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Epilepsy Society marks 120 years
Epilepsy Society, the country’s leading epilepsy research charity, is celebrating its 120th birthday today – 11 April 2012
Exactly 120 years ago a group of neurologists met at 74 Grosvenor Square in London, the home of consultant neurologist Thomas Buzzard.
A resolution was passed calling for the creation of ‘a home for such epileptic persons as are capable of work but unable to obtain regular employment on account of their liability to fits’ and Epilepsy Society was born, albeit under its original name – the National Society for the Employment of Epileptics.
A full life for all
Said chief executive Graham Faulkner: ‘This year is a very important year for us and today is particularly poignant. Epilepsy Society has come a long way in 120 years but the original vision of our founding fathers to provide a better life for people with epilepsy, still underpins everything we do.
‘In 1892, the mission of the charity was to build a retreat where people with epilepsy could thrive away from the stigma and misunderstanding that was widespread in Victorian society. Today our mission has changed radically.
‘We still provide homes for those with complex epilepsy and often associated physical and learning difficulties, and these are essential to enable those most severely affected to realise their full potential.
‘But today Epilepsy Society works alongside people affected by epilepsy right across the country to help them achieve as full a life as possible. We work with people with the condition, families, friends, carers and healthcare professionals who support those with epilepsy.
‘We have a full and ongoing research programme which is moving forward the diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy with advanced neuro-imaging and genetics. And we are just in the process of building a new Epilepsy Society Research Centre at our Chalfont Centre in Buckinghamshire.
‘Alongside this we are about to embark on an exciting three-year project funded by the Department of Health which will target hard-to-reach people with epilepsy in areas of social deprivation and with a high percentage of black, Asian and minority ethnic groups.
‘Crucially we are working with Neurological Alliance and Neurological Commissioning Support to influence the way epilepsy services are commissioned in the future.
‘It has been an amazing journey from that pioneering meeting in Grosvenor Square. A very happy birthday to all our friends and supporters.’