Charity remains ‘resolute & determined’ to continue its vital work in a virtual way, says CEO Michael McGrath

Posted on May 7th, 2020

The COVID-19 crisis is affecting many charities across the country in how they operate and specifically, service delivery plans have had to change for some in dramatic ways. Below a message from the charity’s CEO Michael McGrath giving some insights into its future plans.

charity remains resolute and determined

Pictured above: CEO, Michael McGrath

“Unsurprisingly, we’re going virtual. As a direct result of COVID-19, we took the really difficult decision back in March to immediately cease all of our planned 2020 Muscle Dream operations. That was a tough day! It was also the start of a whole new journey – as of today (7th May), I have been in self-isolation for 57 days. We remain resolute and determined to continue our vital work. As a small charity, we are agile – we are re-purposing with one simple goal to support our beneficiaries and families virtually.

I have spoken to many of them over the last 4-5wks and I know that because of COVID-19, they’re feeling even more vulnerable, even more isolated, anxious, distressed and in some cases terrified with the unfolding situation. That’s why we must act. That’s why we must unite. That’s why we must engage.

Firstly, we’re planning on reducing our Muscle Dream wait-list – we’re scoping out how this will work, how we will bring the experiential magic directly into people’s homes; it’s a very different way of doing things but I know that the solution will bring enormous joy and hope to some incredibly courageous and deserving young people for whom time is ticking. In doing so, we will be moving a little closer to our goal of realising 657 Muscle Dream experiences, one for every muscle in the human body.

We are also looking at how best we can leverage our social channels in communicating with our stakeholders, in helping to keep them informed and connected. We plan to establish a virtual ‘social’ events programme designed for our Muscle Warrior community.

Phase one of this new virtual strategy will be deployed before the end of May 2020. In addition to our virtual ‘social events’ programme, we are also launching an ‘In Conversation With’ online broadcast project – different guests and personalities are being invited to share their experiences and insights on a variety of topics – from isolation tips by a nuclear submarine commander, laughter yoga by a certified happiness facilitator to alleviating stress and anxiety in addition to conversations about resilience as a family, mini goal setting and psychology tips for our powerchair football community. The intention is to help our families feel less isolated, less alone and more engaged.

We’re also reaching out to our fantastic Muscle Warrior volunteers around the country and asking them to create short video messages that uplift, that burst with positivity, messages that not only inspire but also amplify our STRONGER TOGETHER ethos, more important now than ever before.

In bringing our community together during these difficult times, we’re keen to play our part in bringing a little joy, some laughter and above all some hope into the lives of those for whom the Muscle Help Foundation charity exists to serve. If you are interested in supporting our COVID-19 response efforts in any way or wish to volunteer or make a donation, do please reach out – thank you!”

Michael McGrath
CEO, The Muscle Help Foundation

And finally, below a few hints and tips from Michael to help you during these testing times:

  • Set mini daily goals, no matter how ridiculous (poach eggs brilliantly)!
  • Routine, routine, routine – make it your best friend
  • Be sure there’s lots of laughter in your household 🙂
  • Mindful colouring really does soothe anxiety
  •  Pop in some earbuds for an engaging or chilling podcast
  • Michael’s daily grateful diary now has 57 pages of gratefulness!
  • Deep breathing exercises really do help give balance
  • Humans are social beings – phone a friend or two or three
  • Washing up is still very therapeutic – ask Michael!

#StayPositive people

The Muscle Help Foundation
Reg Charity No. 1096716

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