Update from Epilepsy Scotland CEO, Lesslie Young


Our Chief Executive Lesslie Young looks at the dedication and selflessness of those working in the care sector and how caring for people is at the heart of Epilepsy Scotland.

This week Prime Minister Boris Johnson inferred some coronavirus deaths could have been avoided but “too many care homes didn’t really follow the procedures in the way that they could have”.

A bold statement offering no further explanation or information. Yet another blow to care workers and the care sector.

Just over two months ago our care sector workers were labelled as “low skilled.” They are underpaid, unsupported, and until now underappreciated. But they are anything but low skilled.

In May this year, it was reported that half of COVID19 deaths in Scotland were in care homes. Reports suggested many social care workers were working without appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) but continued to do so although it meant putting their own health at risk.

Only yesterday we saw care workers in England being reunited with their families as they chose to live in the care home for four months to ensure the health and wellbeing of those in their care.

These are only two examples illustrating the selflessness and dedication of those working in the care sector.


Caring for people is at the heart of Epilepsy Scotland

At Epilepsy Scotland, people are at the heart of what we do. This core value is inherent in all who work with the organisation and embedded in all the services we provide.

I have repeatedly stated in these updates how impressed I have been with the adaptability and creativity of my colleagues during COVID19 to ensure we continue to deliver our lifeline services to those who need them.

Without exception, every member of my team has proven their dedication to supporting and caring for people, going above and beyond, during the most challenging times and of course to the sector.

Our Helpline team recognised some people might feel lonelier and more isolated due to lockdown and quickly introduced our check-in service.

Care sector

Meanwhile, our Policy team began gathering information from contacts and lobbying health boards to reinstate epilepsy services and ensure people with epilepsy didn’t suffer due to changes within the NHS.

Our Fundraising team changed their focus from face to face events to online and individual giving. While our Wellbeing team immediately recognised the need to increase contact.

Our youth groups now meet three times per week, instead of two and our Youth Development Workers have come up with several innovative ways to continue to support and engage with our young people.

From scavenger hunts around the home, to squat challenges and baking. All in addition to our vital one to one sessions.


Dedication throughout the COVID19 pandemic

Individually and collectively, each one has demonstrated their dedication throughout the COVID19 pandemic to ensure everyone affected by epilepsy has access to the support and services they need and deserve.

This dedication is not unique to Epilepsy Scotland nor is it limited to the challenging times of lockdown.

It is abundantly evident throughout the year in every charity. It is evident at every one to one session, every group meeting, every communication with Government, at each training course and with every pound raised to make it all happen.

Caring for people is at the heart of Epilepsy Scotland and sector wide.

Each care worker, key worker and charity worker should be recognised for their commitment and devotion to people. I would like to thank them all for their hard work, loyalty and dedication to those they work with, support, care for and of course, the sector.