Sunday, 8 May 2016


This week I headed off to an AGM of a local branch of the MS Society, and while I was there as a member of the charity, I was also there in my new role as Vice-Chair of the charity's Northern Ireland Council.
It's a role I was voted into in January this year, having spent 2015 co-opted onto the Council to see if it was a volunteering role I wanted to explore further.
It was such an interesting year that I had no hesitation in putting myself forward for an official three year term.
That started in January, and as with most things I do, it hasn't been on half measures.
At face value the Council meets five times a year. It's a three hour meeting usually and as it's held in Belfast, it is a full day's 'work' for me.
On top of that there's support groups to attend, fundraising events to support and I've also appeared both in print press and on the radio promoting the charity's work.
But I don't begrudge the time, nor the effort.
The charity is one which I believe in wholeheartedly. They are the largest charity supporting people living with MS in the UK and the work they carry out is phenomenal. 
From information, support and advice, to fundraising and funding research, the remit they cover is wide and varied.
In addition, I personally find volunteering incredibly worthwhile.
Yes, it's time consuming and it can be tedious (there's a lot of report reading!) but it's something I do outside of my home and work life.
It's a time for me to recognise that despite MS, despite all that it has thrown at me, I am still challenging myself.
It has also given me the chance to meet some very inspirational people, some who have MS, and others who are just helping the charity because they want to.
That in itself is very humbling.
I'm looking forward to fulfilling my role in 2016, and in the years ahead too.
If you've never considered volunteering then I truly cannot recommend it enough.