What a difference a volunteer makes!

Colin Hardy only joined the MND Association in May as a volunteer and already he is making a big impact in the north east. Chris Noble, Volunteering Development Coordinator for the MND Association said, “We don’t currently have an active branch or group in Northumberland; just Colin, who is raising awareness all over Berwick and the surrounding areas. He may be just one volunteer on his own but he has tackled so much already in such a short time, from radio interviews and presentations, to tweeting and collections, and even a short presentation to Berwick Town Council”.

In June, Colin was on Radio Newcastle, speaking about his personal experiences of MND and why he now chooses to volunteer with us. The presenter, Jonathon Miles, asked lots of questions which Colin answered and Colin also mentioned our awareness campaign about ‘not wanting to die without a voice’. The radio interview was so well received that Colin found himself in the local Gazette and Berwick Advertiser the following week.

Mayor of Berwick, Isabel Hunter

Mayor of Berwick, Isabel Hunter signing the MND Charter

Colin also gave a presentation to Berwick Town Council and asked them to sign our MND Charter. They were all very interested in what Colin had to say and happy to sign, including the local Mayor, Isabel Hunter.

Colin’s commitment doesn’t stop there. He is constantly on Twitter, and uses it in different ways to raise awareness. He has promoted the Football Vs MND campaign to local football teams which resulted in being been retweeted by Hibernian Football Club. He has also used it to thank local businesses for their support such as Asda in Tweedmouth where he held a collection. During Awareness Month, he sent the following tweet: ‘Raise awareness of MND – make a difference by retweeting. #MND needs celebrity voices. Be our voice and retweet’. This had an impact and Boy George amongst others retweeted Colin’s message.

As well as all this, Colin still finds time to hold information stalls in the local library, garden centre and at his local co-op, raising money and awareness at the same time. Throughout June, Colin raised almost £400.

He is currently working on a fundraiser with his local gym which invites people to the challenge of rowing 24K, cycling 78K and running 42K over twelve sessions as part of a summer fitness challenge. Colin has lots of ideas for the future and he would like to see an active group formed in Northumberland. Colin says: “It’s easy to do nothing. I want to make a difference to people with MND. I have lost a friend and family member to MND and wanted to put something back”. Well, he has certainly made a great start.

“If there is anyone who would like to help us to start either a group in Berwick, or in other areas of Northumberland we would love to hear from you. We appreciate not everyone will be as confident as Colin about tackling radio interviews and speaking to town councils, but there are lots of other ways to help us make a difference for people living with MND in Northumberland and the North East by just offering a few hours a week. ” says Chris.

If you would like to know more and would be interested in coming along to a volunteer ‘get together’ in Northumberland during late September/early October please contact:

Chris Noble
MND Association
tel 01228 635586
mobile 07876 575 032
email chris.noble@mndassociation.org
Registered Charity No 294354

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