Scotland council

The MS Society Scotland Council represents people affected by MS in Scotland, and works on their behalf. It is accountable to the Society’s UK board of trustees.

Council members work alongside the staff team in Scotland, as well as with local MS Society local groups, to beat MS.

Meet the council members

The MS Society Scotland Council has ten members. They are:

Bryan Alexander

While the MS Society has grown from strength to strength over the past few years, the demands now placed on its income are considerable. It is essential that the Society continues to support a wide range of world class research projects and also ensures that its activities are driven by the needs of those affected by MS. In view of the significant developments which have recently taken place, it is important at this time of severe financial restrictions that new and innovative fundraising activities are developed and promoted, to increase income and thus support the Society's many activities. 

For over 25 years I practiced as a solicitor and have broad experience in various legal disciplines, including charity law and disability issues. I was diagnosed with MS in 1997. In the past I have been actively involved with various voluntary organisations having been a member of a Community Council and CAB. I am currently a member of a local Children’s Panel.

I believe that I provide a valuable and sound contribution to the valuable work of the Society and my legal training is of assistance to the Council, when addressing any charity law or disability issues.

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Robin Briggs

Robin

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 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.

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Mary Douglas (Chair)

MaryI was diagnosed with MS in 1983 at an outpatient appointment and immediately drove home, in shock, it was a 'hairy' journey. Thanks to the MS Society people are now given instant access to support and information. I would like to contribute to the Society as a member of Council.

Since retiring early from a career in NHS Management, which gave me many useful skills, I have become involved in the work of the Borders MS group, currently serving as vice chair. We run support groups and fundraising activities in our rural area.

Raising awareness of MS in all its forms and the effects it has on patients, carers and families to the widest possible audience is important to me. In these times of recession the Society has to compete with many equally deserving causes, it is essential that research into and services for people with MS continue to be adequately funded through the best use of available resources and engaging with new donors.

Another priority is to end (hopefully) the 'postcode lottery' of care, the services you receive should not depend on where you live, best practice should be the norm nationally.

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Keith Dryburgh

Keith

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.

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Lee Holland

Lee

I was diagnosed with MS in 2000 and continued for another 14 years in general manager and regional finance manager roles for several large hotel companies covering the entire UK. In that time, and previously in the manufacturing environment, I worked alongside several hundred people from all backgrounds with different levels of ability.

With a growing involvement in the charity and voluntary sector (I hold positions with two other charities) I believe I am equipped to support and develop ideas for the MS Society and believe that there are ample cross-organisation ideas and opportunities.

Awareness (and definition) of the illness is key, in educating people about the challenges and many positives. Never having been one to 'hide', I look forward to contributing to all aspects of the Council including finance, fundraising and general discussions. I do not work currently, and therefore have additional time to dedicate to tasks. 

I have been a keen fundraiser, for several charities, over the last 18 years and expect that to continue.

I welcome the opportunity to support the aims of the Society with a fresh pair of eyes, using my professional and personal contacts to raise funds as well as awareness.

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Michelle Logie

The Society has many challenges. However, I believe the most pronounced is in the continuation of funding vital scientific research, balanced with the demands on the Society’s funds. Significant advances have been made, in particular by the Edinburgh Centre for Translational Research but, equally important are the volunteers, fundraisers and the support network for all those affected by MS.

I was diagnosed with MS in 2002. I treat MS as a friend, some days we get on some days we fall out (or fall over). My background is in the construction industry, specialising in sales and marketing, particularly all aspects of unlocking routes to market. This expertise can be used extensively to increase awareness of MS and expose new channels for fundraising.

I bring to the Council extensive senior management experience gained at board level. I am enthusiastic, motivated, and determined as well as being a fundraiser and active volunteer for the Society. I know what it is like living with MS. I know how life changing a diagnosis is and I know the effects MS has on family and friends."

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Linda Mason

My name is Linda Mason; I have MS and am a wheelchair user. I am a self management course leader for MS Society Scotland, a committee member for the Stirling local group and do other many other pieces of voluntary work for the organisation which I enjoy.

I am a committee member for a charitable housing association, which means I am a trustee, landlord and employer. I have recently qualified in governance, therefore am aware of the roles and responsibilities required to be an effective and successful Council member. Previously, I was elected on to the council for two meetings before the Council was suspended. I hope on this occasion to make a difference and improve the lives for people living with MS.

The Council must ensure everyone is working cohesively and in the same direction, build trust and are accountable. The Society must deliver for all members. I believe research and service provision is equally important and should be equitably supported.

The Council must ensure this work is developed and delivered, and be the voice of the Scottish membership. We must ensure people with MS in Scotland receive the best choice of care and service available.

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Angela McCormack

I believe the MS Society needs to prioritise the need for better communication and a fresh, open-minded approach. More research is required, seeking information to facilitate better understanding of the challenges faced in specific areas and nations. I also believe the Society should seek to help empower people to make informed life choices, and that priority should be given to support young people."

I was diagnosed with MS in 2001. My background in finance, business and the Third Sector gives me an extensive range of skills and abilities. I work for a consumer champion and I am a charity trustee. I have strong experience in charity law and finance, audit, best practice and community engagement. A lifelong volunteer and charity fundraiser, I bring knowledge and life experience from the many roles I have undertaken, particularly working with young people. My attitude is that life is precious, and should be lived to the full.

As a current trustee and board member, I appreciate and understand the need for good governance and guidance. I approach everything with a balanced, impartial view. Being a member of the Scottish Council is a role I am delighted to undertake.

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Sue Polson

Sue

Within six months of diagnosis in 1998, I was forced to end my career in education administration. Frustrated with the slow pace of MS research and the battle that had to be fought every time a new treatment appeared, I needed to understand more about this disease and so grasped the opportunity to become part of the MS Research Network at its inception in 2002.

Working with the Network has brought me many opportunities, including the privilege of representing people with MS in the media and on many platforms, giving our perspective to a variety of audiences.  I became involved with the Scottish Stem Cell Network’s educational outreach which gave me the chance to put our point of view to wider audiences.  I have just completed a term of office on the RN steering group and am a member of the MS Translational Research Centre’s management board in Edinburgh.

I am unashamedly passionate about MS research and I believe my experiences have given me a broader understanding of the workings of the Society as a whole.  I would really like to put the experience I have gained to good use by serving on the Council, working towards an exciting future.

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Steven Tait

Steven

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.

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Page last updated: 13 Feb 2017
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