Covid-19: Impact and difficult decisions

The impact of Covid-19 has meant we have had to make some very difficult decisions at MND Scotland.

Posted : 19/11/2020

By Craig Stockton, Chief Executive - MND Scotland

Difficult decisions…

The past eight months have been incredibly difficult for the whole country, and for people with MND the worries and challenges have been amplified many times over due to the pandemic.

Social-isolation measures, while essential, are placing huge restrictions on the care and support many rely on every single day. Unfortunately, this has meant all face-to-face support provided by MND Scotland has been suspended indefinitely. As a result, we can no longer host local support groups or offer complementary therapy, physiotherapy and face-to-face counselling.

Regrettably, the impact of the current circumstances has resulted in us taking the extremely tough decision to make two members of the MND Scotland team redundant. This is, of course, not something we wanted to do or a decision we have taken lightly. However, as we do not know when we will be able to resume our face-to-face services, this has affected two key roles within our charity, meaning Dawn Hamilton, our Client Services Coordinator, and Ian Stuart, our Inclusive Technology Coordinator, have been made redundant.

Dawn and Ian worked at MND Scotland for 12 and 5 years respectively and have provided invaluable support to families affected by MND over the years. Dawn hosted MND Scotland’s support groups across the country, bringing local families affected by MND together, as well co-ordinating our complementary therapy, physiotherapy and counselling services. Ian provided specialised equipment and advice to people whose voice has been affected by MND, to give them a way of communicating, while waiting for their NHS equipment to arrive.

We are very sad to see Dawn and Ian go, and I personally want to thank them for their huge contribution and unstinting dedication to the charity, and for the difference they have made to so many families. We appreciate all their hard work and compassion, and wish them the very best for the future.

As staff continue to work from home for the foreseeable, we have also decided we will not be renewing the lease for our Head Office in Glasgow, which is due in February. We are currently developing plans and requirements for a new office space, so that when it is safe to return to office working, we are ready to move these plans forward. In the meantime, we’ll be moving our equipment into storage and our post will be redirected to our unit at 76 Firhill Road, Glasgow, G20 7BA.

Here for you, no matter what…

People affected by MND remain at the heart of everything we do, and we want to reassure you that MND Scotland is still here for you, no matter what, to make life easier for you and your family.

Unfortunately, we cannot currently deliver our complementary therapy service or physiotherapy, and do not have replacement support for these services, however many of our other services have not been impacted by Covid-19 at all, and some have been adapted to take into account the current situation.

In place of our physical support groups, we are hosting a video support group every Thursday for people affected by MND to stay connected to each other, ask questions and share experiences. Although face-to-face counselling is currently suspended, we are still able to provide video and telephone counselling, or if you just want to get in touch for a chat, we’re here. We are also still able to have equipment and communication aids delivered to you, however we are unable to come into your home to set-up the equipment at this time.

We can provide welfare and benefits advice, which is particularly important just now if you're currently on furlough or thinking about stopping working. We also have grants that you may be able to access to help with any financial worries. In addition, we have introduced a new service which gives people with MND, and their spouse or partner, access to Will, Power of Attorney and Advance Directive services.

We have a highly experienced team of Advocacy Workers to fight your corner if you are dealing with disputes or roadblocks with statutory services or employers. For example, if your request for adaptations or care has been delayed due to Covid-19, or any other reason, please get in touch with our advocacy service, who are here to help you get the things you need.

To find out more about any of our services, or to let us know if we can help in any other ways, please get in touch by calling us on 0141 332 3903 or emailing info@mndscotland.org.uk.

Your support...

While we are still unsure what the future holds for face-to-face support and fundraising events, we are all in this together. We have been overwhelmed by the support we have received during this time and I would like to take this opportunity to extend my sincere thanks to all of our supporters. From one-off and monthly donations, to joining our virtual fundraising events and getting creative in your own ways at home, your motivation and determination to continue fighting back against MND has been a true inspiration to us and we could not continue supporting families during these trying times without you.

Thank you, 

Craig Stockton
Chief Executive - MND Scotland