Milton Keynes man with MS reaches finals of prestigious national awards

Noel Wilson, who lives in Milton Keynes, is one of three Fundraiser of the Year finalists
Noel Wilson, who lives in Milton Keynes, is one of three Fundraiser of the Year finalists

A man from Milton Keynes who lives with multiple sclerosis (MS) has been selected as finalist in the 2018 MS Society Awards, after he raised more than £23,000 completing laps on his mobility scooter at motor racing circuits across the country.

Noel Wilson is one of three ‘Fundraiser of the Year’ finalists to be recognised at the charity’s Awards ceremony on Friday, April 27 in London.

The 59-year-old retired motor sport instructor was diagnosed with MS in 2013 and experiences major problems with mobility.

Enlisting the support of family, friends and contacts in the motor sport industry, Noel set himself the challenge of becoming the first person to set lap times at every motor racing track in the country on an 8mph mobility scooter. In the hopes of raising as much money and awareness of MS as possible, he set up the website www.motorsportforMS.co.uk and held collections at each race circuit he visited, where he also handed out MS information leaflets to spectators.

Noel was nominated by Nicky Turner, who says he is a positive person who wouldn’t let MS hold him back: “Noel’s spirit, humour and warm personality have ensured that a crowd of friends and supporters have been there right by his side helping him with every turn of the wheels.

The buzz around his challenge has even led to motor venues offering their tracks before he had a chance to ask! He is a true inspiration.”

Noel completed laps at more than 20 circuits over 2016 and 2017, and says the highlight was completing the 37.7 mile Isle of Man TT Circuit, which took six and a half hours.

“I set myself a £20,000 target but thought if I get £10,000 I’ll be amazed. By the end of the year I will have completed every Motor Sports Association licensed mainland circuit and hope to have raised £30,000. And it all started with my silly idea!” he said.

Noel also said that he was overwhelmed to discover that he had been named a category finalist: “I’m absolutely amazed! It’s been a passion of mine for the past two years, and the support I’ve received has been fantastic.

Michelle Mitchell, chief executive of the MS Society, said: “The MS Society Awards is our way of celebrating the remarkable hard work and dedication of those who make a difference to the 100,000 people living with MS in the UK. We’re delighted Noel is one of this year’s finalists and we’re looking forward to welcoming him to our Awards ceremony.”

MS is an unpredictable condition that affects more than 100,000 people in the UK. It’s different for everyone, but is often painful and exhausting and can cause problems with how you walk, move, see, think and feel.

Also by the Milton Keynes Citizen newspaper:

Snap to it! Milton Keynes charity launches bid for £50k funding