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Because National Epilepsy Week 2015 has no set theme, we would love to hear from you instead how you plan to raise awareness of epilepsy. What do you want others to do to help raise awareness across Scotland? National Epilepsy Awareness week runs from Sunday, 17 May to Saturday, 23 May 2015. Several of our supporters have activities lined up around those dates, like the Funky Nats golf tournament at Wishaw Golf Club on Sunday 24 May, or a teenager writing about her epilepsy experiences in the Airdrie and Coatbridge Advertiser.
We would like to hear from anyone planning their own event to raise awareness during this week. Don't foget to take photos and send them to us firstname.lastname@example.org or share them on our facebook and twitter pages.
Even our MSPs are doing their bit this year by taking part in a group photo to promote new SIGN guidance on diagnosing and managing epilepsy in adults. They and their staff are also being offered free epilepsy awareness taster sessions during National Epilepsy Week. Parliamentarians are being encouraged to vow to do something for epilepsy over the next 12 months, including getting involved in awareness-raising events. MSPs will be able to highlight epilepsy by sending a press release to their local media. They can also post their photos supporting National Epilepsy Week activities on facebook and twitter. Many of these NEW activities in the Scottish Parliament are being offered by the Epilepsy Consortium Scotland (ECS) of which Epilepsy Scotland is a member. This week is special because the World Health Organisation is deciding on a resolution for national epilepsy action plans by member states. MSPs will be invited to show their support for this resolution.
The theme of last year's awareness raising week was about transforming lives. We were interested to learn how epilepsy made a difference to your life or that of your family and friends. Several supporters had activities lined up, all to raise awareness about epilepsy.
We were at the Scottish Parliament again with a 2 day exhibition (20-21 May) by the Epilepsy Consortium Scotland, which we are members of. This culminated in a photo call (pictured) of some 35 Members of the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday 21 May showing their support for epilepsy. To date a total of 82 MSPs have pledged their support by signing up to the Consortium's call for better epilepsy care.
An epilepsy debate at the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday 20 May focused on tackling the stigma of epilepsy through education.
In addition to our political activities, we asked our supporters during National Epilepsy Week about key issues they would like us to pursue in the following 12 months, ie anything that would transform the lives of people affected by epilepsy.
2013 was a busy time, we managed to highlight the uniqueness of epilepsy, by focusing on the different levels of support and services available to those with epilepsy in Scotland. Many of you got involved to raise awareness about epilepsy. We couldn't do this without your support.
To raise awareness among our politicians, we were at the Scottish Parliament with an exhibition by the Epilepsy Consortium Scotland, which we are members of. We also arranged a photocall of Members of the Scottish Parliament showing their support for epilepsy, followed by an epilepsy debate at the Scottish Parliament.
We also increased our social media presence during that week and managed to reach out to our over 6,000 supporters on facebook and twitter with daily posts and polls.
2012 saw us running a poster competition for schools, and pupils from Oakgrove Primary School in Glasgow came out tops. We also asked you to test your epilepsy knowledge by taking part in our quiz. We asked our politicians to show their support and they did. We asked you to get involved in fun ways, and many of you organised fundraising and awareness raising events. Thank you to everyone who got involved!
During 2011the theme for epilepsy week was ‘Information’. Many MSPs came to the JEC epilepsy exhibition stand and photo call while the public enjoyed taking part in our online prize-winning epilepsy awareness quiz.
MSPs and First Minister Alex Salmond show their support for epilepsy: