Part of MS Society’s Stop MS Appeal
A star-studded new campaign featuring Game of Thrones actors Kit Harington and Rose Leslie has been launched by the MS Society.
The ‘Team Stop MS’ campaign film was produced with creative production agency Brave Spark and directors Dario & Dom.
It sees stars ‘audition’ to join #TeamStopMS and help fund life-changing MS research by supporting the MS Society any way they can – whether that’s donating, fundraising, or simply spreading the word on social media.
Recorded before the pandemic, Kit takes part in a bucket collection with Breeders actor Alun Armstrong, and Rose undergoes a bike-athon fundraiser compèred by Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills. Chef Ainsley Harriott and comedian Ivo Graham also feature.
Rose Leslie said: “The MS Society is very close to my heart, and the work they do is incredible. I want to support them in raising funds for MS research because we're so close to finding real and long-lasting solutions to tackle this condition. We have shown through the pandemic that with concentrated effort and funding we can overcome momentous challenges, and I believe we can do this with MS too.
“Being involved in the Team Stop MS shoot was a lot of fun, especially watching Andy Serkis do his thing – what a physical genius! Everybody stopped what they were doing and just admired him from afar. But it was also just a really positive thing to be part of generally, with everyone there sharing the common goal of stopping MS. I'm happy to be part of their family.”
The campaign is part of the MS Society’s Stop MS Appeal, which needs to raise £100 million to find treatments for everyone living with MS. The MS community were involved in its development, and chose the name ‘Team Stop MS’ via a social media poll.
Speaking on his motivation for taking part, Andy Serkis said: “I was thrilled to be asked to be part of this, as the MS Society has a particular significance for me and I really wanted to contribute in some way – even if it meant gallivanting around in a mocap suit on my day off!
“One of my sisters has struggled with MS for many years. She and her partner are strong, funny and always positive, but I live in hope that one day her condition can be halted. That hope is only alive because of the extraordinary work being done in MS research – and there is a real possibility that this condition will one day be beaten. These scientists are the real superheroes of today, and they need as much support as possible.”
Over 15,000 people live with MS in Scotland and 2.3 million worldwide. The condition damages nerves in your body and makes it harder to do everyday things, like walk, talk, eat and think. While there are treatments available for the relapsing form of MS, and some emerging for progressive MS, there is currently nothing to stop someone becoming more disabled as their condition advances.
Morna Simpkins, MS Society Scotland director, said: “Together we need to raise £100 million to stop MS for good. The good news is we're already over halfway there, but we want you on our team to help us reach our target.
“There are so many ways to get involved in Team Stop MS and you’ll be in great company, with our incredible supporters like Rose Leslie, Kit Harrington and Andy Serkis, who we are incredibly grateful to.
“So join Team Stop MS today to donate, fundraise, or spread the word on social media, and help us fund life-changing research. No audition needed.”