HUNDREDS of people are turning to a town charity for help with their epilepsy – and more are being urged to do the same.
More than 280 people used the services of Hartlepool-based Epilepsy Outlook in the last year, including many diagnosed for the first time.
They include Callum Smith – the 21-month-old little boy who has become the inspiration for people across Hartlepool.
Callum has epilepsy and numerous other conditions and has been in hospital almost as often as at home. His loving parents Zoe Neesam, 21, and Luke Smith, 23, are registered as his carers.
Epilepsy Outlook operations manager Jacqui Gettings said: “We are here to help people whose lives have been changed dramatically by this diagnosis. We try to give them the practical support they need.
“Epilepsy is quite a scary condition. You can feel as though your independence has been taken away from you. We build people’s confidence back up.”
One of the people to get help is Philip Rumble who first turned to the centre 15 years ago with uncontrolled epilepsy. Now he volunteers every week for the charity. He handles the administration for the charity including photocopying, post and telephone answering.
“It has made a real difference for me,” said Philip, 55, who has lived with epilepsy since he was two.
The former factory worker has never had employment since that one job. He describes his time at Epilepsy Outlook as “really enjoyable.”
Jacqui, who took on Philip as a support worker when she first joined the charity 15 years ago, said: “The change in him since then has been amazing.”
She urged other people to come forward.
As well as free and confidential support, Epilepsy Outlook also:
l Runs an art group on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 9.30am to 12.30pm and 1pm to 3.30pm each day;
l Runs a session for people to hand-make crafts on Thursdays from 1pm to 4pm;
l Runs a drop-in centre for people with uncontrolled epilepsy on Mondays from 1pm to 4pm.
In the meantime, our campaign to help Callum is still gathering pace.
Zoe and Luke would love a sensory room filled with the light displays, sounds, projectors and fibre optics to help him smile.
Our appeal called Callum’s Dream aims to make that wish come true by raising the £5,000 needed.
HOW YOU CAN GET IN TOUCH WITH EPILEPSY OUTLOOK
Call the charity on (01429) 297007.
Visit the website at www.epilepsyoutlook.org.uk
Visit the Facebook site at https://www.facebook.com/epilepsy.outlook.1
Call in to the charity’s centre in York Road, Hartlepool.
HOW YOU CAN SUPPORT CALLUM
Give donations to the Epilepsy Outlook charity shops at 199 York Road, and 104 Oxford Road, both in Hartlepool.
Pay straight into the account at Lloyds TSB branch in York Road.
The account details are:
Account Name – Epilepsy Outlook Project.
Sort Code – 30-99-47.
Account number – 24594260.
You could also hold a fundraising event for the little boy.
Tell us what you plan to do and the Hartlepool Mail will give you the publicity you deserve.
Whether you are planning to do anything from a sponsored run to a bike ride, or even a skydive, contact Chris Cordner on (01429) 239377 or email email@example.com.