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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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40068 Points

ok cool :)

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Posted by NoeLover42 on April 09, 2009, 03:52 AM report to moderator
15914 Points

I’m sure she left for a good reason. I respect Jo and always will. :)

Posted by Mhæy™⌠R☺AR⌡ on April 09, 2009, 04:13 AM report to moderator
2016 Points

She sounds really broken hearted about this!!! Poor Jo. I’m sure she’ll figure a way to continue to support the cause!

Posted by JustSuperMione on April 09, 2009, 04:17 AM report to moderator
2235 Points

Maybe they didn’t listen to her proposal or somethin. . . . . (just my thought) with the ppl involved n money there will always be in conflict. . . . . . itz the way the NGO runs. . . . . .

Posted by Sidish_black6 [WBM] on April 09, 2009, 05:45 AM report to moderator
598 Points

bureaucrats! that’s the problem.

Posted by Sally_Zaar on April 09, 2009, 06:03 AM report to moderator

The BBC report on this has a clip of Jo talking about her Mother’s MS.

Posted by roonwit on April 09, 2009, 07:57 AM report to moderator
224 Points

We’ll never know the real reasons why…but I think Jo wouldn’t leave if there wasn’t a good reason.

Posted by scarymissmary28[WBM!] on April 09, 2009, 08:01 AM report to moderator
170 Points

I don’t really get it :S there should maybe a simplified version for people like me who can’t understand big words. :P it’s sad though, as this charity obviously meant a lot to Jo.

Posted by hannah abbot ;) on April 09, 2009, 08:13 AM report to moderator
74 Points

I’m sure it is a huge loss for MSSS, as well as, for JKR. She was really dedicated to the organization. Hopefully, she can find another MS charity worth her time to support.

Posted by jljkehoe on April 09, 2009, 09:30 AM report to moderator
7239 Points

Echoing all the previous, and I am sure, following statements: Ms Rowling certainly does not take this lightly. She most definitely, is not one to abandon a cause, because of some “petty internal squabble”. She had a good reason, and I’m sure will continue to support the real center of all of this….the people who suffer this incredibly sad disease….

Posted by Confederate Lady [CL, Rawwrrrr] on April 09, 2009, 10:15 AM report to moderator
6690 Points

i think there was shady business going on and that’s why she stepped down

179 Points

I think it’s wonderful that Jo would put so much of herself into this organization and I doubt that she takes this decision lightly at all. She shouldn’t be expected to support any organization that she cannot stand behind whole-heartedly and as she said, ‘in good conscience’ even if it is a good cause. As someone living with MS I am so proud of her for raising awareness and helping with a cure and I’m sure she will find many more ways to do so. Thanks Jo!

Posted by Lisee_Lu on April 09, 2009, 11:10 AM report to moderator
13596 Points

Unfortunately, conflicts and power struggles exist in charities as well as in businesses, schools, and other social institutions. JKR probably has an excellent reason for leaving.

Posted by Garden State Geek on April 09, 2009, 12:22 PM report to moderator
1141 Points

That was really well put, realspace. Thank you for that. Why do the London beauracrats have to command the direction of the charities though? Charities have be inspected in terms efficiency, though. That is a must, in fact I know that some charities can waste a lot of money and in some cases get slightly corrupted. But the charities surely must manage their own fund raising and research, no? Perhaps this is the very question Jo maybe asking hence why she has now disconnected from the charity?

But as others have said, it is important to remember that Jo will continue to support and contribute funding to the research facilities of MS. She just will not be Patron to an organisation she no believes is going in the right direction.

Posted by Professor Potter on April 09, 2009, 12:35 PM report to moderator
23764 Points

Maybe there was some mis-management of funds. Sadly, I think that happens in charities quite often.

Posted by PhoenixFlight [ITC!] on April 09, 2009, 01:07 PM report to moderator
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