Lesslie Young

Epilepsy Scotland Chief To Receive OBE

Announced in the Birthday Honours List 2024 Lesslie Young, CEO of Epilepsy Scotland, is to be conferred the honour of Officer of the Order of the British Empire by His Majesty the King for services to people with epilepsy in Scotland.

 

Lesslie started at Epilepsy Scotland in 2006 hoping to put her experience of living with someone with an incredibly difficult to manage epilepsy to good use. Her first role was as a trainer, raising awareness and understanding of the condition and how to administer “rescue/emergency” medication.  Following that she became training manager and in 2009 she became CEO.

During her tenure as CEO there are many highlights. Epilepsy Scotland was integral in securing an epilepsy specialist nurse (ESN) service in Dumfries and Galloway through an innovative business model and highlighting the vital importance of ESNs across the country.

Epilepsy Scotland also played an important role in bringing to the attention of Police Scotland and the Crown Office and Procurators Fiscal Service (COPFS) how people are inadvertently entered into the criminal justice system because of misunderstood seizure activity.  The charity also worked hard to secure two epilepsy ambassadors within COPFS.

The charity has also published various important reports during Lesslie’s tenure, often in collaboration with partners across Scotland, including on issues about availability of epilepsy clinical care across Scotland, ESNs, Covid recovery, PIP, Employment, mental health and epilepsy, and a toolkit for commissioners looking to fund social support for people with epilepsy.

During her tenure as CEO Lesslie also led on the development of two vital new services the charity now delivers, the Welfare Rights Service and Check in Service.

 

On the news of her award Lesslie says:

 

“I am incredibly honoured and humbled by this news. To be recognised by His Majesty the King for the work that Epilepsy Scotland has achieved is overwhelming. I see it as an award in recognition of the achievements of Epilepsy Scotland, not just myself.

“Without the hard work and support of the people I work with, including the volunteers, we would not have achieved as much as we have.  I have no doubt with that collective effort we will achieve much more.

“As a trained nurse and midwife, I knew of epilepsy from a medical perspective.  However, when my daughter was diagnosed with the condition following an explosive onset of seizure activity at ten months old, I was catapulted into learning the real all-encompassing impact of the condition. It is this personal connection which keeps driving me on to make improvements to government policies, health services, and our own social support services to help everyone living with this condition in Scotland.

“In this our 70th year I have been reflecting on the successes of the organisation since 1954 and more recently. I am astonished by the progress we have made in many areas yet equally frustrated about what still needs to be done.  There remains much to do, and I look forward to being part of future successes.”