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Spring review: from tube journeys to show gardens



3 July 2018

Paige, our Marketing and Communications Executive, takes a look back at 2018 so far and reflects on some of our great achievements.

So far, 2018 has been a fantastic year for bringing epilepsy into the public eye. The condition has been featured alongside Epilepsy Society's name on two completely new platforms, raising awareness to break down society's seizure stigma.

Epilepsy featured as part of TFL's poster campaign over #PrioritySeatingWeek (23-29th April). The campaign aimed  to raise awareness of the priority card scheme which launched in 2016, encouraging travellers to give up their seat for those with invisible disabilities.

The poster highlighted the difficulties that face people with epilepsy when travelling

The campaign was backed with a network-wide poster campaign, including Epilepsy Society's very own 'poster boy' Tom Ryan-Elliott who has epilepsy. Four million tube journeys and eight million bus journeys are made every day across London - TFL wanted to make travellers aware that not all disabilities are instantly visible, and featured 6 other conditions including pregnancy, lupus and cancer.

Top: Tom Ryan-Elliot is spotted next to his poster on the underground network. Bottom: The poster was featured across London including Waterloo station.

As well as taking over the tube network, epilepsy featured on a more unusual artistic platform in May of this year. At Chelsea Flower Show 2018, the Embroidered Minds Epilepsy Garden won a Silver Gilt medal for garden designer Kati Crome's inspired planting, entwined with expert craftsmanship, to depict an epileptic seizure through plants.

The Embroidered Minds Epilepsy Garden depicted a seizure through plants

Sponsored by Epilepsy Society and Young Epilepsy, the garden was inspired by Lesley Forbes' novel Embroidered Minds of the Morris Women and took the observer through the three stages of a seizure; from the pre-seizure calm, to the chaos of the seizure, through to the heightened awareness of the post-seizure mind. The show garden also featured a steam-bent oak bench crafted into the reading of an EEG brain scan, a living wall, and Morris inspired tiles depicting aspects of epilepsy.

Top: The team behind the garden including designer, Katie Crome (pictured far left). Bottom: Holly, playing "The Muse", stands with comedian Rob Brydon in the garden.

This garden was also in-part acting as a memorial to Lesley Forbes who passed away following a seizure in 2016. The garden made for a striking and emotive experience.

We hope that these exciting new platforms will make way for more opportunities to raise awareness of epilepsy, and help to make its associated stigma a thing of the past.