25 January 2016
Edinburgh resident helps search for national Champion
Edinburgh resident, Zoe Reid urges others to nominate their epilepsy champion to win the same national accolade she did, a Young Epilepsy Champion Award.
Last year Zoe took to the stage at London’s City Hall in March to accept the Supporting the Community award given to her by footballer Leon Legge. Zoe was celebrated for her efforts in supporting local young people living with epilepsy by running a weekly support group. Zoe looks back on how winning made her feel and why others should nominate their Champions;
“Winning a Young Epilepsy Champion award made me feel amazing, totally amazing! I felt very humbled because I do what I do to help those with the condition and no other reason. It made me realise I am doing the right thing by working with people where you can do good. It felt great to finally be recognised, winning was like the last seven years made sense and solidified why I do it. Winning has given me more confidence in my job and given me the drive to continue doing what I love.
“I was so excited and really nervous on the night of the awards in 2015. I felt very humbled to win the Supporting the Community award. It made me feel so privileged to be surrounded by the nominees and winners and especially the inspirational young people who won the awards.
“People should nominate because awards like this don’t happen very often and there aren’t enough opportunities to recognise people who do this kind of thing. It’s a chance to increase awareness and shine a light on what people are doing for those living with epilepsy. By nominating someone you will be making their year.”
Zoe, coordinator of Epilepsy Scotland’s Lighthouse Youth Group, runs a weekly support group for young people aged between 11 and 18 with epilepsy in Edinburgh which includes regular social activities such as cinema and bowling trips and also occasional weekend trips away.
The group supports young people encouraging them to share with their peers the good and the bad that they face living with epilepsy. The group has helped the young people and their families to no longer feel isolated and to not let epilepsy be a barrier for achieving what they want to in life. A parent of one of the teenagers who is part of the Lighthouse Youth Group said about Zoe, “Without her our kids would have nowhere to meet up with other kids and would be even more isolated. She is amazing and we cannot thank her enough for giving our daughter so much support and time to have fun.” Zoe also works with schools to give an epilepsy awareness workshop for students to help reduce stigma around epilepsy in the community.
Lesslie Young, Chief Executive at Epilepsy Scotland, said; "Winning the Epilepsy Champion Award is a real honour. It highlights the excellent service provided by our Youth Worker Zoe Reid and the very positive impact her work has on the young people she and Epilepsy Scotland supports. Her success should encourage others to nominate those individuals they know are achieving similar standards so their work can also be recognised. Well done Zoe."
Nominations close at midnight 28 February and the Young Epilepsy Champions Awards will take place during National Epilepsy Week on Wednesday 18 May at The UnderGlobe in London.
Young Epilepsy is the national charity working exclusively on behalf of the 112,000 children and young people and their families who are affected by epilepsy across the UK.
Nominate someone for a Young Epilepsy Champion Award
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About Young Epilepsy
Young Epilepsy is the national charity working exclusively on behalf of children and young people with epilepsy. With over 100 years of experience we are a leading provider of specialist health and education services. The charity offers support, information, training for health, social care and education professionals and campaigns to improve access to, and quality of, health and education services.
Facts and stats
- Epilepsy is the most common serious childhood neurological condition. There are 60,000 children and young people aged 18 and under, and 112,000 aged 25 and under, living with epilepsy in the UK.
- On average there is a child with epilepsy in every primary school and five in every secondary school.
- There are around 600,000 people in the UK diagnosed with epilepsy. That’s about one in every 131 people. There are around 50 million people with epilepsy in the world. Around 75 people are diagnosed with epilepsy every day.
- Epilepsy is a neurological condition - which means it affects the brain.
- Epilepsy is described as the tendency to have seizures. Epilepsy is only diagnosed after the person has had more than one seizure.
- Seizures are sometimes called ‘fits’ or ‘attacks’. Seizures happen when there is a sudden interruption in the way the brain normally works.