Welcome Sign

Colourful welcome sign made by Lucy from Group 2

Incredibly, Group 2 has now passed the half way point in their six month Epilepsy Futures journey, and I think it is fair to say that for all of us there is a sense of time passing too quickly.

Last week we revisited individual progress questionnaires, covering many of the areas we seek to help people improve from participating, for example self management topics, well being, self confidence and sense of being connected to the community.

Looking back at the same form they completed 12 weeks ago, they all could see positive changes in their responses, confirming their own personal feelings of change, and the feedback they have received from others in their lives.

This week saw some new milestones for the group, with their first trip to the Mitchell Library on Tuesday, to undertake the online self management course “Epilepsy and You”, developed by our colleagues at Epilepsy Action.

With low IT confidence, there is a bit of nervousness about this course and about navigating the material online. Thankfully we have the skills of our peer mentors on hand each week, and in particular Shoaib Chaudhry who will be acting as IT tech support.

Then on Wednesday, we had our our second information session, and the room was packed with members of Group 1 (who are now peer mentors) , Group 2 and people who might become Group 3.

Room set up

An empty looking room, before everyone arrived…

Some people came with partners/family members as a confidence boost to get here, and people from Group 2 were stars, in showing people where to go, making tea and coffee and mixing with new people.

Steven, Linda and Shoaib (Group 1)  spoke very clearly about how their lives have changed so much as a result of being part of the programme, and some people from Group 2 also shared how their own confidence has grown in the last three months.

Steven shares some thoughts about the session.

Yesterday Epilepsy Connections hosted an information session for potential participants for Group 3 of Epilepsy Futures.

The information afternoon was a real success,  and was attended well by individuals who are generally interested in the project and looking for further information.

They got to meet current and past participants, who shared what they had gained from being involved, and it was emotional to see such a large attendance.

On Thursday, the peer mentors were in again to encourage the group to think about what their next steps might be to get the most out of their time with the programme, and to remind them that they can be used as a support in accessing any opportunities they might want to find out about.

As a result of this chat, some people discovered a shared interest in tracing their family history, and Linda (who has been investigating her own family tree)  will support them to go to the genealogy resources at the Mitchell Library after an “Epilepsy and you” session.

Peter Dale