MS Society Awards 2013 - winners

The winners of the MS Society Awards 2013 in association with Next are:

Stuart NixonMS Lifetime Achievement

Stuart Nixon

Stuart was diagnosed with MS 30 years ago. He has been an integral MS Society volunteer over the years and earlier this week completed an amazing fundraising challenge: Stu Steps Up.



Beccy Huxtable

MS Inspiration of the Year

Beccy Huxtable

Beccy was diagnosed with MS in 2012. She has helped educate millions of people across the UK about the condition, by talking openly and honestly about it on the radio and to her hundreds of thousands of followers on Twitter. She has also given interviews to Glamour magazine and the Daily Express.

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Freddie Yauner and George Pepper, founders of

MS Digital Media of the Year

Founded by George Pepper and Freddie Yauner in 2006, is a social media site for young people with MS. Once a small online network, it has now grown internationally with members in the UK, France, the USA, South Africa and India. It provides emotional and practical support and encourages the sharing of information; from benefits and drugs to practical hints.

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Hilary Freeman

MS Media Coverage of the Year

Hilary Freeman

Freelance journalist, You magazine, Mail on Sunday “Multiple sclerosis: For 15 years I have been living in limbo” Hilary’s article was a first person piece about living with MS for 15 years. It described the physical, emotional, practical and psychological effects the condition has had on her life. Hilary also explored the concept of ‘benign MS’, which attracts very little coverage or discussion. The article was read in the magazine and online by millions across the world, and is one of many articles Hilary has written on MS over the last 15 years.

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Professor Rona Moss-MorrisMS Research of the Year

Adjusting to MS, Professor Rona Moss-Morris and co-authors

The study was a randomised controlled trial, comparing cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to supportive listening, for helping people adjust to the early stages of MS. Researchers demonstrated that nurse-led CBT could significantly reduce the distress felt in the early stages of MS compared with supportive listening and the benefits of CBT were felt up to 12 months later.

Importantly, people who entered the trial with higher levels of distress and who reported poorer social support showed an even greater benefit from the CBT. This study could help produce a cost effective intervention for people adjusting to a diagnosis of MS.

Rona dedicated her award to her late nephew, Ben Elliot, who was a promising research mathematician and died from cancer related treatment complications in September, aged just 20.

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Trishna Bharadia

MS Volunteer of the Year

Trishna Bharadia - Asian MS, Buckinghamshire

Trishna has worked tirelessly to provide information and support to young people with MS and those with MS in the Asian community. Diagnosed in 2008, she became a member of the Asian MS committee in 2011. Trishna established the group’s newsletter, speaks regularly at Asian MS information days and events, participates in research days and writes for ‘Shift MS’ on a variety of MS-related topics. Trishna was described as “a priceless gift to the Asian MS community.”

  MS Volunteer of the Year is sponsored by Teva UK



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Yvonne BoothMS Fundraiser of the Year

Yvonne Booth - ‘10-in-10 Challenge’, Cumbria

Yvonne, a mum of three from Keswick, started fundraising in 2010 when her husband Duncan was diagnosed with MS. She has successfully organised and led two “10-in-10 Challenge” walking events in the Lake District and this year’s challenge attracted more than 150 participants. Her passion and determination has motivated people in the local area to raise more than £50,000.

biogen idec logoMS Fundraiser of the Year is sponsored by Biogen Idec



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Stuart RoseMS Young Person of the Year

Stuart Rose - age 24, Inverness

Stuart was diagnosed with MS at 15 and his condition worsened to “highly active” relapsing remitting MS by 19. Despite his MS, Stuart took up long distance running in 2010, completing two half marathons and a marathon. He’s also raised awareness of MS on Twitter, receiving support from Lord Alan Sugar, Gary Linekar, John Bishop and Eddie Izzard. He has also been nominated for this year’s MS Fundraiser of the Year.

Genzyme logoMS Young Person of the Year is sponsored by Genzyme


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Val WoodsMS Professional of the Year

Val Woods - Manager, MS Therapy Centre, Bedford

Val set up the MS Therapy Centre in Bedford 30 years ago with her husband Rex, who has MS. Starting out in a small industrial unit, Val has grown the service to a multi-million pound purpose-built centre providing therapy and support to over 1,000 members in Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire. Val has been instrumental in ensuring the smooth running of the centre, inducting new members and fundraising and raising awareness of MS in the local area.

Novartis logoMS Professional of the Year is sponsored by Novartis

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Martin HealeyMS Carer of the Year

Martin Healey - Darlington

Martin cared for his wife Mandy for over 22 years until she passed away in 2011. They were married at 18 and Mandy was diagnosed with MS aged 30. Martin worked tirelessly to make sure she had the right resources including the latest wheelchairs, exercise machines, house modifications and daytime carers. He continued to care for Mandy even after Martin himself was diagnosed with bowel cancer. Martin now cares for his mother-in-law who also has MS.

Merck Serono logo


MS Carer of the Year is sponsored by Merck Serono


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