Volunteers needed to support MND sufferers

Paul with AV Sue from the Motor Neurone Disease Association SUS-160225-145644001
Paul with AV Sue from the Motor Neurone Disease Association SUS-160225-145644001

The East Sussex branch of the Motor Neurone Disease Association is on the lookout for new members to join its team of Association Visitors.

The branch is a voluntary group which raises funds and awareness of Motor Neurone Disease and supports people living in the East Sussex area with the condition and their carers.

Association Visitors (AV) provide a key role within the charity in providing support for sufferers. It is a voluntary role which involves visiting people living with MND to provide them with information, advice, support and a friendly face.

All Association Visitors receive full training via the national office of the MND Association.

Bernard Duncan, chair of East Sussex MND Association, said, “If you’ve been considering volunteering your time this could be just what you’re looking for; The opportunity to make a meaningful difference to someone’s life.

“Following a diagnosis of MND many feel isolated and at a loss as to where to turn.

“That is where you come in, providing them with vital support. It can be a challenging and emotional role helping someone faced with a terminal condition.”

Motor Neurone Disease is a progressive terminal neurological condition which attacks the motor neurones, or nerves, in the brain and spinal cord. This means messages gradually stop reaching muscles which leads to weakness and wasting. It affects the person’s ability to walk, talk, eat, drink and breathe.

Sue Smallwood, one of the volunteer AVs, said, “To be invited into someone’s home and life at the very point it is at its most difficult is an honour.

“Their bravery and humour never fails to amaze me and their courage in turn enriches my life.”

Sue visits Paul who was diagnosed around 18 months ago. Paul finds the visits invaluable.

He said, “My condition has brought upon huge challenges, yet ironically has also led me to meet and know the very special friend that I have found in my Association Visitor. This is an important and special service and is extremely valued by all of us enduring this most disabling and troubling condition.”

To volunteer visit www.mndassociation.org or call Bernard Duncan on 01323 521932 or Association Visitor Sue Smallwood on 01323 843084 for an informal chat.

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