“Futures gave me back my life, and I feel like a whole person again. I met so many new people who understood my situation.” S. participant group 4

Following the recent award from the National Lottery Community Fund, we are delighted to announce that we are looking for people who want to sign up to our self-management programme, Epilepsy Futures. Learn more about the programme, click here.

The next group will start early in the New Year and will take place using the Zoom video conferencing app until the current Covid situation is less restrictive.

“Nearly 15 years ago Epilepsy Connections led the way in delivering self-management programmes for people with epilepsy in the UK. Our programmes have evolved in response to feedback from people who take part and from our volunteers. This year we switched to online-only delivery during lockdown. This has been so successful that we’ve developed a new model that can be delivered online or face-to-face. We’re delighted that the National Lottery Community Fund will continue to support people with epilepsy by funding our Epilepsy Futures project for another two years.” Shirley Maxwell, Excecutive Director

Epilepsy Futures Coordinator Peter Dale share their reflection on the programme:

“One of the things that strikes me observing the people who sign up for Epilepsy Futures, is how much personal change they create for themselves from taking part in the programme.

Running three sessions per week, for nearly 6 months, we cover several topics which allow people living with a diagnosis of epilepsy to learn new skills, build their self –esteem and create new connections.

Most importantly, over and over I’ve seen people come to terms with their epilepsy and rediscover themselves through being in a space where others understand the situations they deal with.”

This poem written by “T” (a participant in our last group) sums this up. “T” had only just been diagnosed with epilepsy and found the experience devastating to her sense of self, losing a career that had been hugely meaningful to her.

“T” is currently training to become a volunteer for our next group and will be working alongside a small team of people who have stayed on to help guide new participants through the process of self- discovery.

These “Peer Mentors” are a key feature of the programme and provide a voice authenticity and lived experience to our sessions, giving newer participants a sense of optimism and encouragement in coming to terms with their epilepsy.

“P” was a member of Group 4 and has since been a mentor on the programme. He reflects on what the programme has meant to him.

“I am in my early 30s and was diagnosed with epilepsy in 2017.  My diagnosis changed my life, from losing my driving licence and my job.  I wasn’t dealing with things at that time in my life and pushing people away.  I also had got into a lot of debt.  By being part of Futures, it gave me the energy in my life to change the things and learned to accept my condition.  This also benefited my mental health.  This gave me the ability to look forward to a more positive life with being able to use different techniques in life that I learned from being part of futures.”

We are excited to see the programme continue and can’t wait for the next group to start. If you would like to find out more, please contact pdale@epilepsyconnections.org.uk