Charity uses sport and physical activity to help adults affected by MS

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MS Society Scotland ()

The MS Active Together project uses sport and physical activity to help improve the lives of adults with MS in Scotland.

The volunteer led project evaluates the best method for people with MS and affected by MS, such as carers and family members, to remain or start to be active. It’s estimated that 100,000 people in the UK have MS, a neurological condition that can cause muscle spasms and pain.

The project, launched in 2017, has successfully co-ordinated and signposted several 'try' sessions by partnering with organisations who provide sports such as archery, curling and walking football. Other free sessions include seated yoga, general exercise, pilates and TRX (total body resistance training). The project is continuing to explore other collaborations to provide MS specific sessions, including with Basketball Scotland to deliver a free, inclusive basketball session and Taoist Tai Chi to provide Tai Chi. So far, the project has worked with over 150 individuals.

One taster session which proved popular was circus skills. Ten brave people took part in the workshop at Glasgow’s Aerial Edge. The participants tried juggling, swinging from a trapeze, hanging in silks and flying around the ring!

Participant Jennifer commented: “Absolutely fantastic! Definitely challenging, but you have to have the guts to try things.”

Volunteers are at the heart of the project and MS Active Together has made volunteering more accessible via the use of technology. The project uses online technology, including Skype for Business and Slack, to help direct and steer the project effectively.

Tracey Harrison, MS Active Together Development Lead, hopes that the project can help improve the lives of all those who suffer from MS: “It’s all about choosing an exercise to suit you. That’s why we launched MS Active Together – to offer taster sessions across a huge range of activities. We have archery, horse riding and curling. The point is, it doesn't matter what your ability level is. Exercise can be accessible and fun for everyone.”

To find out more information about the programme, please click here.

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