A WOMAN from Hampshire visited parliament to urge MPs to improve services for people living with multiple sclerosis (MS).

Phoebe Day, who lives with MS, visited the famous building in London with her dad, Justin, to speak about the priorities of people living with MS.

The 35-year-old, from Alton, joined the MS Society - a charity for people affected by the condition - to mark the launch of its 'MS Manifesto' which it says will urge the next UK government to take action to transform the lives of people affected by MS.

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Basingstoke Gazette: Phoebe Day (middle) with other MS Society campaigners

The condition, which affects the brain and the spinal cord, impacting how people move, think, and feel, affects more than 130,000 people in the country. The symptoms are different for everyone, and often invisible, with depression, stress, and anxiety common amongst people who live with MS.

Phoebe and Justin spoke to MPs from the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties, asking them to commit to improving financial security and healthcare services for people with MS.

Mrs Day, who works as a fundraising manager, was diagnosed with MS in 2020 after experiencing numbness, and then temporarily losing her vision and ability to walk. She was given no information or signposting to support, and four years on has received little mental health support from her MS team.

She said: “Living with MS is exhausting. Having to cancel for the 100th time on my friends, having to fill out lengthy and challenging application forms to receive benefits, having to research where the nearest toilet is or having to flaunt my disabled badge very clearly when people are judging me for parking in a disabled space.

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Basingstoke Gazette: Phoebe Day with Big Ben

"I feel like I am constantly having to explain myself and my behaviours. When I meet with my MS team, I am never asked about my mental health.  Treatment for MS too often focuses on the physical, but often ignores the mental and emotional impact of living with these symptoms.”

Her father added that he wants to see an improvement in disability benefit rates to ensure his daughter is supported financially, and allow disabled people to live free from poverty.