18/03/16 - at Monthly Committee Meeting
Melva suggested that we offer Mindfulness Serssions.
This was agreed and a therapist will be looked for.
Dec. 2015
Very important information from the NHS Community Physiotherapist ..... Read More
Leaving a Legacy ..... Read More
Invite to Autumn MS Society volunteer forum
sent by MS Society Local Networks Officer (Sally Snowball) ..... Read More
Important: please read to protect your information
sent by Michelle Mitchell (MS Society Chief Execuitive) ..... Read More
A article on a New agreement on how MS should be treated
sent by Michelle Mitchell (MS Society Chief Execuitive) ..... Read More
Monthly update from your MS Society Local Networks Officer (Sally Snowball) ..... Read More
July 2015
Melva and Doris go to Redcar to see their seated exercise group ..... Read More
The Annual Meeting will be held at Allerton Court Hotel, Northallerton.
The Speaker will be Michelle Mitchell (MS Chief Executive).
MS Matters - Moving On held in Thirsk Auction Mart.
Topic - MS in The Home - Practical Support and Aids.
Melva Steckles was elected as Chairperson at the Annual meeting (held at Leeming Hotel).

Melva & Doris go to Redcar in July

Melva and Doris both went to Redcar in July to watch their branch’s seated exercise group. The class was in progress when we arrived, music was playing and the instructor was calling out the routines, so rather than get in the way we pulled up chairs and were very quickly in the thick of it, brilliant. We did, of course, go along the sea front afterwards to enjoy some sea air and a coffee!!
They also visited The Trinity Holistic Centre at James Cook Hospital which provides treatments and a place to relax. It was suggested the venue be looked at for complimentary therapies.

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2/9/2015 Monthly Update - Sally Snowball

To: Chairs/secretaries/support volunteers (please also circulate as relevant)

Hello everyone,

Just a quick belated monthly update!

New MS Society staff in the North
Ruth Stockdale is the new MS Society Regional External Relations officer covering branch areas in Yorkshire and the Humber. Ruth says that the easiest way to introduce herself is to say that she is the new Liz Whilde!  Ruth’s role is to work together with branches, people with MS, people affected by MS and others to improve local health, social care and other services to work better for people with MS. This means talking to hospitals, CCGs, councils, MPs and others to highlight issues and find solutions that work for everyone – but most importantly for people with MS.

Ruth says, “I would love to come and meet all branches to find out about the issues that you feel need addressing and also to hear about anything that is working well – it’s always great to celebrate and share good practice. If you have a meeting, event or anything that you would like me to come to, please let me know as I’m keen to find out what you do and to say hello in person. My email is or you can call me on 0208 8270222 or  07734777053. I look forward to meeting you.”

As a reminder, for Darlington, Redcar, Hambleton & Richmondshire and Teesside branch areas, Angie Stewart is your Regional External Relations Officer and can be contacted on, phone 020 8438 0828.

Branch Committee Meetings/Minutes/Newsletters
One of the things that I try to do as your LNO is to attend branch committee meetings to meet the volunteers who make positive things happen for people with MS. Attending your committee meetings is a great chance for me to get to know you, find out what you do and to see if there’s any way I can support your branch or work with you to develop the branch further.

I can’t attend every committee meeting (and I’m pretty sure I’d get in the way if I was always at your meetings!) but I do need to be up to date with what’s happening at your branch. I’d appreciate it if you could add me to the distribution list for your committee meeting minutes and newsletters if you haven’t already done so. That way I can stay informed and offer support where it’s most needed.

Branch Grants Policy
The last ‘Branch Update’ that I circulated in July had a link to the updated Support Grants Handbook and some of you have since asked me to support you with your grant-making policies and procedures. It’s really important that all branches have a current grant-making policy so it would be helpful if you could email me a copy of your policy as soon as possible, along with details of how you advertise your support grants to people with MS. For those of you with restricted funds in place (e.g., respite funds, etc.,) please email me a copy of your policy/guidelines for this too. If you don’t have a policy in place this is something that we need to work on together - I’ll arrange to come along to one of your committee meetings so that we can put a policy in place for your branch.  

Autumn Volunteer Forums – Save the Date!
I’ve held back the August monthly update so that I could include a save the date notice for your next Autumn volunteer forum. We found out today that these are due to take place in November and updates will be given on the Local Networks Review amongst other items. I’ll be at Wetherby on Wednesday 4th November with Kim Hedgecock, but there will be other dates/venues available if you’re unable to make that one, to be announced soon. As usual, up to three volunteers from each branch are welcome to attend and I’ll forward full details on to you as soon as I have them. Please keep an eye on your emails so that you can book onto your chosen venue/date as soon as possible. Looking forward to seeing you all again soon – either at one of your committee meetings or one of the up and coming events. But if there’s anything I can help with before we meet, do get in touch with me.

Best wishes,


Sally Snowball
Local Networks Officer (England - North) | MS Society

DD: 020 8438 0805
Switchboard: 020 8438 0700
Mobile: 07919 698 302 | Find us on Facebook | Follow us on Twitter

Multiple Sclerosis Society. Registered charity in England & Wales number 1139257 and in Scotland registered charity number SC041990. Registered as a limited company in England and Wales (07451571)
Mae Multiple Sclerosis Society yn elusen gofrestredig 1139257 / SC041990 a chwmni cyfyngedig dan warrant yn Lloegr a Chymru (07451571).

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A article on a New agreement on how MS should be treated

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Invite to Autumn MS Society volunteer forum

Dear all,

I would like to invite you to attend one of our autumn volunteer forums. These forums are important because they will determine the future of the MS Society’s local branches, groups and services.

At our Spring Forums we discussed with you and listened to what you had to say on how we can improve the way we work together.

Over the summer we have been considering all your feedback and at our autumn forums we plan to share our proposals as to how we think our volunteer network needs to be structured in the future.

These practical changes will help us to continue to build on the fantastic work you already do to help people affected by MS.

By attending the forums you will be able to give us your views and thoughts on these ideas as they will affect everyone who volunteers for a local branch, whether you volunteer on a branch committee or you are a support volunteer or volunteer fundraiser.

The Forums provide you with the opportunity to feed-back your opinions. Your views matter and will determine the final recommendations in early 2016. Alongside these forums, staff will be meeting with committees to discuss the proposals during November, December and January.

For most of you, your nearest forum is on 4 November 2015, Mercure Hotel, Leeds Road, Wetherby, North Yorkshire, LS22 5HE, and you can book a place on this by clicking here. If this is not convenient, there are a number of forums being run in a number of locations across the country, and you can book to attend which ever one suits you best. Please click here to see the full list of forums. Those in the North East may wish to attend the Newcastle forum and those in Grimsby may find it easier to get to the Lincoln forum, for example.

Bookings will be taken on a first come first service basis and you will receive confirmation that you have a place.

We look forward to seeing you at one of the forums.

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Please read to Protect your Information

Dear all,

As branch chairs and support volunteers, we need to let you know about some communications which are going out to some of our members and website users this morning.

Please note that this email is being sent to a branch representative who is on email (usually the branch chair, but sometimes the branch secretary or treasurer) as well as support volunteers.

What’s happened?

We have discovered malicious software on our website systems, suggesting an attempt to gain unauthorised access. This may have compromised the security of the information we hold about members of our website forum and people who have contacted us through the ‘contact us’ form on our website, or by making information requests by email or phone.

Today we are contacting a proportion of our website users and visitors to alert them to the risk to the information we hold about them, and to apologise for failings in our website security that may have allowed that information to be accessed.

Donors and fundraisers can be assured this is completely unconnected to the system in which online donations are made and no financial information has been accessed.

What action have we taken to limit the risk to people’s information?

We are taking this matter extremely seriously and we are doing everything we can to minimise the risk to everyone affected.

As soon as we discovered the malicious software, we immediately took the relevant part of the website down and notified the Information Commissioner’s Office. We have since notified the Charity Commission.

We have worked as quickly as possible to identify which individuals’ details were at risk and how, and to contact those affected as quickly as we could.

We are extremely shocked that we have been targeted in this way and will conduct a full investigation into what happened. This will include looking at why our existing security systems did not prevent this sophisticated, malicious attack.

The security of the information we hold about people is of the utmost importance to us and we have taken immediate steps to improve our website systems. We can reassure you that we have since upgraded the levels of security on our website systems.

If you receive enquiries

We understand this may be concerning to those affected. We also appreciate that some of you may be personally affected by this situation. If so, you may receive a separate email or letter explaining what this means for you.

If you are affected, or you receive enquiries from anyone who is worried and wishes to speak to someone, we have set up a dedicated Information Security Freephone to answer enquiries about this matter. People can call this line on 0800 151 2391 or 0330 159 3820 between 9am and 8pm Monday to Friday and 9am and 6pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Calls to 0800 numbers are free from a BT Landline. Calls to 03 numbers cost no more than a national rate call to an 01 or 02 number and must count towards any inclusive minutes in mobile phone calling plans in the same way as 01 and 02 calls.

Alternatively, people can email

People can also call the Information Commissioner’s Office Helpline on 0303 123 1113.

We will also update our website as any more information about this incident becomes available at

What do you need to do?

As an extra precaution, we’re asking everyone with an MS Society email address to change their password details in the next week. This will also relate to the generic branch and Support email addresses (branch@ and branchsupport@ email addresses).

When you log in to your emails via OWA you’ll receive a prompt that says your password is expired and asking you to reset it. When you see this prompt, please follow it and change your password. Please ensure you select a secure password, using a combination of alphanumeric characters, capitals and symbols (characters).

In the communications to those affected we will also be advising all forum users to change their password at their earliest opportunity for all websites that they use the same password for. There is no further action anyone needs to take at this time.

If you have any questions on this matter, please call the dedicated Freephone line above.

Yours sincerely,

Michelle Mitchell

Chief Executive, MS Society

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Very important information from the NHS Community Physiotherapist

Becca Green (South Tees, NHS, Community Physiotherapist) has written regarding the next program of exercise groups in our area from January’16 until Easter. She says “If you would like to attend the next program of groups could you please advise me of your intention on 01609 751 324. There is an answer phone service on this number and your message will find its way to me. If we do not hear from you we will assume you no longer wish to attend the exercise groups”.
Becca goes on to say “May I take this opportunity to remind you that you may self-refer into our service at any time if you require assessment/review of physical symptoms related to your condition. This is not dependent on your participation in the groups, just that you are known to our service”.


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Leaving a Legacy

More and more of our supporters are choosing to leave a legacy to the MS Society when making or updating their will. For many supporters, it’s a way of continuing a lifetime of support for a cause they care deeply about.

Legacy gifts are critical to our work. Quite simply, the range of services and support we are able to provide to anyone living with MS would not exist without them. We would not be able to fund a substantial amount of the world-leading research into finding cures and treatments for MS, were it not for the many generous supporters who have thought of us so kindly at the time of making their will.

The MS Society now have an information pack available to help you; e-mail for a copy of The Legacy Information Pack to be posted to you. Of course, first and foremost, your will is a way to ensure your loved ones are taken care of; but when you leave us a gift you’ll also be helping future generations affected by this terrible condition.

Legacies most often go to the MS Society central office but if you wish to support your local branch it is:- The MS Society Hambleton and Richmondshire Branch.

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