effectively.
I’ve been married for nearly thirty years and had MS for most of that time. Like many people, I continued working (in IT and Mobile Telecommunications) for more than a decade with steadily worsening symptoms and have been working as a writer since “retiring” - with significant success.
I believe it’s important to recognise the achievements and variety of experiences that members have and for our Councils to involve a good cross-section of the MS community. We all have something to learn about living with our own individual MonSter, whatever it might throw at us.
On a more practical note, I have twenty years of experience in working with others to plan, implement and document all sorts of projects, often without detailed instructions and with a limited budget. I live near the Heads of the Valleys with my husband (who plays guitars and mandolin) and three assorted rescue cats.
Rev. Nanette Lewis-Head
I have been for many years involved with friends living with MS. My background has been in a caring profession linked with a keen public awareness of people’s needs.
I also have the determination to seek community support, and to bring attention to minority groups who sometimes feel their needs are not heard.
I am not reticent in speaking on behalf of others, or playing my part in ensuring the best of health services and support for members, whilst building on the excellent foundations already in place.
My wife has secondary progressive MS and was first diagnosed in 1987. I became her full-time carer in 2006 when I took early retirement as a civil servant in the Welsh Government. I served the Bridgend and District Group for many years, from team member to group coordinator.
My involvement with the local groups has given me the satisfaction of team working and of providing a service to people with and affected by MS. It has also given me a very good understanding of the effects of MS on individuals and families and of the positive effects of exercise, physiotherapy and social inclusion.
I currently represent the MS Cymru Council on the review team which is looking to improve the support offered to the dedicated and hard-working volunteers in our local groups. I am proud to fundraise, assist and liaise with our local groups, the Cymru Council and MS Society staff so that we all work together to support and benefit the MS community.
I have lived with relapsing remitting MS for 34 years and had a lengthy engineering career from plant electrician to Engineering Manager UK and India which I attributed to adopting a positive mental attitude.
I have given numerous talks from ground floor staff to board members as part of my working life, and also gave an impromptu speech at a MS newly diagnosed day in November 2018, and at a local school to assist Sian Dorward with fundraising.
Now retired, I have time to give something back so I volunteer at Torfaen Group with Health and Safety, I am a Stop MS Appeal Champion, a member of the South Wales Fundraising Team and a Cymru Council Member. I want to help all people, specifically newly diagnosed using my experience to show that you can have a career if you adopt a positive mental attitude.
I have been involved with the Gwynedd a Mon group of the MS Society for almost twenty years since a very good colleague was diagnosed with MS. I saw and felt first-hand the huge impact this had not only on him but on family and friends too.
During my time with the group I have been, at various times, treasurer and co-ordinator as well as being heavily involved with support. I have led the development of the group from meeting just once a month to having activities three or four times a week.
Over the years in addition to my personal experience and contact with those with MS, I have worked closely with MS professionals, social workers, and members of MS Cymru staff enabling me to see and work from many angles.
I had symptoms for many years before being diagnosed with relapsing MS in 2008, and more recently, it has become secondary progressive MS. I became a member of our local group Conwy & North Denbighshire in 2008, but as I was working full time, I could only attend their exercise classes. I also did a talk at a North Wales MS Society conference on “Working with MS”.
When I took early retirement in 2018, I became more involved with the group, and in August 2018, I became the Group Coordinator. I love my role on the Coordinating Team and I feel very privileged to now be a member of the Cymru Council too.
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