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Induction into Epilepsy Society


12 November 2018

I'm Rhia and I'm the new Communications Officer at Epilepsy Society. I come from a journalism and communications background, as I previously studied MA Journalism Media and Communications at Cardiff University and BA Journalism at the University of Roehampton in London. I have been here a few weeks and recently attended my induction.

At the beginning of November, I joined 20 other new employees in Kent House for our induction into Epilepsy Society.

After introductions and a welcome video we were introduced to Alex, a resident who lives on the Chalfont campus. He had his first seizure when he was 15 months old.

Alex talked about what it is like to live with epilepsy and his experiences living on campus in the STEPS residence. It was insightful to see how he has lived with epilepsy nearly all of his life, but he does not let it define him.

Throughout the day, we had different talks from established members of staff welcoming us to the charity and giving us an overview of their area of expertise.

Adam Went, the Director of Care Services, gave an introduction to the Society including an overview of the organisation, the different departments and what the Society does.

Rachel Perowne, the HR Manager, delivered an introduction into the HR department with important information about the E-learning system, the values of Epilepsy Society, our holiday entitlement and most importantly, when we get paid!

Following a quick tea break, Liz Ellis, the Learning and Development Officer talked about epilepsy awareness and covered a range of topics, including what epilepsy is, causes of epilepsy, types of seizures and treatments.

We also watched clips of people experiencing different types of seizures. Although it was hard to watch, it was useful to be able to recognise the types of seizures and how people react differently. Everyone was given seizure management handouts to take away for future reference, which was very helpful in case anyone forgot what to do when someone has a seizure.

Clare Pelham, Epilepsy Society's Chief Executive, joined us for lunch and told us her three golden rules that she would like every member of staff to abide by: put friends and family first, do the right thing and don't walk on by when you see someone in trouble or something suspicious.

I was very impressed by these values and am lucky for my first full-time job to have been welcomed into a workplace that prides themselves in being kind and understanding.

Clare gave us a warm welcome to the Society and let us know that her door is always open if anyone would like to talk. It was nice for people to put a name to a face and hear what she would like the society to achieve whilst she is the Chief Executive.

For me, the best part of the induction was the Epilepsy Awareness talk. As I speak to people on a daily basis about their journey with epilepsy, it was extremely useful for me to fully understand the different types of seizures and seizure management.

It was nice to meet people from a range of departments so we could share and contribute ideas in a group exercise testing us on the values. It also helps if I can recognise a friendly face whenever I'm walking around the campus.

The induction was filled with lots of useful information and everyone went away with a better understanding of Epilepsy Society and epilepsy (as well as a stomach full of sandwiches and cakes!).

A very big thank you to everyone involved!