Around 3 months ago now I started the process of becoming a Campaigns Contact with the Motor Neurone Disease Association, a charity very close to my heart as they supported me and my family when my Dad was diagnosed with MND over six years ago.
I was accepted as a Campaigns Contact, and went to my first event – the incredible celebration at Parliament after handing in the MND Charter at Downing Street, with a brilliant 33,600 signatures. It was a hugely inspirational event, and I had a wonderful time chatting with local politicians, representatives from MNDA branches and groups all over the country, and hearing some really touching speeches.
Then, on the 25th July, I went to a training and networking weekend in Birmingham with other Campaign Contacts from around the country. Again, I had the most fantastic time hearing about the many successes of the other Campaigns Contacts, and felt ever so slightly intimidated by all their achievements. Again, I left feeling ready to take on the world…but then I started my second job in as many months, and volunteering took a back seat.
It’s so easy to feel enthused and motivated in the company of inspirational people like those in what I’m starting to refer to as ‘the MND family’. I come away from meetings feeling like I can do anything, yet that fire seems to dim a little when I sit down on my own and try to make a plan of action.
Last night I met up with some members of MND South London, the group that I volunteer with, and we spent over an hour planning a presentation for the AGM in Birmingham next month. Unfortunately I’ll be halfway up to Newcastle in preparation for the Great North Run on Sunday, but by being part of the preparations I really reflected on how much this small group of people do for the Association around their busy schedules.
Yet again I’m feeling incredibly motivated, and this time I don’t want to let that feeling disappear. Yes, it’s great to be part of such an inspiring and supportive community, but I can’t rely on speaking to these people daily to keep me motivated.
I need to remember why I started this journey – to make a difference to those affected by MND. To continue to raise awareness of a horrid illness. To make the best out of the very worst situation. I am going to do my very best over the coming weeks and months to be a Campaigns Contact to be proud of – I want to do whatever I can to make a difference, and this time I won’t let my ‘lack of time’ get the better of me.
It is only right that I end this blog with a huge shout out to ‘the MND Family’, as without them I wouldn’t even believe in my ability to make a difference, let alone have the confidence to actually do something about it.