Council members work alongside the staff team in England, as well as with our local groups, to stop MS.
The Council is ultimately accountable to our Board of Trustees.
Our England Council meets in our National Centre offices. Meetings (with the exception of occasional confidential items) are open to MS Society members – you just need to register at least two weeks in advance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 020 8438 0757. Our meeting dates for 2018 are:
- Thursday 26 July
- Thursday 25 October
Meet our England Council members:
David Allen (Thames Valley)
Having been diagnosed with PPMS in 1996 and having to give up work I fully understand the many issues people living with MS face, including family members and carers. I was asked by my MS Nurse to introduce myself to my local branch in 2013 and ended up assuming the role of Branch Chair up until July 2016. During that time, I also assumed the roles of treasurer, support volunteer, web editor until the roles were filled.
I successfully developed a self-sustaining model for exercise classes. Working in partnership with our local MS specialist multi-discipline team and local authority fitness centres.
Since stepping down as branch chair I have been involved with our local Regional External Relations Officer (RERO) and helped test and develop the new role of campaigning and influencing volunteer, which I currently hold. I'm involved also with the campaigns team at MSNC and have been involved in the Treat Me Right, MS Enough and End the Care Crisis campaigns. As well as attending focus groups, I've done interviews with the i newspaper and the Nuffield Trust which was about the eligibility for social care. Most recently I attended a round table event at the Nuffield Trust who have been commissioned by the MS Society to understand how data and technology can best serve those affected by MS, particularly in relation to service planning and commissioning as well as self-management.
I am honoured to be able to serve on the England Council.
David Denholm (Hampshire and Island)
Looking forward, the organisation faces many issues contained within our campaigns of 'fighting back'. These cover emotional, social and work issues, and pushing for improvements in health care, independence and support as outlined in the 'MS Manifesto'.
We have to fight back on behalf of different individuals and groups affected by MS across the English regions – and those in the other nations. The Council will play a key influencing role with members, volunteers and those living with MS, as well as with trustees, MS Society staff and the Board. In addition, we have to be key opinion leaders both locally and nationally to help the Society address the health service inequalities that exist.
We cannot underestimate the challenges in the current economic climate. I want to use my experience and knowledge as a trustee of the organisation and my business background to help us continue to 'fight back', move forward and secure the best possible future for those living with MS.
Phillip Gamble (Lancashire and South Cumbria)
I first became aware of the MS Society after my wife was diagnosed 19 years ago. In those 19 years I have watched as the organisation has got stronger and delivered more for people with MS. I have been a local group Chair, Regional Vice Chair, Regional Treasurer and Area Treasurer.
I have worked with some amazing volunteers and could not praise highly enough the work that they do. The strength of the MS Society is the local groups and volunteers, offering opportunities and support to those who need them.
John Josephs (London)
Shortly after my eldest son was diagnosed with MS, I joined the North of England regional committee, editing the newsletter for six years and raising substantial amounts of money towards its cost. I served as Treasurer for four of those years. My personal experience and work on the committee have given me a deep understanding of the impact of MS on people’s lives.
My background as a Chartered Accountant, with thirty years experience in broadcasting, has given me a unique skill base to help design successful strategies and communicate them effectively, and is very relevant to the issues facing the MS Society today. I am delighted to have the opportunity to serve on the England Council.
David Kozlowski (North of England)
I am 52 years old, married with two children and reside in Windermere in the Lake District. Before this, our family lived in Los Angeles and I was employed as a Research Scientist in the Space and Aerospace industry. I was originally diagnosed with relapsing remitting MS in 2008 and this transitioned to secondary progressive MS in 2013, at which point I retired. I'm originally from Kendal in Cumbria and our family moved back home to the UK in the summer of 2015.
While in Los Angeles, I participated in many MS Society, Neurology and Biokinesiology programmes and over the last two years I ran a highly successful men’s MS group. I'm now back in the UK and I am currently a member of the “Clinical and Scientific Advisory Panel” for the MS Society.
I believe that as an England National Council Member I can offer my professional expertise, as well as insight into the role of the care giver and insight into how the family can be affected by MS. I understand, and have experienced, the impact disability can have on employability and the dramatic effect it can have on the family. I have a keen interest to fight for improvements in medicine, diagnostics, treatment and care of those affected both directly or indirectly by MS.
Diane Lucas (West Midlands)
Shortly after she emigrated to Western Australia, my daughter was diagnosed with MS. I couldn’t support her directly but knew I could use my ex-headteacher skills and ‘can do’ approach to help other people’s daughters and sons. That led me to the MS Society.
As a local group Chair I am now in a position where I can work alongside people with MS, listening and supporting at our fortnightly social and support group meetings and our weekly Tai Chi sessions. I am starting a young person’s group and am driving forward our Action Plan, focusing on innovative fundraising, support and fun (including making crazy Raku-glazed sheep!) as well as on ‘Local Group Essentials’.
Jackie Mumby (Yorkshire)
I have been aware of MS since childhood through a close friend of the family and I helped to fundraise over many years. I was diagnosed with MS six years ago at the age of 29.
I would welcome being involved with implementing the proposed changes to local networks. Since diagnosis I have been involved on a local level as an Assistant Treasurer and Committee Member, by organising local groups and I have also been involved more recently with the campaigns team. I view the England Council as a vital link between those with MS and trustees and staff at the National Centre.
I have tried to change the negatives of having MS into positives. For example, since losing my career as a coach driver after diagnosis I retrained as an accountant and have returned to university to study a degree in Management with Business. I have gained many friends through the Society’s local networks and would like to be able to help many others like myself.
John Pullin (Kent)
My ‘relationship’ with MS started before I was born: my father was diagnosed when my mother was pregnant with me. He quickly deteriorated and needed a wheelchair. Then he became bedbound and was dependent on others. From an early age I became one of the carers ensuring that his needs were met before he finally succumbed to the condition. It is probably not surprising that I trained to be a general nurse and began my long career in the NHS.
Then in 1990 I was diagnosed with relapsing remitting MS. Compared to my father, I have been lucky. My symptoms are under control and I have been able to live a full life – wife, kids, job etc. I think the point I want to make is that I understand. I understand from a professional basis ensuring the provision of high quality care. I understand from a carer’s perspective, recognising the pressures that this puts on individuals, family and friends. And I understand, of course, from having to directly live with the condition – the obvious and subtle, the physical and emotional impacts.
In short, I have always known that the MS Society was there for me. I want to give something back.
Lynda Tubbs (South West)
I have lived with relapsing and remitting MS for 12 years and was granted early retirement from my job as a Primary School Teacher within two years of diagnosis. I have served on the committee of my local group and also worked as a volunteer tutor with the Expert Patients Programme, working with groups of people living with long-term conditions, including MS.
People with MS have been facing new challenges in recent years and I believe that we should ensure information about living with MS is available to everyone who's affected. It is crucial that we inform and raise awareness of MS within our community.
I produced our group newsletter until recently, including information about research, treatments and services available both locally and nationally. I have also helped the committee produce an information pack for the newly diagnosed and flyers for events and activities. As a committee member I have been an enthusiastic fundraiser attending variety of events in my local community to raise funds and awareness of MS.
I believe that as a Council member for the South West region I could use my skills to work with groups, staff and everyone living with MS.
Become a National Council member
We are looking for new volunteers to join our national councils. Our volunteers are the backbone of the MS Society and you would be joining a highly committed team of everyday superheroes who are helping our vision become a reality.
Candidates for election to our National Councils will be proposed for election at this year's AGM on 22 September 2018.