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Wednesday, 2 December 2020

CHARITY TODAY AWARDS

Stars come out to support 100k MS fundraiser

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STARS including Dragon’s Den’s Deborah Meaden, Hairy Bikers Dave Myers and Si King, and TV chef Ainsley Harriot are urging would-be London marathon runners – and everyone else! – to pick up their trainers and start fundraising again safely, in a new film for the MS Society.

This summer Covid-19 has meant many key fundraising events have been cancelled or postponed, and this has had huge implications for the charity sector – where many organisations rely on the income from mass participation events.

Now, celebrities have joined together in a self-filmed video, recorded at home, to urge people to take part in the MS Society’s #100kYourWay – a new fundraising challenge that asks people to run, walk or cycle 100k to support those living with multiple sclerosis (MS).

Deborah Meaden, best known for her role in BBC business programme Dragon’s Den, said: 

“I have a close family member with MS and have worked with several people with the condition over the years. It’s is unpredictable and affects everyone differently, but this pandemic has presented serious challenges to many in the community – as well as charities like the MS Society, who support them.

“With society becoming more and more separated, it’s really important we find ways to come together again. We’re all social creatures at heart being part of something bigger for a common cause can help keep us connected. #100kYourWay is a great way to support those who may be struggling because you can do it when you want, where you want and how you want, and choose an activity that works to your own strengths and abilities. So there’s no excuse not to get involved!”

She adds: “The film was fun to make, and will hopefully encourage lots of people to sign up. I’ve become quite adept at self-filming since lockdown and think people are becoming more used to seeing homemade content. Hopefully, everyone is forgiving that it’s not quite as professional as usual!”

MS affects over 130,000 people in the UK. It damages nerves in the body and makes it harder to do everyday things. It can be relentless, painful, and disabling. Although most key mass participation events – such as the London marathon – are now postponed until 2021, the need to raise funds to support people with MS is more important than ever. The MS Society faces losing nearly a third of its income this year due to Covid-19, and a further 15% next year.

The #100KYourWay film also features comedian Ivo Graham and BBC Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills, whose mothers both live with MS.

On creating the film during the lockdown, Scott says:

“I’ve spoken to a lot of pop stars about this – everyone has to do everything from home, for now, so we’re all becoming experts in positioning the camera in the right way and making sure things look good. I know what cables go where for the first time in my life, and have stuff in my house I’d never dreamed of before, like a ring light! I just thank god my partner Sam was there because he actually knows what he’s doing…

He adds: “I’ve always supported the MS Society because two people very close to me are affected by it – my mum and my friend Beccy, who used to be on my show. The MS Society needs support now more than ever, and this is a great way to still fundraise when everything else is being cancelled. 100k might seem like a long way to run, walk, or cycle, but you can do it over whatever period of time you like, at your own pace, and even team up with friends or family. It’s a fun, flexible way to support people living with MS, at a time when charities are really struggling.”

Martin Mears, Head of Community and Events at the MS Society, says: 

“We know lots of people in our community are disappointed they can’t fundraise the way they normally would this summer, which is why we created #100kYourWay. Many people with MS have been severely impacted by the Covid-19 crisis and this is a different way to help them, and help us make sure no one has to face MS alone.”

Sign up today at www.mssociety.org.uk/100kyourway

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