The awards aim to recognise the support and dedication provided by Epilepsy Action volunteers. A total of 12 awards were presented across eight categories.
The Farrell family won an award for fundraising, after brothers Sebastian, Tan and Alex raised £10,000 for Epilepsy Action along with their father Kevin. They cycled from Copenhagen in Denmark to their home town of Warrington, Cheshire. The inspiring journey was in memory of Felicity, sister of the three boys. She passed away in 2008 due to Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP)
Eldest of the three, Tan, cycled the entire journey, with the others completing around 500 miles each. Sebastian spoke about the awards ceremony: “It’s good to recognise volunteers and acknowledge them. We feel quite special and honoured to be able to dedicate our award to ‘Fliss.”
In another category, Alec Hodgson won an award for promotion of public information and awareness. Alec has organised a number of events for young people with epilepsy in his area of Dorset. As a volunteer at Epilepsy Action’s ‘on the beach’ day in Newquay, Alec had a series of seizures, but did not let this discourage him. His determined personality meant that he still spent the weekend engaging with other young people with epilepsy, making the event a success.
In 2013, Alec is launching Dorset Young People’s Group – with more monthly meetings and new events to come. Speaking about the award, he said: “I feel really excited. It’s not really for me; it’s for people with epilepsy. The awards went perfect and everyone seems like a group, like a family.”
National Co-ordinator for volunteers, Dyfed Foulkes spoke about the event: “I think that the day has been a wonderful opportunity for us to say a big thank you to our excellent volunteers. The award winners today truly merit what they’ve received.”
Philip Lee, chief executive at Epilepsy Action, said: “Our volunteers make a fantastic contribution to our work supporting the 600,000 people with epilepsy across the UK. These awards celebrate that contribution and we are delighted to recognise our volunteers in this way.”
“The winners of this year’s awards, through their personal efforts and achievements, reflect the qualities of great volunteers. They are selfless, committed, full of energy and have a passion for improving the lives of those affected by epilepsy.”
For more information about volunteering opportunities at Epilepsy Action visit www.epilepsy.org.uk/volunteer or call the local services team on 0113 210 8800.
The Awards were presented by Philip Lee, chief executive of Epilepsy Action, and Beryl Sharlot, vice-chair of Epilepsy Action's Council of Management.
Here are four brief interviews with some of the winners:
Epilepsy Action's Molly Dolan talks to Mark McDaid about Cornwall Branch winning the Branch of the Year Award:
Awards organiser, Dyfed Foulkes, talks about the awards, and what's in store for the future:
Molly Dolan talks to Alec Hodgson about winning an award for raising public awareness of epilespy:
Molly Dolan talks to the Jones family (Sam, Tracey and Steve) about their work in raising public awareness of epilepsy: