A group providing support to Multiple Sclerosis sufferers in Dumbarton and the surrounding area has been chosen as the charity of the year for 2017/18 by staff at Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park.
Each year, staff at the National Park Authority choose a charity and over the course of the next 12 months take part in a wide range of fundraising activities.
MS is a condition of the central nervous system that affects more than 100,000 people in the UK.
Dumbarton and District MS Group has been providing support to the MS community since 1970. For the last 47 years the group’s committee has been raising awareness, fundraising and organising outings and events for people with MS in the local community.
In more recent years, the group’s committee have worked extremely hard to raise their profile in the community. One of the main issues with MS is that it’s a very isolating illness due to lack of facilities and funding as well as mobility and confidence issues.
Social inclusion has become the group’s main focus, setting up their own drop-in facility, offering people with MS the opportunity to get out of their home for a full afternoon once every two weeks. In doing this, the group offers flexible respite care for people with MS, giving reassurance to families their loved ones are very well looked after. The group also have a lunch club every four weeks at Ingliston Country Club and various outings and events throughout the year.
Sheena Rollo, from the Dumbarton and District MS Group, said: “We would like to thank all the staff of Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park for choosing our group as their chosen charity for 2017/18. The group are overwhelmed and thrilled with this decision and looking forward to working alongside the National Park to help raise awareness and funds for our local MS community.”
Last year, National Park staff raised nearly £5,000 for three local Mountain Rescue Teams.
Activities included staff taking part in the Great Scottish Swim, a marathon, a quiz, cake bakes, tea and toast mornings and a very popular tuck shop.
Gordon Watson, Chief Executive of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, said: “Supporting local communities and organisations is an important part of the work of the National Park. Having a charity of the year is one way for our staff to come together and give back. It’s voted for by them and they always throw themselves into their fundraising efforts. I’m delighted that we will be supporting the Dumbarton and District MS Group and look forward to seeing what inventive ideas everyone comes up with to raise funds.”
For more information about Dumbarton and District MS Group contact Dumbarton@mssociety.org.uk or go to their Facebook page