Ireland’s only organisation which advocates on the behalf of people with epilepsy and their families has called on the public to give whatever support they can to Purple Day, which takes place on March 26th.
Purple Day is an international epilepsy awareness day for the condition that affects approximately 40,000 people in the country and on Purple Days past, Epilepsy Ireland used the day to raise awareness of epilepsy in communities across the country by encouraging people to host purple themed events to share information on epilepsy while also raising funds to support Epilepsy Ireland’s work. However, due to the ongoing threat of coronavirus, all events and public fundraising has been cancelled.
Epilepsy Ireland CEO, Peter Murphy, said that the organisation was still hopeful that people would lend their support to the organisation online, commenting, “The safety of our dedicated volunteers is paramount to us and although many of the people who were organising events across the country were disappointed to be cancelling events, they understood that the country faces a unique challenge and we can only get through to the other side by ensuring we limit contact with each other.
We made an early decision to cancel all public fundraising for Purple Day and like many other charities and organisations across the country, we will be severely impacted as a result. Our target for Purple Day was to raise €50,000 to go towards our work for people with epilepsy and their families – the majority of which would have came from the public fundraising events.
However, in times of crisis, the Irish people have proven to be steadfast in supporting organisations and standing together. We are already seeing this in the national togetherness and response to COVID19 and as an organisation, Epilepsy Ireland are hoping that some of this spirit could be lent to our fundraising campaign as we seek to continue our important work on the behalf of people with epilepsy and their families.
We have launched a facebook fundraiser for people to donate; you can also buy a wristband on our shop; and you can make a one off donation on our website. We’ve even suggested that for those of you who are new to working from home to have a swear-box nearby and offer the proceeds to our work – because, let’s face it, working from home is going to be an interesting and unique challenge for many of us!
While we are currently still available by phone and by email, our public service has been temporarily curtailed for the time being in terms of group settings and one to one meetings. When we are running normally, we are in the community through the work and dedication of our Community Resource Officers who provide education and awareness about the condition to the public, schools, workplaces, and to people with epilepsy and their families across Ireland. Your donations in the lead up to and on Purple Day are vital to this work and we’d please appeal to the public to lend us whatever support you can in these unprecedented times.
Epilepsy as a condition is something that is still misunderstood and still has a number of misconceptions associated with it. We are here to try an educate the public on this and in recognition of the current situation, where people will have more time on their hands, we’d encourage the public to please visit our website and learn more about the condition that affects 40,000 people in the country. There’s important information there about epilepsy, how it affects people and what to do in the event of a seizure so this is an ideal situation to grow your knowledge on epilepsy. We even have a section where you can learn the most important points on one page and earn your ‘Degree in Epilepsy Awareness from the University of Epilepsy Ireland.’
We look forward to our service returning to normal once we get through this situation together but in the meantime, please consider giving us whatever support you can on Purple Day.”
About our Sponsors
Our efforts on Purple Day have kindy been sponsored by Nutricia.
Nutricia specialises in medical nutrition for people of all ages and develops foods for special medical circumstances - including epilepsy. This marks the second year that Nutricia have sponsored the awareness day for Epilepsy Ireland and it is one which the entire company are delighted to be part of ,according to Amy Meegan, Brand Manager at Nutricia:
“It is a fantastic for us to be involved in this international epilepsy awareness day and to be associated with the wonderful work that Epilepsy Ireland do. While days like Purple Day are essential in raising awareness amongst the general public, every day is an awareness raising day for them through their work in local communities across the country.”
“Nutricia develop products that support ketogenic dietary therapy. With the support of a registered dietitian, this high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet can provide seizure relief for those who have failed to respond to other management options. Through the people that approach us about the diet, we know that epilepsy as a condition needs increased awareness across the country which is why we are delighted to be sponsoring Epilepsy Ireland’s awareness raising efforts on Purple Day.”