Moved by positive impact charity has on beneficiaries and their families, Miriam Margolyes OBE confirms her support of Muscle Help Foundation

Posted on April 5th, 2023

The Muscle Help Foundation (MHF) is thrilled to announce that British-Australian actress, writer, political activist and TV personality Miriam Margolyes OBE has agreed to lend her support as a Patron to our charity.

Miriam Margolyes OBE, pictured below said:

“The Muscle Help Foundation charity creates unique wish fulfilment experiences for those living with Muscular Dystrophy (MD). Now dreams can come true that were out of reach before. That’s a powerful achievement.

I am honoured to have the opportunity to help those living with MD and I’m proud to support this charity and raise awareness of its work. It moves me when I read some of the beneficiary stories and hear about the magic and joy that these Muscle Dream experiences have brought to so many families across the UK.

This may be a small charity, but the impact it makes is huge and lasting!”

Miriam Margolyes

Photograph Credit ~ Jennifer Robertson

MHF’s founder & CEO Michael McGrath said:

“I recall watching the three-part travelogue documentary series ‘Australia Unmasked’ with Miriam Margolyes last year – episode 3 in early August resonated in a profound way, making me sit up in my powerchair! Miriam was in South Australia looking at whether elderly and disabled Australians are being left behind. Using a walking stick and a mobility scooter to more easily get around, I was drawn into a mindset, a conversation, a force-of-nature personality that by default made me reflect on the vulnerabilities and daily battles of our charity’s vulnerable community across the UK.

Most (96%) of the Muscle Help Foundation’s beneficiaries, are boys and young adults living with the most severe form of Muscular Dystrophy (MD) known as Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) – affecting approximately 1 in 3,500 new-born boys, DMD is life-limiting. As I watched episode 3, I was deeply touched in how Miriam spoke about and interacted with Tyler, a 10-year-old DMD boy and his mum Amanda.

Over the past 20 years, I’ve personally met hundreds of young people with DMD, I’ve spoken with countless mums, dads, brothers and sisters, uncles and aunties, PA’s and carers and it’s clear to me that if there is a strong support system in place underpinned by unconditional love, the life-journey of someone with DMD can be a fulfilling and happy one – those joyful, life-affirming moments-in-time that are so enabling, empowering and memorable, like Tyler at Henley Beach with a lifeguard, in the warm water, in a beach wheelchair, with his mum Amanda and also Miriam, with waves lapping around them all, these are the magical experiences that enrich, that will be spoken about and reflected on by Tyler and his mum in the years to come.

There’s a distinct correlation that exists between family advocacy and having a reasonable quality of life – right now, in the UK, as a consequence of the pandemic and now the cost-of-living crisis, I am deeply concerned about how many families are going to manage and with these additional pressures, there’s an inevitability about diminishing mental wellness and feelings of being isolated.

Following episode 3, which I’ve watched at least four times, I decided that in garnering much-needed support, we should reach out to Miriam to explore whether she might like to lend her advocacy to our small charity – her unique characteristics, her creative, intuitive, impulsive traits combined with an optimism that’s rooted in possibilities and opportunities, it’s these attributes that I hope will help strengthen the resolve of our Muscle Warrior tribe during these difficult times. It goes without saying that we were thrilled when she said ‘yes’ … bring on Miriam!”


2023 sees the charity reach a milestone, its 20th Anniversary – since 2003, it has touched the lives of 1000’s of people across the UK living with Muscular Dystrophy, from families and local communities to schools and businesses; today, its impact and reach continues to grow.

Plans for many other unique Muscle Dream experiences and programmes in the 2023/24 period are shaping up – right now, with the cost of living crisis in mind, every single penny counts, so please, if you’re able to support our cause with a donation, whatever you can give, whether £6.57 or £20.00 to mark the charity’s 20th anniversary, all donations will be hugely appreciated – thank you.

To push on with its 657 mission, the charity is not only looking to establish new partnerships and collaborations but like many small charities, it desperately needs support in order to continue its important work – if you can help, please donate £20.00 or whatever you can give by clicking HERE – thank you.


Part of this milestone anniversary year is a focus on storytelling, a powerful tool that can influence behaviours, change mindsets and move people to take action. We know that storytelling in today’s digital age is crucial – stories have to cut through which is why we have published several new beneficiary case studies, powerfully illustrating via personal insights, emotions and feelings why MHF’s work matters and how you can easily support our mission by helping to tell our story.


Uplifting, joyful and often cathartic in nature, MHF’s academically validated work and impact is rooted in the idea that well executed, shared experiences can be powerfully transformative in nature.


Thanks to MHF’s friends at Muscular Dystrophy UK, new research reveals that approximately 110,000 people (babies, children and adults) in the UK live with muscle-wasting conditions. Muscular Dystrophy is a progressive condition that gets worse over time. It is the single biggest genetic killer of children in the world today. It robs sufferers of their mobility, their independence and finally for those with the most severe type (Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy or DMD), their lives. Although there is some excellent research going on around the world, there is still currently no known treatment.


Over the past 12-months, MHF’s tailored approach in operationalising bespoke virtual ‘person-centred’ Muscle Dream programmes continued to deliver positive outcomes for beneficiaries and families. The ‘lived experience’ of the charity’s CEO (Michael McGrath) who has Muscular Dystrophy (LGMD2A) and who is the driving force of the organisations work, provides both a unique, valuable and trusting influence on those for whom MHF exists to serve.


Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) is the most severe form of Muscular Dystrophy (MD) – it is life-limiting affecting approximately 1 in 3,500 new-born boys. The vast majority (some 96%) of MHF’s beneficiaries are boys and young adults with DMD. On average, those aged 10-13yrs will transition into a manual wheelchair. By the time they reach 17-19yrs, breathing, cardio and diminishing arm movements are increasingly prevalent.


MHF is running a national campaign called The Power of 657 and its mission is simple – to deliver 657 transformational interventions for children, young people and their families with Muscular Dystrophy in the UK. That’s one life-changing experience for every muscle in the human body. We would like you to think about the number 657 – we are keen to establish mutually beneficial collaborations ideally around 657. So, get in touch if you know of any connections in your world or in your work, the more unusual, the better!

For the charity’s beneficiaries, every Muscle Dream experience is an opportunity to not only realise their potential but also become a Muscle Warrior and by default, join the charity’s tribal Muscle Warrior community. For their family and friends, each one opens up a support network of like-minded individuals.

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