Aislinn Carlile volunteers for Epilepsy Action Northern Ireland’s Ballynahinch coffee and chat group. Located in a rural area, the group gives people affected by epilepsy a much-needed opportunity to meet face-to-face and find support and guidance.
Aislinn’s volunteering sees her working alongside Clare Watson, manager for Epilepsy Action Northern Ireland. Aislinn is helping Clare explore new ways for Epilepsy Action Northern Ireland to connect people in rural areas. She has thrown herself into a newly piloted role of community engagement volunteer. This role sees her on the ground, urging people to display posters and spread the word about Epilepsy Action Northern Ireland.
Christine Bailey started attending the group as her Georgina, her 13-year-old daughter, was diagnosed with epilepsy as a baby. “It can be very isolating having a child with special medical needs,” she says. “From the first meeting, I was made to feel at home. Aislinn has a vast amount of experience as a supportive volunteer and a real understanding of life with epilepsy.”
Aislinn is always warm and welcoming to new attendees, as Christine explains. “Little things like this that can make such a difference to people who are nervous or unsure about attending an event.”
Aislinn’s dedication, and the impact she has on all she meets, has made the coffee and chat group a success. Christine says, “Aislinn has a down-to-earth attitude and relates to others whose life, and the lives of those they love, have been touched by epilepsy. She is a great support to us all.” Her work is invaluable to the group, and to Epilepsy Action Northern Ireland.”