The annual fundraising dinner and auction organised by city philanthropists, The October Club, has raised £500,000 for the MS Trust's Advanced MS Champions project, which will bring urgently needed care and support to people living with the effects of advanced MS.
Over 400 guests attended the dinner, which took place at The Savoy Hotel in London last night (October 11). The evening included speeches by Mark Pumfrey, Chairman of The October Club and CEO of EMEA Liquidnet, Professor Alan Thompson, Director of the University College London Institute of Neurology, and MS Trust supporter Edith Monk, who shared her experience of living with MS.
Funds were raised via a live and silent auction, with lots such as a special edition necklace by jewellery designer Kiki McDonough and an original image by fine art photographer David Yarrow, raising over £37,000. In addition, guests were able to make pledges to support different elements of the Advanced MS Champions project.
Pam Macfarlane, Chief Executive of the MS Trust, said: “We’d like to thank The October Club for organising such a wonderful event and everyone who attended for their generosity and support. Our work over the past five years has shown that people with advanced MS and their families all too often miss out on vital specialist care. The incredible support of The October Club will enable us to act boldly on our research and make a huge difference for these people today.”
Chairman of The October Club, Mark Pumfrey, said: “The October Club was delighted to partner with the Multiple Sclerosis Trust for our 30th dinner. The transformational cause they brought us gets to the heart of the impact advanced MS has. The legacy of the investment made as a result of the funds raised last night will make a meaningful and lasting difference to many people impacted by this very tough condition”.
The October Club was founded in 1987 by a group of City workers, who decided to hold a fundraising dinner in aid of Leukaemia sufferers. Since then, the Club has held annual dinners and raised over £11 million for transformational charity projects.
"The incredible support of The October Club will enable us to act boldly on our research and make a huge difference for these people today"
In its 30th anniversary year, the Club has chosen to support the MS Trust in the delivery of Advanced MS Champions - specialists who will manage, champion and coordinate the care of the 40,000 people living with the worst symptoms of MS, such as increasing disability, severe pain and fatigue, difficulty swallowing, spasticity, bladder and bowel problems, and loss of memory.
MS Trust research has found that many people with MS report losing contact with MS specialist services as their condition gets worse, and have to rely on informal care from family and friends, and sometimes have to manage the condition alone.
Thanks to the amazing support of The October Club, the MS Trust is now able to launch a pioneering new programme to fund six Advanced MS Champions over three years, and bring vital care and support to people in urgent need.