A SUPPORT group for people with multiple sclerosis could mark its 50th birthday by winning an award.

The Barnsley MS Society Support Group - set up in November 1969 - is among the Proud of Barnsley nominations.

The group hosts a variety of social events, presentations and talks for members of all ages.

It has been run for many years by Alan Wall and has more than 130 members.

Multiple sclerosis is a lifelong condition which can affect the brain and spinal cord, causing problems with vision, arm or leg movement, sensation or balance.

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It can sometimes cause serious disability, but it can also be mild and is commonly diagnosed in people in their 20s and 30s.

Alan, of Darton, was diagnosed with MS in 1979, and has gone from being able to walk to now using a wheelchair.

After joining the group he took over the running of it and as well as providing social events, has developed it into an informative place for those with MS.

“A lot of people with MS can’t really get about or struggle with going to places,” said Alan.

“We have a lot of activities that go on here and we meet up regularly. There are coffee mornings and time for members to chat, we have bus trips to different places and we also have our own holiday bungalow.”

Alan said the group has helped keep him occupied, especially after his MS made him take an early retirement.

“It’s great as we can talk about what other people have done that has helped them and there’s a lot of that going on now,” he said.

“We have got the membership up about a third now since I started. We find that when people come to these groups and they get involved, they really enjoy it and keep coming back.”

The society aims to raise as much money as possible each year to help with running costs.

To help fundraise this year, the committee is hosting a masquerade ball on September 28 in the O’Hara Suite at the Holiday Inn in Barnsley.

There will be a drinks reception and a three-course meal followed by tea, coffee and mints.

There will also be live entertainment, a sweet trolley, a magic mirror, music and a raffle.

The live entertainment includes a singing group whose members have performed the West End performing songs from shows such as The Greatest Showman, Les Miserables, Mamma Mia and Bohemian Rhapsody.

Tickets are available from Sue Jewkes (email suejewkes@icloud.com). All money will go back into helping the group continue to run and hold social events.

The group is also looking for people or organisations to help with the cost of the event through sponsorship.

Sean Quinn, communications volunteer at the group said he, Alan and other members were ‘delighted to be nominated’ for a Proud of Barnsley award.

“It will be a great boost for the volunteers of the group who work tirelessly for the people of Barnsley affected by MS, as well as highlighting the group to a wider audience,” he said.

For more information about the Barnsley MS Society Support Group, see its group on Facebook.