Multiple Sclerosis (MS) affects more than 100,000 people in the UK. The MS Society is a national registered charity committed to improving treatment and care for people with MS and funds vital research to help beat the disease for good.
We spoke to Anita O’Hara Corporate Partnerships Manager and passionate campaigner for people affected by MS about what attracted the charity to NorDevCon 2015. Anita explains “this conference presents a fantastic opportunity for us to raise awareness of MS and share with the conference the vital work that MS Society does and why it’s so important. The conference attracts people from all over the county and further afield so it’s a great way to generate interest about getting involved with the MS Society to a large group of people.”
The conference is ripe with small to medium sized tech companies, both established and up-and-coming and as Anita points out the technology industry “is an area that is growing rapidly so we’d look to get involved with this industry in particular.”
As well as providing a fantastic fundraising opportunity Anita also reveals that they hope to gain and exchange knowledge from the 2015 conference. “NorDevCon will give us an insight into what’s happening in the tech worlds and the issues they’re facing, in particular looking at what Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policies they have in place as there may be ways that we can help them develop them.”
“We’ve got branches of the MS Society local to Norwich so there may be an opportunity to get in directly on the ground and link up our volunteers with local companies who have issues in-house” adds Anita.
As a disease that affects the nervous system, MS brings a unique range of disabilities and can have a different effect on different people. Anita explains how “we’re uniquely placed to help employers with information on accessibility and raise awareness of people affected by MS in the workplace. Research shows that 70-80% of people with MS will be unemployed within 10 years so we can educate employers and help them to understand and tackle the issue. We can help people stay in work longer so that they’re contributing to the economy longer and everyone benefits.”
From speaking with Anita not only is her passion for helping people with MS clear but so is her appreciation of being part of NorDevCon 2015. “We’re a smaller charity and less well known than some of the bigger names out there so any opportunity to spread the word about the MS Society is brilliant and we’re just so grateful to Paul and the NorDevCon team for giving us this opportunity.”
The NorDevCon team approached the MS society after considering a list of worth-while causes, but with MS close to the heart of members of the NorDevCon team, this is a fantastic opportunity for both parties to do well by doing good.
You can buy your tickets for NorDevCon and see the full programme here.