We're very proud this month! Epilepsy and you, our online programme for people with epilepsy, has been shortlisted for another award.
The Epilepsy and you team and I have been developing and testing the programme since 2015. It is now available on our online learning site and people can take part using a computer, tablet or smartphone. This means people can access it at any time or place.
Over 8 weeks, the programme covers a range of topics (such as safety, memory, feelings and employment). These were all chosen and reviewed by people with epilepsy and healthcare specialists.
However, everyone knows that making changes - for example, trying to do more exercise - can be hard. So, we made sure that the programme isn't just about reading information. Each week, people try out different skills and activities. Then, the programme helps them to set a real-life goal and carry it out. This means that by the end of the programme, people have started making real changes to help them manage their epilepsy. And over time, they can see the difference this makes to daily life.
In 2016, our first group tried out the programme with great success. People reported that they felt better and more confident - with some people even saying that they managed to get better seizure control. The programme has also helped people have better discussions with their doctor, deal with issues at work, or talk to family and friends.
For example, one participant said: "I'm going back to being my happy, positive self - something that has been missing since I experienced my first seizure nearly 7 years ago".
The programme was also evaluated by researchers from Coventry University. They used scientific measures to show that people still had more knowledge and confidence three months after completing the programme. We were delighted with this result, as it shows that the programme really works! This means that it can have real positive benefits for people with epilepsy.
This is a fantastic achievement for the charity. We are very proud to have been shortlisted for the prestigious HSJ Awards last year, and on 1 February we were presented with a Highly Commended award at the the Yorkshire & Humber Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) Innovation, Improvement and Impact Awards for 2018.
Our vision is that everyone with epilepsy should get support to help them manage their condition. So, we hope that getting wider recognition for the programme will help us to make it available to many more people in the future.