#7ReasonsWhy….you should support Epilepsy Ireland this #RoseWeek!

Given its Rose Week – our National Fundraising Week – and given a week is 7 days, we’ve decided to outline 7 reasons why you should support our work towards a society where no person’s life is limited by epilepsy this #RoseWeek.Promotional image for 7 Reasons Why you should support Epilepsy Ireland

1) Our Community Resource Officers

Our Community Resource Officers are the front-line of the support services we provide. Epilepsy is a complex and individual condition. It can be challenging for a person from the moment they are diagnosed and at various points during their journey with the condition. It can also be a challenge for the entire family unit as they also learn to support their loved one with their epilepsy. Our Community Resource Officers are there for people with epilepsy and their families throughout their journey with the condition to help ensure that they have all the information they need about living with epilepsy; that they are educated on how best to self-manage their condition; and to be a listening & supportive ear when a person’s epilepsy can be at its most challenging.

2) Our Training and education programme

Our Community Resource Officers also educate local communities and workplaces about epilepsy in order to reduce stigma and increase understanding. They deliver education talks to schools and workplaces where there may be a person with epilepsy in order to ensure their classmates and colleagues better understand the condition. In addition, we have also trained thousands of teachers, SNAs and allied healthcare professional on epilepsy awareness and on the administration of Buccal Midazolam– a potentially life-saving medication.

3) Our Public Awareness CampaignsGraphic of  Rose

Through our public awareness campaigns, we seek to educate the public on epilepsy to dispel some of the myths associated with the condition and to help them better understand what it is like to live with epilepsy. We do this by providing a safe forum on our social media channels for people with epilepsy to share their stories about living with the condition and through our flagship awareness days such as International Epilepsy Day. Our last two #EpilepsyDay campaigns continue to be shared and receive plaudits for dispelling the myths associated with epilepsy and for helping to educate people on seizure first aid. In fact, both campaigns were shortlisted for marketing and advertising awards in the last few months – showing the impact and engagement our public awareness campaigns have had.

4) Our investment in Research

Since 2009, we have invested over €1million in Epilepsy Research. Knowing and learning more about epilepsy can help to improve the lives of those living with the condition. Over the past year alone, we have invested in a study which aims to understanding more about the incidence of epilepsy related deaths in Ireland; we also invested in a study which aims to understand more about the societal implications losing a driving license can have on a person with epilepsy; while recently, a study which we invested in which investigated if untrained dogs could predict seizures, made national and international headlines!

5) Our Advocacy Priorities

Key to achieving our overall vision of achieving a society where no person’s life is limited by epilepsy, is advocating on the issues that are of most importance to people with epilepsy and their families. This not only includes the personal advocacy and support offered to people with epilepsy and their families by our team of Community Resource Officers but also our national campaigns. Over the past year, we have continued to fight for improved access for Free Travel for people with epilepsy; presented to an Oireachtas Committee on legislation regarding online safety; have potentially secured progress on a longstanding issue facing students with epilepsy during state exams; have worked with leading epilepsy clinicians to identify issues with the Medical Cannabis Access Programme; and alongside our colleagues in OACS Ireland, have secured a commitment to an inquiry into the historical licensing and prescribing of sodium valproate. We also play an active role in umbrella organisations as well; with Epilepsy Ireland playinga central role in the recently launched #patientsdeservebettercampaign.

6) Our dedicated course for people with epilepsy, Training For Success

Training For Success is one of the most unique pillars of our service. It is the only course of its kind of Europe and aims to support those with epilepsy whose educational or social development may have been impacted by their condition. This one year course based in IT Sligo aims to empower people with epilepsy to manage their condition in an environment where they can learn new skills for entering the workforce or pursue further education - skills which they may not have had the opportunity to utilise or develop due to their condition. 85% of graduates who have completed the course have gone on to enter the workforce or further education after completing TFS.

7) Our commitment to extracting maximum value from your donations

In 2020, of every euro donated to our work, 88c was spent on direct charitable objectives. The remaining 12c was spent on raising funds.Of all the donations made to our work, we believe we extract maximum value from them to continue our work in the above areas and in the many other services and supports we provide to people with epilepsy and their families. We also have Triple Lock certification from the Charities Institute Ireland, a standard awarded to charities that uphold the highest standards in transparent reporting, ethical fundraising and strong governance structures. In 2021, we were awarded the IQ Foundation quality mark.

These are our #7reasonswhy you should our work this #RoseWeek and all this would be impossible without your support. Please help us continue our work in these areas and help us achieve a society where no person’s life is limited by epilepsy. Plant a Rose in your county today or visit our Rose Week page to find out how else you can help.

#RoseWeek #RW2021