Our Chief Executive, Lesslie Young shares some of the exciting advances, achievements and developments within Epilepsy Scotland so far this year.
It is almost unbelievable to find ourselves halfway through 2019. It has been an incredibly exciting start to the year and finds Epilepsy Scotland energised and in a positive place.
There have been numerous exciting advances, achievements and developments worth sharing with you and there is the promise of more to come.
We have recruited a Policy & Campaigns Assistant to work with our Policy and External Affairs Manager. Together they will continue to inform policy makers of the impact, directly or indirectly, their policies have on people living with epilepsy.
The team are currently working on a campaign to improve the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) system for people living with epilepsy.
The campaign has attracted huge interest and resulted in press coverage from The Herald and The Guardian. The team will also be releasing a petition in a matter of weeks.
This will highlight our concerns regarding the PIP system for those living with epilepsy. We also hope to garner enough support, over 100,000 signatures to ensure this hugely important issue is discussed in Parliament.
Our contact team has grown as well. We recently appointed our first Communications Officer who will help promote Epilepsy Scotland across the country through our social media channels and our brand-new website. Furthermore, this appointment will also help promote our helpline service.
Our recent #TalkEpilepsy campaign was a great success. It helped to raise awareness of epilepsy and get more people learning seizure first aid, which could potentially save someone’s life.
It has been amazing to see so many people sharing their stories of living with epilepsy on our social media platforms.
Also, this has helped inspire others to share their experiences and help raise awareness of epilepsy. This will also help break down the stigma that still surrounds the condition.
The level of courage needed to share these stories should not be underestimated so I thank them all.
Our Fundraising team is growing too. We have appointed a new Fundraiser who is based in our Edinburgh office. She will work closely with our enthusiastic supporters and encourage more to join in the fun. We have also appointed a Fundraising Manager to help us achieve further growth.
This appointment will allow our Head of Fundraising and Communications time to focus on executing our exciting communication plans.
Also, this will help promote Epilepsy Scotland to a wider audience, build campaigns and engage as many people as possible to support us in a variety of ways.
Our aim is to continue to raise awareness of epilepsy and offer more great support to the over 55,000 people living with epilepsy in Scotland.
Glasgow Youth Project
We are committed to ensuring support for those living with epilepsy. Therefore, we are delighted to announce our new Glasgow Youth Project is set to launch next month.
Thanks to funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, Young Start and Short Breaks Fund Better Breaks, this service is in a position to work with and help young people across Glasgow who have epilepsy.
Cross Party Group
The Cross-Party Group is gathering greater momentum, influence and interest. Above all, it deals with significant issues impacting the lives of those living with epilepsy.
Recently the meeting was dedicated to debating the issues affecting individuals with epilepsy and their real struggles with claiming benefits.
Finally, one of our fundraising campaigns has been making 2019 the year of facing fears. We have had a fantastic response from our fundraisers across Scotland, with several people taking part in adrenaline-filled fundraising activities.
On Sunday 21 July, I am facing my own fears by doing a 10,000 ft tandem skydive to raise money for Epilepsy Scotland in support of all those who are living with epilepsy and the fears they may face daily.
For that reason, I would appreciate it very much if you could help me raise as much money as possible. Those who need our support would appreciate it even more.
To donate, please visit my Just Giving page at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lesslieyoung1