The Energy in 2019/20: A Review

Everything we do is ‘By MSers, for MSers’, because involving the MS community ensures we stay relevant and increases impact. Our work wouldn’t be possible without the efforts of Shift.ms volunteers, The Energy ⚡️

 

The Energy deliver some of our key services by sharing their skills and lived experience with the community. In 2019/20, The Energy involved more people, reached more MSers and smashed it right out of the park 👏🙌

 

This year in numbers

 

MS Reporters

• MS Reporters, filming buddies and experts helped produce 46 videos.
• We took 3 volunteers to Stockholm for ECTRIMS, producing 22 videos in 3 days, including several in French and Spanish.
• In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, MS Reporters have been involved in delivering regular weekly videos with experts to help MSers understand how COVID-19 will impact their care.

 

 

Content creation

• 13 guest blog posts written by MSers sharing their experiences on a variety of different topics were published.
• Our first completely MSer led series, #Relapses24x24, was filmed and released featuring 12 MSers who wrote their own scripts.
• Our social media takeovers are continuing to gain in popularity and to have some of the highest engagement levels. The rollout of our Instagram Stories takeover has been a great success with over 30 MSers taking over the channel in 2019/20.

 

 

Buddy Network

• Nearly 100 MSers have requested to be a Buddy with people from Europe and North America coming forward to support newly diagnosed MSers.
• We’ve matched 103 newly MSers with a Buddy. Over half of these MSers were diagnosed in the last 2 years.
• A Buddy Network Mentor group was created which includes Healthcare Professionals, MSers and Buddies.

 

 

New developments in 2019/20 include

• Dedicated focus on the Buddy Network thanks to funding the National Lottery Community Fund
• Roll out of our Instagram Stories takeover by MSers on a weekend
• A trial run of a YouTube takeover by two MSers focusing on travel and parenting with MS
• Co-production of the development and design of the new Energy Handbook and induction video

 

 

What our volunteers say

“For the first time in a voluntary capacity, I felt completely in control and could freely talk about things I’d never previously openly discussed.”

“It’s been one of the best experiences of my life volunteering with Shift.ms. I’ve gained so much from helping others and supporting the wider ms community. They’ve given me a chance to experience things I wouldn’t have if I didn’t take part.”

“I like the fact that Shift.MS doesn’t get as bogged down with bureaucracy but instead focuses on encouraging grass roots matters and connecting people.”

 

 

What’s next for 2019/20?

• The big news is that our website is getting a big refresh which will highlight the ways in which MSers can get involved at Shift.ms
• The look of the blog is changing with the rollout of our new website which will make them more visible and easily accessed for everyone visiting the site.
• Streamline recruitment to reduce the barriers to becoming a volunteer and increase diversity.
• Revise and develop our Spread the Word activity alongside revising and upscaling our Ambassador programme
• Further increase the number/% of volunteers who live in the US
• We’ll continue to build our social media takeover on Instagram and plan to run a trail of MSers taking over our TikTok account