On the 26th of March, the Children & Young People’s Health Partnership (CYPHP) marked International Epilepsy Day by hosting a colourful and interactive stall in the main outpatient area of Evelina London, one of our partner hospitals, and CYPHP’s host. The purpose of the event was to raise awareness of epilepsy among the general public by encouraging conversations, and through breaking down some of the misconceptions and myths about epilepsy. Also importantly, CYPHP wanted to let children with epilepsy and their families know that they are not alone.
Throughout the day, CYPHP staff met families who shared their personal experience and journey of epilepsy with our staff. It seemed important for family members to be able to talk about their child's diagnoses and some of the everyday issues they were facing coping with their child’s condition. As such, we found that the stall provided a helpful opportunity, outside of clinical appointments, for families to talk openly about epilepsy and its impact. We also felt that the stall enabled epilepsy to be bought out into the open, and provided a useful learning opportunity for parents/carers, as CYPHP staff were asked to provide information and resources for parents/carers and the public.
As well as being an informative event, the children themselves (and some of their parents/carers) enjoyed contributing to a large colouring in artwork, design by our clinical and evaluation staff. Overall, it was felt that the day was a great success in terms of the conversations had with parents/carers and their children, as well as the colourful and vibrant visibility of the stall.
CYPHP would like to say thank you to Evelina London for providing us with a space and also to Young Epilepsy, a national charity that works with the NHS to provide support and resources to children and young people, their families and professional carers.
CYPHP's Epilepsy Awareness events will continue though out the year with a couple of events out in community settings, schools and colleges. Look out for future dates and venues close to you in our future e-newsletters.