impact report 2014 - info services
Our information is constantly reviewed and updated. In 2014 we launched new resources in a range of languages
Epilepsy Society relies on its army of trained volunteers to provide essential information and support to people affected by epilepsy. Shirley Jones has been volunteering for Epilepsy Society since 2007 – handing out information and providing a listening ear to the hundreds of patients who pass through the epilepsy clinic at her local hospital.
In 2013 Shirley attended Epilepsy Society’s benefits information day – where she learned more about the benefit reforms and how they would affect her personal situation. Shirley also appeared on the BBC’s Saints and Scroungers programme where she spoke movingly about her epilepsy and how it has affected her quest for employment.
Fast forward a year – and the knowledge Shirley gained at the benefit event and the way she has used that knowledge to help others through her volunteering work has helped Shirley get a full time job.
She will be working as a trainee support worker for a local housing association – with mentoring and advocacy a key part of the role.
Shirley said: ‘I’m so excited. My volunteering role definitely landed me the job. Recently I’ve been talking to people more and more about benefits and how they affect people – rather than handing out epilepsy information. I’m sad that I will have to give up my regular volunteering role but I’m still hoping to volunteer for Epilepsy Society at the weekends.’
Through our London based ‘early interventions project’ funded by the Department of Health we have reached more than 800 people from communities where there is little understanding about epilepsy. Many have joined self management programmes or patient and carer forums to access support.
‘Absolutely wonderful service – my life would be infinitely more difficult without the team, they are fantastic. They are friendly and easy to approach and really know the information. The experience for patients is much improved by their presence in clinic.’
Feedback from a consultant neurologist about our regional services and volunteers.