Christmas and the end of 2018 is fast approaching which is a great time for myself and the team here at OMS to take a moment to reflect on the highlights of the year just gone and consider what has been achieved.
We have grown significantly as a charity during these past 12 months and this is most noticeable in our staff team. We have actively sought to strengthen our team in the UK with positive, passionate new colleagues, each of them bringing much valued skills to our unique charity. Thank you to everyone who has fundraised or donated to the charity, without your generous support this growth would not be possible.
We have also managed to include two UK residential retreats this year alongside three such retreats at the Gawler Foundation outside Melbourne, Australia. These retreats have been facilitated by a new team of highly experienced professionals, medical doctors and other allied health professionals, most with MS, and all benefiting from the OMS program. The willingness that they all share to serve the community in this way is really heartening for me personally.
The number of OMS Circles has increased significantly, from 19 at the start of the year to the current total of 63, and we now have a presence in 17 countries. In the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, the free book scheme has gone from strength to strength with plans to expand further in the new year.
Demand for all of our events, and other services continues to run high and the constant challenge for us is to build enough capacity to meet that demand. We have been working hard on our 2019 program of events and we can tell you now that we have been able to increase our capacity for events. We anticipate another year of high growth in 2019.
As the year draws to an end, I’d like to take a moment to remind you all that we are here to serve you, as best we can and to provide to you and your families with the best information and support in the hope of empowering you to life a healthy life for a long time to come.
Wherever you are in the world, we would like to wish you and your families a very happy, peaceful and worry-free holiday season.