Last year an amazing 277 people volunteered their time to help Shift.ms, putting in the equivalent of an amazing $76,117 in hours (that’s £43,398). It really does all add up. The Energy⚡️ work behind the scenes in dozens of roles including keeping our website safe and supportive, helping us out on social media, Buddying with newly diagnosed MSers, fundraising and spreading the word about what we do.
I started volunteering for Shift.ms about 3 years ago as a Buddy. I was told by a friend about the scheme and as I had been diagnosed for around 12 years then, I thought I might be able to offer a friendly ear to someone who was newly diagnosed.
I could try and reassure them that life goes on, guide them to sources of help, just be that friend who understands because I’m going through it too and can totally relate. I have had 3 Buddies in that time and I have gained 3 friends and hope that I’ve done a good job of giving them some comfort in what can be a frightening time. I also do a mid-week takeover of Shift.ms’ Instagram every week. This has allowed me to interact with other MSers that I might not have done ordinarily.
These roles have given me a purpose. I am supporting other MSers by sharing the knowledge I have gained on this crazy journey. I thoroughly enjoy interacting with new people and hearing about their experiences. I have found out just how rewarding volunteering can be and urge any of you considering it just to go for it.
I'm a Buddy for Shift.ms. What I love the most about being a Buddy is that I get the opportunity to help an MSer in any part of the world. Someone that even though has a different cultural background, we can still connect and relate to each other.
I understood early in my own journey that having a support system is vital to navigate the unknown waters of MS. And it's my privilege to be part of someone else's and guide them through their process.
Being a Buddy has also become part of my own healing process. It's a "two way road" learning experience that brings me satisfaction and lots of joy.
I always knew that I wanted to help people. I just didn't know how or where to address that need I had in me. Once I was diagnosed with MS in 2015 it was clear to me that this was my calling. I became a certified support group leader for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and an MS Buddy for Shift.ms. For which I'm highly grateful and I hope I can continue doing for a long time to come.
Being a Buddy for shift allows me to know I am helping someone who is in a position I was once in when newly diagnosed. Being in contact with other Buddies makes me feel apart of a community that’s sole purpose of existence is helping others.
We are sounding boards, experts at navigating through the diagnosis process, we have the benefit of the mistakes we’ve made along the way and are able to encourage others to avoid the avoidable.
I have also been involved in the future of Shift.ms which feels empowering knowing our suggestions can improve the charity for future users and supporters.
I was involved in a fundraising campaign encouraging members to support Shift.ms by committing to a small monthly donation.
I started volunteering with Shift.ms as a Buddy a year ago after learning about it at MS Sessions 2019.
I was 18 when I was diagnosed with MS and I didn't really know anyone else who had MS, particularly anyone my age with MS or who had a similar type of MS to me, so I didn't have anyone to ask questions or share experiences with. As a Buddy, I love that I get to support people who have been newly diagnosed with MS through all the questions and worries and curiosities they might have in those initial stages. It can be a really lonely and nerve-wracking time so I'm glad I can be there as someone who has been in a similar boat. As a bonus, I love that I've been able to join such an amazing community of MS-ers!
It all started almost 5 years ago with my diagnosis. And being a recent mum with a one year old baby was even more challenging! Then one day on my internet searches popped up a Shift.ms opportunity to apply for the MS Sessions 2017 in Prague! I was thrilled! Until then I had not met anyone with MS, and had no one to talk to that I felt could really understand or help me.
Going to the MS Sessions acted as my turning point and offered me a huge opportunity to begin my healing process as well as becoming a part of a big community of wonderful people.
Joining Shift.ms as a volunteer enabled me to learn so much and met so many great, loving and supporting people. Being a member of the Buddy Network also means that now I can give back and help other people that are now living and going through what happened to me years ago. And what I receive back is so much more! So I am very glad to have this role. With Shift.ms and also to cooperate in other initiatives I am challenged too, always advocating for MSers! And one of my advice to newly diagnosed MSers is always to “give yourself time”. Time to understand, to make peace with yourself and get to know the “new you”. We all take a different amount of time and have different ways to process the news, there is no right or wrong way to go about it. What you need to always remember is that YOU ARE NOT ALONE, there are hundreds of people just like you and me that understand what you are going through, and are able and willing to help. So Shift.ms is here for you!
I was diagnosed with MS in October of 2019. Unsure of where to find guidance, I came across Shift.ms I am grateful to Shift.ms for all the valuable information they impart, their webinars, and especially for all the kind people that I have met online.
I have always enjoyed helping others, it is with great pleasure that I was given the opportunity to volunteer for Shift.ms behind the scenes. I provided insight and guidance on how to gain the attention of newly diagnosed MSers in the United States. My hope is that others will find inspiration from the Shift.ms community, who of course, has a lot to offer world-wide! And best of all, through helping others I have helped myself – and that is the greatest accomplishment.
Having been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2016, I joined the Shift.ms team as a champion for the Luxembourg Area in Autumn 2017 – and recently, I took up the role of a MS Buddy.
Since embarking on my volunteer role, I had the opportunity to meet a variety of fascinating and compassionate people – such as our local MS organization, and a lot of the Luxembourgish MS Community, and of course the Shift.ms team.
I hope to draw more young MSers towards Shift.ms as I believe the support shift provides is vital for every newly diagnosed person. Further, as well as giving, one receives a lot of support – a reduction of the feeling of isolation while being involved in such a great project fuels hope, enthusiasm, and engagement. Most importantly is that one needs to be resilient; sometimes it takes a bit longer to achieve the desired outcomes. Yet even, if it is not as easy – the Shift.ms team is very helpful and provides the necessary resources.
So, if you would like to join a great team of talented and kind people – the best thing is to do is to get in contact above. It is the starting point for a wonderful journey – your project will make its way to you, one just needs to keep going.