MS Awards guidance and category notes

Thank you for taking the time to make a nomination.

The MS Society Awards 2018 will recognise the stars of the MS community and their contribution during 2017.

>> Go straight to the individual categories to find out what our judges are looking for

Guidance notes

We hope you'll be able to find the answers to all your questions in these guidance notes. But if you’re not sure about any part of the process, please contact us:

1. Who can make a nomination?

Anyone can nominate anyone else* by completing our nomination form.

*Anyone except members of MS Society staff.

2. Completing the nomination form

Please follow the instructions in each section. It's important you provide as much information as possible about your nominee. Don’t just list abilities and talents, we’d love to hear about the impact they’ve had and what they’ve done to achieve this. For example, please include sums raised where relevant.

Here are the key things we’d like to know about your nominee:

  • How have they made a difference to people affected by MS?
  • How have they gone above and beyond what's been asked or expected of them?
  • What are their achievements?

There are so many amazing MS stars – make your nomination stand out.

>> Check out the category descriptions here.

3. Closing date

All nominations must be received by 5pm on Friday, 2 February 2018.

We can't accept nominations after this time, because of the time needed to assess each nomination.

4. Acknowledgement and progress of nominations

We will acknowledge receipt of your nomination, but can't enter into correspondence on the merits of a particular nomination.

5. Changes to information submitted

You can send more information to support your nomination any time up until the closing date of 5pm Friday, 2 February 2018.

You can let us know at any time if there's been any important changes to the information supplied on the nomination form, like the contact details of the nominee.

6. Nominations from outside the UK

We can only accept nominations from within the UK.

7. Enquiries

Any questions about the MS Society Awards, do get in touch:


Extra categories

These winners are chosen by the MS Society, so please don't send us any nominations for these categories.

MS Society local group

You can nominate any of our local groups, no matter how big they are or what services they deliver. We're looking for ones that demonstrate a commitment to enriching the lives of people with MS. And who can show us their services are valued by their community.

Our judges will look for entries where groups aim to: 

  • reach more people
  • respond to local need
  • look for ways to improve their services
  • where volunteers working in the group feel valued

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The care and support provided by this person, who will be a family member, partner or friend will have made a real and positive difference to the life of someone with MS.

The judges will be looking for submissions showing what the carer's role is, the impact this has on both of their lives and the difference this dedication has made to the quality of life of the person they care for.

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Young Carer (under 18)

The care provided by this young person, who will be a family member or friend, will have made a real and positive difference to the life of someone with MS.

The judges will be looking for submissions outlining what the young carer's role involves, the impact this has had on both their lives and the benefits the carer brings to the life of the person with MS.

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The campaigner of the year award recognises an inspiring individual who has campaigned to raise awareness of MS or improve policy or services for people affected by MS.

Nominees can include people who have taken part in MS Society campaigns, or campaigned independently.

In the last year, they may have improved awareness and understanding of MS, or convinced decision makers to take action to improve the lives of people affected by MS. This might be through sharing their story for an MS Society campaign, speaking at a political event, mobilising others to improve local services, emailing decision makers or spreading the word on social media.

Nominations need to show the campaigner has demonstrated passion and commitment and made a real difference in helping to improve the lives of people living with MS.

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Digital media    

This award is aimed at anyone (individual, team or organisation) who has delivered outstanding and innovative results through digital media for the benefit of the MS community.

For the purpose of this award, the MS community includes people with MS, their carers, family and friends, health professionals, volunteers, anyone fundraising for or supporting MS organisations.

This could cover anything delivered through a digital platform, including digital communications, social media, digital campaigning, digital supporter care or volunteer engagement. It could cover emails, blogs, multimedia assets, social media posts and campaigns, an interactive site or engaging and compelling digital storytelling.

Nominations need to show how the individual, team or organisation has delivered outstanding content, services and information, support. They also need to show the impact of their work.

The judges will be looking at the content of the specific campaign submitted, its format, the channels used to reach the intended beneficiaries, cross-channel coordination, the method of engagement used, the technology (if relevant) and its innovation in delivering traditional services digitally.

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Judges are looking for organisations that create an excellent working environment for staff and show consistent consideration and awareness of the fluctuating nature of MS.

Many employers offer flexible working hours and more regular breaks. However, we’re looking for organisations that go above and beyond normal practice to support staff with MS.

This may be via a company policy or through one person leading the way in understanding and supporting staff living with MS. Examples of how these policies are put into action or what an individual has done should be included in the nomination.

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Your nominee may have taken part in an exciting one-off activity or have shown commitment to long-term fundraising for the MS Society over 2017. Your submission should include the amount of money they’ve raised, as well as details of how many people were involved in organising and/or taking part in the fundraising activity.

While the fundraising target is an important consideration, judges will also be looking for evidence of enthusiasm, commitment, creativity and inspiration.

Your nomination can include additional materials, such as links to social media, videos, printed materials and press cuttings in support of your nomination.

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Young Fundraiser (under 18)

It’s inspiring to see young people getting involved and making a positive difference to the world. We want to recognise their achievements and encourage them to continue to be a force for change in the future.

We’re looking for an individual or group (aged 17 and under) who has risen to the challenge and done something amazing to raise funds for the MS Society to help people affected by MS.

Nominees may have taken part in a one-off activity or shown commitment to fundraising over 2017. Your submission should include their age(s), the amount of money they’ve raised, as well as details of their fundraising activity.

While the fundraising is an important consideration, we’ll also be looking for evidence of significant achievement relative to their age(s), alongside enthusiasm, creativity and inspiration!

Your nomination can include additional materials, such as links to social media, videos, printed materials and press cuttings in support of your nomination.

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Nominations for this category will need to show how media coverage has been positive and accurate. Journalists should demonstrate how their work has impacted on its audience and/or provide links to the story. 

Coverage can have appeared:

  • in a magazine or newspaper
  • online
  • on radio
  • or on television.

Nominations can be for an individual journalist or a media outlet as a whole. We will consider both national and regional articles.

The article could be based on MS research, focused on issues affecting people with the condition such as welfare or a personal story of someone living with the condition.

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This award is open to all health and social care professionals whose work centres around people affected by MS and improving their access to treatment, care and support.

This includes, but is not limited to, neurologists, consultants, MS specialists, GPs, MS nurses, physiotherapists and MS professional teams.

The judges will be looking for an individual, or team, that has consistently gone above and beyond the call of duty. This could include quality improvement and clinical leadership, accessibility for people living with MS or developing innovative services in an area.

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Political supporter

This award recognises the work of political supporters in seeking to improve access to responsive treatment, care and support for people affected by MS. This includes all politicians who held office in 2017 across the UK, from local to national level.

The work could be at constituency level, working locally with people affected by MS, or within a national policy-making body.

Nominees need to provide examples of how their work has had a positive impact for people affected by MS, be it through legislative change, local awareness raising or putting pressure on Government. 

The judges will be looking for how this work has improved awareness of MS or enabled policy change to the benefit of people affected by MS.

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This category recognises world class research projects and researchers, based in the UK, working hard to stop MS.

In order to be eligible, the nominated work must be a peer-reviewed research article published in a scientific recognised journal.

Our judges will be looking for new developments on our understanding of MS and how it can best be managed, use of sound and reliable methodology, potential for impact on future MS research, and most importantly the potential impact on people affected by MS.

Awards nominations

We're looking for nominations of publications that:

  • demonstrate innovation
  • showcase novel or cutting edge methodology
  • appear in high impact journals
  • drive forward our understanding of MS and/or how it can best be managed to improve the lives of people living with the condition
  • have the potential for real impact on the lives of people affected by MS

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This award is open to individuals or groups of MS Society volunteers. These submissions may address one or more of the following: information, education, therapies, support, social events, advocacy, transport or anything else.

Nominations can also be submitted by volunteers campaigning for better services, or recognition for people with MS and their specific needs.

The judges will be looking for entries clearly illustrating how volunteer activities have improved services and made a positive impact on people’s lives.

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This is our top award and is presented to an individual or group who has been an inspiration to the whole MS community.

The award is given by the MS Society to recognise what can be achieved with a positive attitude.

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>> Nominate someone for an MS Society Award

Nominations are open and will close at 5pm on Friday 2 February 2018.

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Page last updated: 02 Feb 2018

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