Helplines Awards – Helpline of the Year 2018

Annika Howard
MS Society winners of Helpline of the Year 2018

This award recognises helplines who have made a significant contribution to the sector and the wellbeing of service users. This year, MS Society won the award and Julie Gaynor, Helpline Services Manager at MS Society talks to us about winning the award.

Winning Helpline of the Year

Here on the MS Helpline we are incredibly proud to win Helpline of the Year at this year’s Helpline Partnership Awards. This honour means a lot to us as we constantly strive to increase and improve the support we give to the MS community and to ensure that we are providing the best service possible - this feels like a wonderful recognition of the hard work that our team do.

Our helpline team

We are lucky on our Helpline to have an incredible group of helpline volunteers who support our staff team. Our Helpline volunteers work remotely from all around the UK and undergo rigorous induction and refresher training to support and prepare them in their role.

Dealing with complex subjects such as social care and managing symptoms, our volunteers work to the same level as our staff team and are passionate about the work we do. It is wonderful that Aleks de Gromoboy, a Helpline volunteer for eight years, was recognised third place for volunteer of the year. Like all of our volunteers, Aleks goes above in beyond in supporting teams across the society and working to promote our service.

User experience

This year we wanted to hear from our callers about the service and their experience and created an automated survey as part of our Helpline service, where people could feedback anonymously after their call. We were delighted to be recognised for this innovation and to win second place in Innovation of the year was fantastic.

Developing our service

We are currently looking at what our enquirers need next, and will be launching a new Benefits Advice Service, in partnership with the Disability Law Service (DLS). This will be in addition to the MS Legal support we provide through our helpline, (in conjunction with the DLS) which provides legal advice to people affected by MS in regards to employment, community care, goods and services, and disability discrimination as well as the legal aspects around benefits.

We know that local services can be stretched and consistently one of our top subjects of enquiry is around benefits, so we know there is a huge need for this service.
We are also excited to be launching another new service around moving more with MS, a project supported by Sports England to help people with MS become more active.
Digital transformation is also top of our priorities to ensure we are an accessible service, and we are looking to launch a web chat service and British Sign Language service too.

MS Helpline

Our helpline has a fantastic team of dedicated staff and volunteers, and we are very excited about our future; there are always lots of changes ahead when developing a service, but the most important aspect of our work will always be our callers.

You can read more about the MS Society on our website: www.mssociety.org.uk and contact the helpline on 0808 800 8000 or via email at helpline@mssociety.org.uk, or via Facebook Messenger
For more information about the service please click over to their webpage.

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