We have a membership of around 24,000 people, but many more people are affected by MS in the UK.
At last year's AGM our members voted in favour of transforming our membership offer.
These membership changes will help us to support more people, build a stronger community, and drive forward our goal of providing vital support services and world-leading research.
Why we evolved our membership offer
Right now we have around 24,000 members. But we estimate that MS in the UK affects more than a million people, when you take into account the 130,000 people who have the condition and their friends and family.
Our membership numbers have been dropping, so to maximise our impact we need to reach and build relationships with many more people in the MS community.
To help us to evolve our offer we received lots of excellent input from both existing members and potential new ones.
What does it mean to be a member of the MS Society?
- Membership is free to everyone (you no longer have to pay £5).
- Members are no longer legal members of the charitable company. But you can still vote to elect the majority of the Board of Trustees by being part of a new electorate.
- MS Matters is free to read online or you can subscribe to receive it in print for £5.
- Members will be able to log in to our website and tailor the information we send them. We're working on this right now to be ready in Spring 2021.
Your say in what we do is still important
Up until 1 January 2021, all members were legal members of our charitable company. That gave them certain rights, including voting at our Annual General Meeting (AGM) to elect our trustees.
Those legal responsibilities have now transferred from our members to our Board of Trustees and National Council chairs. But members can still vote to elect new trustees by choosing to be part of our new electorate.
The new governance structure will help us to reduce costs and simplify processes while making sure you still have a say.
Our democratic principles are the same under the new model. We’ll always work with and listen to our MS community, so your voices guide how we operate as an organisation.
What you need to know if you joined as a member before 1 January 2021
- Existing members have been automatically transferred into the new membership.
- If you used to receive MS Matters by post, your annual £5 membership fee has now changed to a magazine subscription.
- For members who chose not to receive the MS Matters we hope, where possible, you’ll be happy to continue your £5 annual contribution.
- If you pay by direct debit or standing order, your annual payment will automatically by converted to a magazine subscription or donation unless you tell us otherwise.
If you’d like to make any changes to your contributions as a result of these changes, call our Supporter Care Team on 0300 500 8084 or email [email protected].
An exciting new online account that’s just for you – launching this Spring
We’re building an exciting new online space that members can personalise to get information that’s relevant to them.
This will give members control of how they get involved with us, as well as a chance to connect with other people affected by MS, and their local MS Society Group. We’ll be launching this in Spring 2021.
We want to hear from you
If you have any questions about the changes to membership and what they might mean to you, please email [email protected]. A member of the team will be more than happy to help.