Over the past two years we’ve taken on plenty of exciting new projects plus some new faces have joined the team. Not forgetting our community has grown to 7000 members!
@Rsloan89, @Anindita and @David came on board, which meant @Freddiems finally had some company in our London studio. Our Community Coordinator @cassandra has gone on maternity leave and @Sarahshift is now keeping her seat warm for the next year. We’re also getting serious about fundraising and @Bronaghdaly has joined as the Community Fundraising Manager. Find out more about the team.
Shift on screen
Our MS and Work films were launched: Circle of Truth and Working it Out. These have been translated into five languages and were presented at the European Multiple Sclerosis Platform International Conference.
Thanks to Novartis for their support and to Rankin films, Jess Gormley, David Allain and Matthew Edmonds for creative input.
Six MSers, six films. Our ‘By MSer’ films discuss diagnosis and its aftermath, the wide range of symptoms and getting on with life. Shout out to Gillian, Andy, Gav, Stuart, Jessica and Alice for sharing their experiences and to Merck Serono for their support.
The Energy – the Shift.ms volunteer network
We call our team of volunteers ‘The Energy’. In 2014 / 15 an awesome 206 people volunteered their time providing the energy to help our organisation to thrive. They worked behind the scenes in a number of roles including keeping our website safe and supportive, creating social media content, representing us at events and spreading the word about what we do.
We’ve been lucky to have support from our awesome fundraisers who have raised £44,343 by taking on physical challenges including cycling around the coast of the UK visiting lighthouses, triathlons, treks as well as shaving their hair, giving up sugar and donating money instead of birthday gifts.
We held our first fundraising initiative aimed at the whole community with our sponsored silence called Mission: Silence. 25 people kept quiet for 48 hours and raised £6,863.
We received a Society Award from Wellcome Trust to expand our MS Reporters project across the UK over a 2 year period. Big up to the MSers who have taken part, either asking questions or meeting our experts. We are excited to be working with UK and Irish centres in Edinburgh, Salford, Liverpool, Cardiff, Dublin with hopefully more to come.
We also received a grant from the Nominet Trust to build a validated mental health tool to sit alongside the social support the community provides each other.
We have received grants from Biogen, Genzyme, Merck Serono, Novartis and Teva to allow Shift.ms to achieve its aims of supporting MSers to adjustment to their diagnosis and to become a self-sustaining community.
Every day MSers take the good out of bad situations.
We refer to this as person’s ‘MS Energy’. We collected over 50 MS Energy stories to show the positive growth that people can find after diagnosis. You can read them here.
We commissioned three artists (Bryony, Hannah and Kirsty) to bring the concept MS Energy alive and examine how MS has affected them in positive ways. We held a private view in London and over 120 people attended. It was great meeting Shift.ms members old and new. If you missed it, here’s a film showcasing the work and the evening.
Thanks to Genzyme for their support of the MS Energy project, #GOOB Commissions and #GOOB event.
Spreading the word
We’ve been busy sharing our community with others. George presented at the European Multiple Sclerosis Platform in Warsaw in May 2015. We were welcomed by the teams at the Anne Rowling Clinic and Centre for Regeneration in Edinburgh, Salford Royal and Walton Centre in Liverpool to deliver our MS Reporters training too.