Maureen runs the successful Epilepsy Action Coffee and Chat group in Norwich. Under her care, the group has grown in size and now has a wide range of people attending. Maureen is also an Epilepsy Action Accredited Volunteer, trained to deliver epilepsy awareness sessions, which she does to business and groups all over Norfolk.
Maureen had her first seizure when she was 40. Her own experience showed her how confusing and isolating epilepsy can be. This is what inspired her to volunteer.
Maureen explains: “I have had several other health conditions throughout my adult life but none have been as frustrating as epilepsy. When I first started having seizures, I didn’t know what was happening to me. I would pass out with seemingly no reason. I have lived with uncontrolled focal seizures for 25 years but, for most of this time, I have been able to work full-time as a high school teacher.
“Eventually, with the help of my doctors and information from the Epilepsy Action website, I learnt about my epilepsy. I wanted other people to feel more confident about their epilepsy in the way I did.
“The Coffee and Chat group is the perfect setting for me to help others. In the welcoming setting of our group, people can get practical advice about living with epilepsy. I help people to look at the information on the Epilepsy Action website and keep up to date with the latest epilepsy news. The local epilepsy nurses are also regular visitors and give advice and friendly support.
“Most importantly though, the coffee and chat group lets people share experiences in a friendly and supportive environment. It is such a safe space where people can share their concerns and feel supported. People chat and meet up between our sessions. I have seen real friendships grow.”
(For press release) Maureen and the group are now looking forward to the Epilepsy Action ‘Living with Epilepsy’ event in Norwich on July 8th. This is the first of its kind in the area and promises to be a very valuable day.
(For online) Maureen shares her golden volunteering moment: “With the help of Epilepsy Action staff, we have arranged a Living with Epilepsy event in July. This event will be happening in Norwich, and it’s the first of its kind in the area. I am so excited that we’ll be able to bring this level of epilepsy expertise to our local community, and I’m certain it will make a real difference to the lives of people with epilepsy here.”