MS Society Champion
1041. David Allen
David Allen, from Bedfordshire, was diagnosed with primary progressive MS in 1995 and in the last five years has turned around his struggling branch of the ‘MS Society’ while advising the charity on their national campaigns.
When David started as Chair of his local branch, there were no activities and events to support people in the local area struggling with the illness. Drawing on his own experiences of the condition, David decided to start designing and leading activities and programmes which would bring the community together and he now helped hundreds of people with the condition every year. David has also been instrumental in advising and leading the charity’s national campaigns, including ‘Treat Me Right’ which aims to improve fair, equal, and early access to treatment. Thanks to David’s hard work, the campaign was awarded ‘Voluntary Sector Campaign of the Year.’ He has contributed his experience as someone living with MS to discussions in parliament and has engaged with MPs and government officials. In 2016 he was selected as Volunteer of the Year at the ‘MS Society’ awards.
David’s award was presented at the ‘MS Society’ charity event at Downing Street by the Prime Minister (pictured below).
In a personal letter to David, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“By transforming your local MS Society branch and supporting the charity’s award-winning campaigns, you are making a huge difference at both a local and national level to the lives of people living with Multiple Sclerosis and other chronic conditions. You should feel tremendously proud of all the work you are doing to ensure the voices of those living with the condition are heard.”
Patricia Gordon, Acting Chief Executive at the MS Society, said:
“David has made a huge contribution to the MS Society over the years, and his continued support and dedication is invaluable. It was fantastic to see him presented with a Points of Light Award by the Prime Minister at an event to celebrate our volunteers and advancements in MS research. It was a great way to thank him for his work, and something we will all remember for a very long time.
“We’re driving research into more – and better – treatments, and David’s unwavering dedication and passion will help us every step of the way. Together, we’re strong enough to stop MS.”
“When I started volunteering for the MS Society I had no idea where the role would take me. I volunteer to help bring about vital change for people affected by MS and will continue to share my experience of the condition to help others. If I’m honest, I’m gobsmacked I’ve won an award. It is truly an honour and privilege to be recognised in this way and it is really humbling to know people notice.”