Shoppers at The Centre did not have to worry about wrapping presents this year as volunteers from the MS Society were recruited to take on the task.
Livingston local Melanie Donaldson was one of the team who gave their services to the mall’s shoppers and raise vital funds for the charity. Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2011, Melanie is now determined to raise awareness of MS.
She said: “I have amazing support from my friends and family and about 20 of them have already volunteered to help out at this event.
“I’m one of the lucky ones. Many people with MS don’t have that support.
“That’s why I think it’s so important to raise awareness so that they get the help that they need.
“In my head I’m the same old Miss Independent Mel and I’m always there if someone needs a hand.
“As my MS progresses I’ve had to learn to take my own advice and let people help me out sometimes too.”
MS is a devastating and complex long-term neurological condition that attacks at random.
Most people are diagnosed with MS between the ages of 20 and 40, during some of the most important and formative years of their lives.
Scotland has among the highest prevalence rates of MS in the world, with an estimated 10,500 people living with MS, but MS does not just affect the individual. It affects their family, friends and colleagues too.
David Gallagher, manager at The Centre, said: “Christmastime is always manic for shoppers trying to buy the perfect gift so we tried to take some of the pressure off this year by enlisting the help and expertise of the MS Society’s Christmas elves.
“This year the MS Society was nominated Land Securities’ charity of the year. This event is one of the many organised to support the charity throughout this partnership.”
Nicola Sinclair, head of fundraising for the MS Society in Scotland, said: “We rely on the support and dedication of our fundraisers to help us ensure that local people living with MS can live their life to the full until we find a cure.
“The Christmas wrapping event is a great example of communities pulling together and being creative to raise vital funds for people with MS in Scotland.”
For more information contact the MS Society on 0131 335 4050 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.