Epilepsy Society's staff and a half raise money to support people with epilepsy
Every day staff at Epilepsy Society in Chalfont St Peter work towards creating a better life for people with epilepsy. This can be through research, medical treatment, fundraising, campaigning or caring for residents with complex epilepsy and associated disabilities.
Six members of Team Purple who will be running or abseiling to raise vital funds to support people with epilepsy.
But for many staff, it's more than a day job and this autumn a bumper number of employees will be going the extra mile for the charity. 'Team Purple', made up of 14 employees from across the charity, will be running, swimming, walking and abseiling to raise vital funds to support people with epilepsy.
Professor Sanjay Sisodiya puts on his running shoes
Epilepsy Society's director of genomics, Professor Sanjay Sisodiya, is leading on the one of the world's largest genetic sequencing projects, looking at the DNA of 5,000 patients. But in October he will be swapping his more familiar suit or lab coat for trainers and running vest, as he takes on the Royal Parks Half Marathon.
Professor Sisodiya will be joined by Neurologist Meneka Sidhu and Clinical Research Associate Katri Silvennoinen. They are hoping to raise £10,000 for a special chair used in a new non-invasive test that enables them to look inside the brain without the use of needles or electrodes.
Early morning training: Professor Sanjay Sisodiya with Katri Silvennoinen.
Inspired by our supporters
Professor Sisodiya who admits he has never been an athlete, said: "Our research costs money. I am always very aware of the tremendous support we receive from people with epilepsy, their family and friends who jump out of planes, bake cakes, undertake amazing physical challenges or simply make a donation because they want to help make a difference for people with epilepsy in the future.
"The money they raise really helps to push forward our research. And alongside my patients, they have been one of the inspirations for my taking part in the Royal Parks Half Marathon.
"‘I would like to think that by pushing ourselves in training – whether that is running to work or running in the gym – we can help to improve the experience for patients when they come for a test at Epilepsy Society. "
Annabel Heath, Personal Assistant in Care Services will also be running the Royal Parks Half Marathon to raise money for one of the charity's residential homes, Micholls House.
Swimming the Serpentine
Lorenzo Caciagli is a Research Fellow in the MRI unit at Epilepsy Society, looking at the workings of the brain through sophisticated neuroimaging. But he is also a keen open-water swimmer and in September will be tackling the two-mile distance in London's Swim Serpentine.
Meantime his colleague, Genomics Project Manager Hannah McKinnon will be taking part in the 100km Thames Path Challenge with her dad.
Abseiling down Broadgate Tower
But the biggest team event for Epilepsy Society, proving that staff really do have a head for heights, will be a brand new abseiling event for the charity at Broadgate Tower, London in September. Eight daring Epilepsy Society employees will be abseiling 540 ft down one of London's tallest buildings, and are hoping to raise an amazing £2,000.
Abseilers include Neuropsychologist Sallie Baxendale, right; Company Secretary, Erica Wilkinson; Director of Fundraising and External Affairs, Claire Glazebrook; Katrina Jones, Liz Tidy,Paige Dawkins and Sarah Pearson from the fundraising and marketing team; and Katy Poynter from information services.
Claire Glazebrook said: "We are really thrilled to have so many of our staff fundraising for us. This requires real commitment and dedication over a sustained period of time, whether through long weekends and evenings of training or through rallying people to sponsor them.
"Across the site, all our staff are really committed to making a difference to the lives of people with epilepsy. It is very satisfying and rewarding to know that by taking part in a fun and challenging fundraising event, we can help to push forward our amazing pioneering research and make sure that people with epilepsy are supported through information and our dedicated epilepsy helpline."
If you would like to support Team Purple through sponsorship
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Find out how you can help raise funds for Epilepsy Society
If you would like to fundraise for Epilepsy Society find out about all our fundraising opportunities here or call 01494 601414.
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