Action MS Northern Ireland – How it all began.
Action MS is a ‘home grown’ charity that has been working in Northern Ireland since 1976. It all began when a small group of Belfast folk with MS, led by Ann Walker, decided to fight back and do something about beating this most distressing disease. In those early days it was all about fund-raising for medical research work to help find a cure. But as people got together and raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for research they also talked through their personal experiences of living with MS. In conversation and in listening to one another a determination developed to do something more for families facing a very bleak future. Seeds of compassion were sown and various kinds of practical help to meet individual needs began to take shape. Now Action MS, as well as maintaining a highly successful fund-raising programme, provides a comprehensive range of caring ‘actions’ or support that has evolved over the years out of conversations with people and families living with MS. The provision of the right kind of care at the right time in the right place is our constant goal.
“Actions” –What we do.
The Action MS Social Care Team is now well established and is working to meet a growing demand for practical help. In partnership with statutory and community services Action MS comes alongside individuals and families to do what needs to be done to improve their quality of life and to give people with MS hope for the future. There is life after MS has been diagnosed and there are ways and means of living with MS.
So depending on individual and family circumstances Action MS offers help of various kinds. We can make a holiday possible. Our fully adapted Holiday Home in Portstewart is very popular. The Action MS Medicare Breaks are very popular. Action MS provides reflexology for people with MS living in the Mid Ulster and Coleraine areas. The Action MS befriending service helps reduce the sense of loneliness that a person with MS may experience and encourages people to get back into their local community.
The Action MS focus groups for young people between the ages of 20 and 40 are made up of people with multiple sclerosis who set their own agenda and together enjoy a varied social life as well as educational opportunities and the chance to meet professional careers in an informal setting. The key thing is that the groups are user led with Action MS staff facilitating their activities.
Action MS has always been aware of the impact of MS on the whole family particularly young children who have a parent with MS. In response to that our Professional Care Team meet with individual children and even tell them a story that explains what is happening to Mum or Dad.
The Action MS children’s storybook “A Fishy Tale” addressed this need with great effect and is widely used in schools as part of our educational programme.
Action MS is looking forward to further developments including the introduction of a mobile care centre, greater use of technology and more information services. Action MS is here to help. We continue to listen to the MS community.
These are a few of the many range of support services offered by Action MS if you would like to know more please contact
Social Care Manager,
028 9079 0707
There is life after MS