Action MS Digital Inclusion Programme Making a World of Difference!

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I though you would like to see the work we’re doing with Action MS in NI. This is our 3rd year supporting this programme.

PRESS RELEASE Tuesday 24 November 2009 :

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Action MS today launches Phase 3 of its Digital Inclusion Programme. This life-changing Programme delivers a laptop, Microsoft software, BT Broadband and training to make a world of difference to those living with multiple sclerosis in Northern Ireland.

Multiple sclerosis can be an isolating condition for a variety of reasons – severe fatigue, speech difficulties or mobility constraints. Sometimes this can result in people staying at home or only getting out when support is available.

Thanks to the Action MS Digital Inclusion Programme new worlds are opening up online – including social networking, chat rooms and internet shopping.

Sandra Humes, Action MS Professional Care Advisor paid tribute to the generosity and hard work of all the Digital Inclusion business partners:

“Bombardier Aerospace, BT Ireland, Microsoft and Business in the Community have each helped Action MS put together a state-of-the-art package. The laptops are fitted with new Microsoft software packages and BT Broadband connections. BT Volunteers are providing training to the clients in their own homes. The Action MS Digital Inclusion Programme ensures that those living with multiple sclerosis have access to new possibilities both through the Microsoft packages and online.”

Sandra went on to say:

“With Phases 1 and 2 successfully completed over 30 people living in the Greater Belfast area have already benefited from this service. Now the Action MS Digital Inclusion Programme is moving to the Southern Board Area as it rolls out across the Province.”

Tom Jackson, Microsoft Education Programme Manager NI said:

Microsoft Ireland is delighted to partner with Action MS and Phase 3 of their Action MS Digital Inclusion Programme. As past participation has shown, giving sufferers of Multiple Sclerosis access to ICT and the internet can be a life changing experience. Reconnecting with society, the ability to be more self-reliant and gaining access to training and employment opportunities is fundamental in enhancing self-worth and personal esteem. This is a programme Microsoft believe makes a real difference and we are proud to be invited to participate.”

action ms 015Sandra Humes (Action MS PM), Tom Jackson (Microsoft), Elizabeth Farquhar (Programme Participant)

Action MS Executive Director Jayne Smyth is responsible for the charity’s social care programme. Jayne said:

The Action MS Digital Inclusion Programme is a life-changing service. It makes a real difference which is wonderful to see, for all those involved in delivering this Programme, but most importantly for the client with multiple sclerosis. Already the Action MS Digital Inclusion Programme has helped people who felt socially isolated by their multiple sclerosis explore new business opportunities and social networking sites. One client spoke of her great sense of achievement at learning how to use a computer, she has made many new friends online and is adept at both email and online shopping. Through the Programme she has gained new confidence and really enjoys connecting with people.”

Jayne went on to say:

A special Thank You to our business partners, Bombardier Aerospace, BT Ireland and Microsoft who have moved heaven and earth to help us deliver Phase 3. Thanks also to Business in the Community for helping Action MS to make those connections.

“These companies have demonstrated that they take their corporate social responsibility seriously and I would like thank them, on behalf of all our clients, for making a positive difference and changing lives.”

Action MS invites anyone who is living with MS, their families or carers to contact Jayne Smyth, Executive Director, who would be delighted to help. Telephone (028) 907 907 07 or visit the Action MS website http://www.actionms.co.uk, for more information.

Notes to Editors:

Multiple Sclerosis is most likely to be diagnosed amongst women in their 20’s and 30’s. Northern Ireland has the second highest rate of multiple sclerosis in the world. Almost 4,000 people have multiple sclerosis in Northern Ireland.

For further information please contact Heather Lundy at Action MS on Tel: (028) 907 907 07 or email: Heathers@actionms.co.uk

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