Newry Town Hall to turn purple for global epilepsy awareness day

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info@newrytimes.com
Friday, March 25th, 2016
Community, What's On
Newry Town Hall and St Patrick’s Centre, Downpatrick are turning purple on Saturday 26th March to celebrate Purple Day, the global day of epilepsy awareness. epilepsy2The iconic buildings join other landmarks from all over Northern Ireland in showing epilepsy’s true colours by switching on purple lights. Epilepsy Action Northern Ireland has worked with Newry, Mourne and Down District Council to turn St Patrick’s Centre and Newry Town Hall purple to raise awareness of the condition. They join landmarks from across Northern Ireland, from Enniskillen Castle to Armagh Gaol. The charity is also encouraging people across the country to celebrate Purple Day by hosting special purple-themed events and challenges. Purple Day was created in 2008 by then nine-year-old Cassidy Megan, a Canadian girl living with epilepsy. She came up with the idea as a way to dispel the myths surrounding epilepsy and raise awareness positively. It is now celebrated annually all over the world. Epilepsy affects around 20,000 people in Northern Ireland. Despite this, it is still an often misunderstood condition. Purple Day is a great opportunity to raise awareness about the condition. Epilepsy is simple to explain. It is the tendency to have seizures. However, there are many different types of epileptic seizure, and everyone experiences them differently. They range from experiencing strange sensations to falling unconscious, but they can all have a major impact on daily life.
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LearnSpark1Through medicines and other treatments, some people have their seizures controlled. But for many, seizures continue to disrupt and disable. As well as seizures, people with epilepsy regularly have to deal with unfair discrimination and prejudice. This is because other people often don’t understand what epilepsy is like. Clare Watson, Epilepsy Action Northern Ireland manager, said, “It has been fantastic to work with Newry, Mourne and District Council to turn St Patrick’s Centre and Newry Town Hall purple this Purple Day. Traditionally the lavender flower represents loneliness, but Purple Day is a reminder that no one has to live with epilepsy alone.” If you are interested in attending or would like some more information about the Coffee and Chat group, contact Clare Watson on 028 9063 4942 or cwatson@epilepsy.org.uk , alternatively, you are very welcome to just come along on the day.

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