A Lichfield mum has revealed how volunteering helped create a positive response to her daughter’s MS diagnosis.
Sue Evans, 64, admits that spending her retirement sharing her views with some of the world’s leading scientific researchers wasn’t something she had originally envisaged doing.
But for the Whittington resident, a determination to find out more about the condition her daughter had been diagnosed with led to her joining the MS Society’s Research Network in 2014.
She has since developed a volunteer role which sees her reviewing grant applications from researchers and interviewing people who have taken part in clinical trials.
Sue then visits London to meet with researchers.
“The thought of going to meet them was a bit intimidating at first, but everyone was so welcoming, reassuring and kind,” she said. “What struck me was how passionate and dedicated they were in their endeavours to beat MS.
“The excitement of reading about potential research ideas that might eventually lead to some sort of cure, or alleviate the symptoms of MS, is motivating.”
Sue is one of 5,500 people who are being recognised by the MS Society as part of National Volunteers’ Week.
And she admits that giving up her time has been more rewarding than she could ever have imagined.
“I would recommend volunteering,” she said. “You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
“As they say, ‘knowledge is power’. You will get a great deal out of it and will feel useful.
“I feel as if I’m listened to, that I’m useful and that I make a difference.”
Volunteers’ Week runs from June 1 to 12 and aims to celebrate people who give up their time to support a range of different causes.
Michelle Mitchell, chief executive of the MS Society, said the contribution of such people cannot be underestimated.
“Volunteers like Sue are the backbone of our organisation,” she said. “Without their generous commitment of time, energy and skills, we couldn’t provide the level of vital support for people affected by MS that we do.
“Volunteers’ Week is a great opportunity to say a massive thank you to our volunteers who are doing their bit to beat MS every single day – our everyday superheroes.”