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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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872 Points

I’m sure Jo left for a good reason.

Posted by Heavenly_Horcrux on April 09, 2009, 03:45 PM report to moderator
141 Points

Well she is still committed to funding and research, right? Unfortunately, groups and their members change over time. What was once important gets forgotten. Politics step in. Issues involving money arise left and right. I’ve volunteered with a dozen agencies for the past four years and I know what it feels like to need to step away. You still care about the cause but you feel uncomfortable with associating yourself with a group that, in your opinion, is headed in the wrong direction.

Posted by Geiger[starr] on April 09, 2009, 05:19 PM report to moderator
99 Points

Ooh, it’s too back that office politics has led to this, but I’m glad she’s saying something and not just going along with it.

Posted by Spiffia on April 09, 2009, 09:23 PM report to moderator
24135 Points

I’m sure she didn’t make her decision lightly.

Posted by hermyone*ROAR* on April 10, 2009, 10:20 AM report to moderator
4640 Points

I’ve never heard of anyone making decisions like this lightly and/or without thinking.

Posted by SirEdwardsGuardian [WBM!] on April 10, 2009, 11:01 AM report to moderator
791 Points

Further details on this would be useful to completely understand what happened, but I’m sure JKR chose for the best.

Posted by Cellar Door [*SQUEE!*] on April 10, 2009, 06:28 PM report to moderator
2224 Points

I love this woman. She always stands up for what she believes in, and no matter how rich she becomes, she stills seems like a down to earth, kind, caring person.

Posted by on April 12, 2009, 10:53 AM report to moderator
791 Points

she is just amazing!

Posted by DanielleD on April 13, 2009, 02:23 PM report to moderator
367 Points

I don’t really understand much of what was written here. As someone else mentioned, it is a lot of over-descriptive words that don’t really give a full meaning as to what happened, but it is their business, not mine. I’m sure JKR didn’t make this decision lightly at all, and I’m also pretty sure that she wouldn’t have stepped down if she weren’t very, very certain about it.

Posted by choirgeek on April 16, 2009, 10:15 PM report to moderator

There are more details about the likely reasons for Jo’s decision to resign at

Posted by roonwit on April 19, 2009, 05:25 PM report to moderator
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