After a long break due to technical difficulties, we are back on the web!

Latest news, we are going to receive another healthy donation of £857 from John Lewis Home, and the month of the green token scheme at Waitrose has just finished, so in due course there will be a further donation from Waitrose as well.


The National Schools Rugby Festival held at ST JOSEPHS COLLEGE is 20th and 21st October, we will have representation there with our banners  etc. Volunteers to come along are welcome, please let Andy know.

Ipswich Rugby Club are holding a charity event on 3rd November at IRC Humber Doucy Lane - further details to come in due course. Again, volunteers welcome.


The Tandem Parachute Jump has now been booked for Sunday 4th September 1200hrs.

The jump will be undertaken with UK Parachuting (Beccles), at Beccles Airfield, Ellough, Beccles NR34 7XD.

Sponsorship is set to raise funds for a STANDING FRAME for Neurology patients in Ipswich, and we are aiming to raise about £4500.

We are also working with The Ipswich Hospital Charity.



We are very fortunate to have been awarded £917 from the scheme.

Thank you to all the staff and customers at John Lewis.



The New T-Shirts have been collected, with 20 shirts for £138

Thank you to YOUR SHIRTS for the work you have done, I am sure that we will be back for more in time! 408 Foxhall Road Ipswich

Sue London RIP

We have learned of the recent passing of Sue, who was the Treasurer at WAVENEY SHIMS.

Our thoughts are with Sue's family and friends, and with Waveney SHIMS.


I attended the Annual Members Meeting yesterday, to represent SHIMS for the part of the meeting dedicated to Community, and in particular the Green Token Scheme, from which we received £500 in the last financial year.

The use of the money to regenerate our Collection image, with new collection boxes, lanyards and t-shirts was seen a positive step. once the products our received from the suppliers, we will get a photo onto the website, facebook and sent to the CO-OP as well.

I spoke with HR staff as well who were very interested, as they have staff currently in the diagnosis stage, and feel that they would be able to get support, help and guidance through SHIMS.



Arlingtons are going to be selling some of their cakes to raise money for SHIMS for the week commencing Monday 2nd May.

Please give them a look if you are in town. 

Disabled friendly with push button doors, and a disabled lift to the first floor.

Photos to follow ..... (after the start of the week, no sneak previews)!



The team name, yet to be confirmed THE SPLAT PACK!

If you feel that you have a better name to be considered, please let us know by e-mail

We will also be looking for Corporate support for the FUNRAISING, which will be acknowledged, and we hope that the opportunity to help our charity in helping our Hospital,will prove a good draw.


Josh Blacker is going to ride in the MyLondon cycle ride, to raise funds and awareness of SHIMS.

He lives in London and has already managed to raise over £80 through the online donations with BT MyDonate - SHIMS Josh Loves Cycling - Hates MS. this amount is going to increase as we get to the 100 mile ride.

It is particularly difficult for Josh, as a new  father, with my young baby granddaughter - fitting in training with nappy changes can't be easy!


The times and dates for the Town Centre Street Collections have been formalised with IBC.

The times for the collection will both be 10am - 4pm.

The dates for the collections, both on Saturdays;

30th July and 27th August

No-one volunteering to help will be expected to work all 6 hours, so a fair bit of planning is needed to ensure that we use all of the time available wisely. Please let us know your availability for the days as soon as possible. 01473 425903, at SHIMS on Tuesday or e-mail

U16'S will need to be supervised by an adult.


Fundraising for the rest of the year is likely to be split in two directions.

  • Fundraising for running SHIMS, and maintaining a stable balance over the year. This will include the ongoing token collections at JOHN LEWIS and WAITROSE. There are also plans being put in place for Bag Packing at Stoke Park Asda,Collection at M&S Martlesham,street collection at Portman Road and also two street collections in the Town Centre. All of these will also enable us to increase awareness.
  • Funraising to raise money towards the purchase of a Standing Frame for Neurology Patients at Ipswich Hospital. The hope is that a sponsored Parachute Jump will provide enough money to match funds with the Neurology stream of the Hospital Charity funds. This may be the Standing Frame Project, but as we are FUNraising the name will be JUMPING FOR JOY 

Nearly The Final Total...

The last formal day for the total collection is the end of March, but the Bank Holidays may just hold up the full amount for a few days, SO an interim total as at today's date, with all gift aid calculated and added in, is an incredible £1104.47!!



Tesco Express Nacton Road

Thank you to the store with the help that you have given to support SHIMS with the  Easter Tea Party.

In addition to helping take 28 eggs to the car, they have now donated a larger FERRERO ROCHER egg as a prize for the days raffle.

Thank you Adam Chris and Pauline


There are two fundraisers planned for March this year:

 On Wednesday 9th March, your Chairperson is GOING TOPLESS.

Don't worry, it's not as bad as it sounds, as he is having a full head shave to raise funds.

 The barbaric barbering is going to take place around mid-day at Nactown Barbers Nacton Road.

Please SPONSOR ON-LINE through the MyDonate link, or on the HMRC sponsor forms that will magically appear over the next week or two.


On Thursday 10th March, there will be an afternoon event (2.30-5.00) The Easter Tea Party

Coffee, Tea and a slice of cake with a Tombola to try to win an Easter Egg and a raffle with a very good assortment of prizes.

This event is being organised to raise funds for SHIMS, and many kind people have donated Easter Eggs and offered to bake cakes mmmm, coffee and walnut for me please!    (ring ips. 425903 for full details)


Since the IT issue, we have had a number of visitors to SHIMS, who have given us a different perspective on their own subjects.

1. Tim Passmore the Police and Crime Commissioner

2. ActivIpswich giving input on indoor sporting activity, with a demonstration of New Age Kurling and Bocchia

3. Gemma Brown Dietitian - Food for thought!


There has been a small break in additional content, mainly due to a problem with the editors laptop.

One new laptop later and we are back to give a list of what we have done.

As you can see from the icon, we have finally managed to get the MyDonate account sorted out and donations can now be made online, with the benefit of an additional 20% back from HMRC!

The East of England Co-op Green Token scheme has been a great success for us as we have just received a cheque for £500 - Thank you to all the staff and customers who have helped.

From 8th February we are in the Green Token scheme at John Lewis, which is another 3 month collection.

We are in the list to be part of the same scheme at Waitrose as well, although there is no start date as yet. This is a one month collection.

Breaking News - East of England Co-op Token Scheme

We have been lucky enough to have been successful with our application to the Co-op, and will be included in their token scheme. As a result we shall be given a share of £1000 when all the tokens are counted. The more in the SHIMS collection box, the bigger our share of the money!

This is another excellent opportunity to raise awareness of SHIMS in stores used by local people.

if you already shop at the Co-op, please look out for the SHIMS collection boxes and let us know if you see one , at If you don't shop at the Co-op it may be worth a look in, certainly when we know that our name is there.

When we know the end result of this collection, we will post the details on the news page as well as the fundraising page.

Visit of CEO Nick Hulme 

The visit of Nick Hulme to SHIMS Tuesday 17th November 2015 was a complete success. There was an exellent turnout to meet Nick Hulme, CEO of Ipswich Hospital. Also attending as well were Louise - Senior Neuro Physio, and Louise - MS Nurse Specialist.

There is no doubt he saw SHIMS in the sort of action that keeps us out of his Hospital for any lengthy period of time.

In turn, he expressed the importance to the NHS of Self Help and Self Help Support Groups.


We have arranged the visit to SHIMS of two important visitors.

On Tuesday 10th November, Mr NIck Hulme - the CEO of Ipswich Hospital will be visiting SHIMS.

On Tuesday 26th January, Mr Tim Passmore, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Suffolk will be coming along.

These are exellent opportunities to ask questions and to demonstrate what a good service we provide.

The intention is to still have Physio as part of both evenings.




Winter is approaching.  Time to think about our personal safety.

Roads and pavements will get slippy with rain and leaves.

Shops will put down slip mats, these can be trip mats if you have foot drop!

Floors will potentially be slippery in any building with hard floors.



MS@M&S - The FInal Story

Following the joy and comfort of the day, with all the onteraction with the public, giving guidance, support and hope .... the somewhat disheartening saga of 3 parking tickets to me,bets who had inadvertently given too much time?

Following some hasty work with the press, and some more than welcome input from Nikki at M&S after the initial appeal against the fines was turned down by the parking company, the fines were cancelled.



Autumn Jobs

 Don't forget to get your flu jab if you have it each year.

If you don't have one, talk it over with your GP or the MS Nurse Specialists (Ips. 704091) before you commit to a decision.

Consider Vitamin D supplements as well.

Plan for the colder winter weather, make sure you have your winter quilt ready to change over, sort out any insulation problems and check your old hot water bottle for leaks!

Remember that SHIMS is just a phone call away, and in crisis there are the MS Nurse Specialists, your GP, and in crisis 111 or 999.

Don't be afraid to use 999 in a crisis - the triage system will then decide for you how urgent your call is.

Please keep SHIMS up to date with any welfare issues.



We have now received the 2014 accounts back so we will be setting in motion the AGM.

You will receive  the date shortly

Temporary Members

A good question came up at the M&S collection -

" What can you do for a family member who has MS, but lives away from Ipswich. If they come to stay, can they visit SHIMS"?

We welcome anyone coming for the first time - as a taster session.

If someone is going to be a regular visitor, then membership should be considered, but no discount to membership, as we already have members who know that they can only visit monthly (and there isn't really a lot of room for discount in a fee of £10).

If anyone has any views about the above guidance, please let us know, as these are only the Chair's thoughts!    

Inviting people to SHIMS

 If you know someone who could benefit from seeing what we do at SHIMS, please let Andy know - we may be able to invite them to an evening at SHIMS.

As part of our aim to increase awareness of SHIMS, we are also inviting people who may be able to help SHIMS - recent invitations are Christine Barrett - Local Parkinsons UK Champion,, Tim Passmore - Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner and Nick Hulme - CEO of Ipswich Hospital. 


We are pleased to welcome Jo to the committee. She has been a staunch supporter of SHIMS for 13 years and has been providing the holistic therapy - reflexology - which is so highly thought of by all members.

More recently she has taken over the running of the raffle, which is an invaluable source of regular income for SHIMS.

Just in it for the free parking?

The figures for the theft of Blue Badges have been announced, with 1800 stolen last year in the UK.

There is of course the ongoing fraudulent use of the badges, and the money made by selling them on to people who are not disabled, just want free parking.

We have contacted the Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner to ask for reassurance that this is not a significant issue in Suffolk.

We have also invited the Commissioner or one of his staff to visit SHIMS.

Just Giving

We have had a few bureaucratic issues in setting up a Just Giving account, so after some discussion with Richard, we have given up!

The alternative that we have found appears to have a more user friendly application - MyDonate-BT.

There are further benefits to this account as it is free to set up and maintain, and there are no 'commission' reductions.

We have started the application process and hope to get the account set up soon.

Therapy News

Jo has completed a course in acupressure, and will be undertaking a case study to see if there are benefits that will help.

If (and probably when) there are any positive signs, then this treatment may be available, although it is possible that it could mean seeing Jo outside of SHIMS.

MS@M&S ....

There have been problems getting enough volunteers with children to cover the bag packing.

After discussing this with the Treasurer, we feel that the bag pack plan was a bit too much in the school holiday, and we should put this part back on the pending shelf.

The collection day will be on the Saturday only now, but should still be a worthwhile exercise in getting awareness of SHIMS out more.

A final rota will be arranged before the day, and there will always be people in the background to support the person holding the tin!

Nutritionists and Dietitians

An invitation has been sent to the Nutritionists and Dietitians at the Hospital to come along on a Tuesday evening, to see if they can help us in any way. We hope they can, as the editor is growing his tummy!

Barrack Lane Medical Centre 

A recent visit was made to the Medical Centre the two MS Nurse SPecialists, Louise and Hollie, together with Andy Blacker.

The purpose of the visit was to talk to a group of year 3 Medical Students about MS. They had asked to talk to someone who could give some real life experience of having MS, as well as some of the more specialised input from Louise and Hollie.

A small oversight in having the meeting in a room upstairs and no lift was overcome with a mountaineering ever use by Andy.

After this, the session was brilliant, and well worth the effort. The students had some very relevant questions to ask, and there is no doubt that their knowledge of the condition, and understanding of potential consequences was enhanced.

We have been invited to return again next year to help with the next set of students.

Information Day at HRW

The 29th October has been agreed with the Hospital for us to set up camp in either the South Wards Reception area, or Outpatients. The idea is to be available to talk to anyone interested about MS and SHIMS. The times will be 1000 - 1400. This is NOT a collection, but an opportunity to increase awareness.

The MS Nurses have the date in their diary and will try to come along at some time.

MS@M&S ....

The dates have been finally agreed at Friday 28th August - when we will be looking to do a collection at the front entrance of the premises, and Saturday 29th August when we will try a bag pack.



Not really a sequel, more of an update!

We now have our first dates offered to us by Marks & Spencer, the 29th and 30th August. They have asked if we could do a bag pack on one of the days, rather than overburdening the customers - a fair point.

We will need as many volunteers as possible so that we can organise a rota, also children / grandchildren for Bag packing day.

As mentioned previously, there is disabled parking immediately to the front of the building, free parking for everyone else as well. There is a cafeteria and other facilities close inside.

Please e-mail with your availability: names, dates and times.

We will negotiate the best day for bag packing once we have numbers.


MS at M&S!

Marks & Spencer, Martlesham have kindly invited SHIMS to carry out collections at the store.

Members, family, friends and carers are welcome to join us when we have the dates agreed. 

There will be a rota organised so that no-one is alone collecting, and ensure that the "shifts" are not too lengthy.

There is good disabled parking at the front of M&S, and a Cafe just inside.

This is a great opportunity to build a longer term relationship with a local flagship store, so this is a call to all to offer some time to support the initiative.



We were happy to welcome a visitor to SHIMS last night. 

Christine Barrett, a Local Champion for Parkinsons UK came along to see how our group is operated.

Hopefully she enjoyed a good evening.

Christine has been invited by the Patient Engagement Manager, Dominic Munday to talk about ways in which the layout and design of Outpatients at Ipswich Hospital can be made more user friendly. 

  • More or better seating?
  • Clearer signage?
  • More colour coding?
  • Are there too many 'temporary' notices?
  • Information overload?

 Please let Christine have your view before 6th July by phone or e-mail.

07930 347 295

These issues are not confined to any particular group, but affect all of us - worth giving your opinions and ideas. 

Raffle Donations

Letters have been delivered to a number of Businesses in the area, asking if they can give donations of raffle prizes for our weekly raffle.

A list of businesses supporting us will be kept updated on the Fundraising page - in due course!

A request for Community Plus Funding from Santander has been completed by Kim, and this has been handed in, again watch this space for news.

Subscriptions 2015

Just a gentle reminder, if you haven't paid annual subs, due end of March........!

Self refer for Physiotherapy

It is possible to access this service when you have MS.

Use the following:

01473 703312


Find details

Just Giving

HMRC has been applied for and confirmed now by HMRC. This will enable us to look for some tax exemptions.

We will be settting up a Just Giving account as well - more tax benefits on donations

A big thank you to Richard for his work in getting us to this stage of the process.


Moving onward into the 21st century .....

SHIMS now has a Facebook page -

Please feel free to use this as a means of sharing thoughts and information.


The distribution of the Flyers is well under way, with the letters to the surgeries having been sent out.

Thank you again to everyone involved.

Ipswich Community Radio 27th April 08.05hrs

There will be an interview about SHIMS on the Breakfast Show.

Flyers update

There are now Flyers available in the Central Library in Ipswich.

The roll out to the Doctors surgeries in the area will start next week.

A big thank you to Kay and Matthew for helping sort out the contents of the envelopes, and Jo who has volunteered to address them all.


The Flyers have now been printed and collected.

A supply has already been presented to the MS Nurse Specialists and to the Neurological Consultants. Distribution has been made around the main entrances to the Hospital and to A&E.

The roll out through members to their own GP / Surgery has started, and is ongoing, so some surgeries already have a supply.

As a trial, a small number were left with the Pharmacist at Queensway - these were well received, giving strength to the Pharmacy roll out idea.

Thank you to all members who are taking the flyers to their own GP.

Envelopes have been purchased and await addressing ready to distribute to the Surgeries within the area.

If anyone fancies an evening with coffee, tea, biscuits and pen to help with this, please let me know - Andy!

MS Nurse Specialist

Hollie Faggetter has joined the MS Nurse Specialist Team. She is hoping to come to SHIMS soon, to see what we do and to meet us.

Flyers are on their way

The Flyers have been ordered, and will be collected this week.

The distribution of the flyers will be arranged as soon as we are able, and when the first phase of the rollout is complete we will consider the next stage - pharmacies.

Information Flyers...our plans

We are currently working towards the production of SHIMS information flyers.

These will be provided to:

  • Neurology Clinic
  • Neurology Consultants and MS Nurse Specialists
  • Neuro Physiotherapists
  • Physio Department
  • GP Practices in Ipswich and surrounding areas

We have agreed the design, and are considering quotes for printing. As soon as this is confirmed we will get the process moving and arrange the distribution.

Thank you

A big thank you to everyone who has been involved in collections and donations during 2014.

Without income, we would be unable to provide such an excellent service to all our members. 

Andy Blacker


Travel Assistance

Travel to and from SHIMS is available for members otherwise unable to attend.

This has been arranged with Travelsafe Limited  who provide an adapted minibus and driver. There is a small charge for use of the service. 

Street Collection at Ipswich Town Football Club

A collection was held on 27th September 2014, results on fundraising page.