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Statement from J.K. Rowling Regarding Resignation from MS Society Scotland

J.K. Rowling
Posted by: sue
April 08, 2009, 06:11 PM

An update now regarding the story from earlier today, involving Harry Potter author J.K.Rowling and her resignation as Patron of MS Society Scotland, the charity she has long and very publicly supported on her website, in her many charitable contributions, and gala fund raising events. Scottish Television now has a lengthy statement from JKR on this matter as follows:

"I have now reluctantly decided that I cannot, in good conscience, continue to be the public face of a charity that is changing beyond recognition from the one with which I have been so proud to be associated."
"I also remain committed to financing future research into the treatment and causes of Multiple Sclerosis, and to campaigning for better care and treatment of people with MS in Scotland, which is the MS capital of the world.

"This disease claimed my mother's life at the age of 45, and I hope to continue giving both time and money to a cause which remains so close to my heart.

"I have not taken the decision to quit my position as patron of MSSS lightly. Late last year, I initiated and attended a mediation session, in the hope of sorting out long-standing and escalating conflict between the Scottish Council and management in London, driven by the imposition of changes by London.

"Unfortunately, this achieved very little. With mounting frustration and disappointment, I have witnessed resignations of immensely dedicated people within MSSS and the increasing demoralisation of staff whom I have come to know and admire over the ten years of our association."

She said her disappointment "cannot be overstated. Nevertheless, I hope to continue to play a part in combating the underfunding and misunderstandings surrounding MS for many years to come. I shall also continue to hope that the MS Society Scotland manages to resolve its difficulties."

An MS Society spokesman said: "JK Rowling has been a great patron for the MS Society Scotland for many years. We are sorry she is stepping down and thank her for her good work, and for her continued support for the MS research centre in Edinburgh.

"The Society is in the middle of a governance review to make sure we are properly organised to build on the excellent work we already do in Scotland and across the UK. We are a strong, democratic organisation and this review is being done in consultation with all of our 43,000 members.

"We would have preferred to do this with JK Rowling's involvement, but we appreciate that significant change can be difficult. We would urge supporters of the MS Society to work with us now. The Board is confident that what we are doing is all about delivering the best possible support to over 10,000 people living with MS in Scotland."

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12005 Points

I hope they get things worked out, but still don’t really understand.

Posted by budgie on April 08, 2009, 06:22 PM report to moderator
1067 Points

Lots of pretty words that don’t make sense and only cover up the issues. It sounds like politics. The details aren’t our business anyway. This is probably as much info as we can get. They are going to protect the situation. I just hope things work out in the end. The real victims in all this are the patients. They deserve better.

Posted by eiVega on April 08, 2009, 06:34 PM report to moderator
6972 Points

I dont fully understand either…Stepping down from miss-communication or what?

confused….but i, also, hope this is worked out

Posted by kraamerXmich ♠{WBM}♠ [Pigeon] on April 08, 2009, 06:34 PM report to moderator
39680 Points

haha same here.

Posted by chocolaterabbits on April 08, 2009, 06:38 PM report to moderator
460 Points

Jo Rowling is careful with such decisions and I respect her choice.

Posted by qwill on April 08, 2009, 06:44 PM report to moderator
6972 Points

In my ealier post, i didnt fully understand these matters

I looked up Multiple Sclerosi because i was unsure of its meaning.

but now that i know, JkR’s resignation makes much more sence to me.

This is a delicate issue, and if it has been continuing for a while, i can understand the frustration

For those of you who dont know, Multiple Sclerosi (MS) is where the body’s immune system attacks the insulating substance (mylin) around the “electric cords” (signal cords). Without this protection, the “electric cords” that send signals to parts of the body, loose the ability to function.

Posted by kraamerXmich ♠{WBM}♠ [Pigeon] on April 08, 2009, 06:46 PM report to moderator
208 Points

I’m slightly confused? okay maybe I’m just slow haha

Posted by hopkinsdancr22 on April 08, 2009, 06:50 PM report to moderator
8069 Points

Well at least I am not the only one confused, but it looks like politics which always confuses me. Sounds like someone is doing some bullying and JKR doesn’t support that.

Posted by Melinae ♥Squee♥/Professor Truffle on April 08, 2009, 06:57 PM report to moderator
3048 Points

It is a pity that this fracture took place. Whatever the nature of the issues that arose within the organization, I hope that all parties remain committed to addressing and confronting MS and do not waste their energies on something as trivial as her resignation.

Posted by Kirk on April 08, 2009, 07:06 PM report to moderator
674 Points

It’s a shame that the issues couldn’t be resolved. Jo’s support and image being associated with the fund would help but if she has a problem with the way things are being run then I completely understand her not wanting to be involved any more. It’s not like she doesn’t still help with this cause and countless others…

Posted by joelface on April 08, 2009, 07:12 PM report to moderator
9765 Points

I wonder what exactly the great change was…whatever it is, I’m sure Jo has a good reason for her decision.

Posted by maera-kyrie on April 08, 2009, 07:15 PM report to moderator
87 Points

As someone that suffers from MS AND, having spent many years involved in a non profit, I can only guess at what is happening. Non profit organizations of the size here mentioned often find themselves involved in internal struggles, usually over how funds raised are disbursed. I don’t know if this is what has been happening here, but if it is, believe me it is a very complicated issue with few winners. JKR surely has been at the forefront in Scotland with her support for MSSS. Her resignation will undoubtedly cause some loss of contributions and prestige for MSS of all Great Britain, but maybe good will come out of it.

Posted by weilor123 on April 08, 2009, 07:19 PM report to moderator
356 Points

I doubt that she is stepping down for fear of change, as the society seems to suggest. After losing someone so close it must be a serious issue, not just a crossing of wires.

Posted by *H*ROAR Mudblood Proud on April 08, 2009, 07:27 PM report to moderator
7475 Points

i’m 100% sure she left for a good reason.

Posted by Luce-Lupin !~ROAR~! on April 08, 2009, 08:07 PM report to moderator
276 Points

These things can happen. Organisations can change because the people running them change. Sometimes the change is too much and the original goals of a charity are not in focus as much anymore. And you find yourself in a position where you cannot support an organisation any longer. JK Rowling surely doesn´t make a decision like this lightly and without thinking.

Posted by Fonty on April 08, 2009, 08:07 PM report to moderator
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