Epilepsy Action chief executive, Philip Lee, calls on all readers to get purplicious on the global day for epilepsy awareness – Purple Day! Whether raising money, awareness or simply smiles, find out how you can get involved
Thursday 26 March is Purple Day – my absolute favourite day at work. Founded by Cassidy Megan in 2008, it is the one day of the year when we all work together to help make epilepsy visible. You, me, Cassidy and the world! It is the day when people without epilepsy ask: ‘Why purple? What is epilepsy?’
The event can be a lot of fun. Still, among photos of purple wristbands, violet hair and lavender socks, braces and cakes, we also share serious messages about epilepsy. Here are a few ideas on how we can work together again this year to make Purple Day bigger, bolder and purpler than ever before!
Pick up a purple pack
Once again, we are urging everybody to turn their world purple on 26 March! You can do this in any old way you choose – but if you aren’t sure where to start, help is at hand.
Your purple fundraising toolkit is available now. It is a comprehensive pack of resources to help you hold all kinds of events and initiatives to celebrate Purple Day. You may want to raise money to help people with epilepsy or simply raise awareness of the condition in the general public. Either way, there are tonnes of ways to do this, including:
- Dressing in purple – Whether you’re in the office, at school or out and about in your local community – get everyone to dress in purple!
- Painting yourself purple – Get sponsored to paint your hair, your face or even your moustache
- Having a cake sale – Everyone loves cake. Why not organise a purple bake-off and sell your delicious wares to family and friends or colleagues?
You may have another idea for a fundraising event of your own. Whatever your idea, Your purple fundraising toolkit is packed full of things to help you: purplicious balloons, stickers, posters and a Purple Day collection box.
Meanwhile, why not show your support for Epilepsy Action by wearing a Purple Day wristband (pictured)? This helps raise awareness and can be a talking point – to help you broach the issue and openly discuss epilepsy.
Visit Epilepsy Action’s Purple Day web page where, you can register for Your purple fundraising toolkit or follow links to buy a wristband in the online shop. Remember: whatever you decide to do, make sure you do it purple!
Help us ask: What does epilepsy look like?
Epilepsy is often referred to as the ‘hidden condition’. This is because, unless someone sees you having a seizure, they often have no idea that you have epilepsy! This often means that some people have very little understanding of what epilepsy really is. Or, that there are over 40 different types of epilepsy and types of seizure. Or, that it can affect everyone differently.
We need your help to change this. Last year, we began opening the eyes of the general public, with the help of our supporters, Megan, George, Charlea and Ruth. In a new campaign, we asked the general public: What does epilepsy look like?
The responses were amazing – and one year on, we are looking for people just like you to join us and tell your story. All you need to do is share a photo or image and tell us about your life with epilepsy. If you want to get involved and help challenge epilepsy misconceptions, email firstname.lastname@example.org now!
Purple Day: literally a landmark event
Is there a landmark or venue in your area that would really attract attention if it was purple? There might be a special building or fountain, local town hall, council chambers, shopping centre or entertainment arena. You might even want to see your local sports team all in purple.
Why not help us turn the UK purple for 24 hours? Last year, venues across the UK all lit up purple on 26 March to raise awareness of epilepsy. These included London King’s Cross mainline station, The Blackpool Tower and Leeds’ First Direct arena. This year, we hope that we can do even better – but we need your help!
We have a letter that we would like you to send or email to the owner/manager of your local landmark, requesting their support on 26 March 2015. You can get a copy of the Purple Day landmark letter on Epilepsy Action’s Purple Day webpage.
Please remember to let us know how you get on – especially if your local landmark is going purple! Just let us know the landmark and its location by emailing email@example.com
Support Purple Day
If you’re struggling for inspiration, there are three simple ways you get help get people talking about epilepsy this Purple Day!
- Download and print off Epilepsy Action’s awareness-raising poster from Epilepsy Action's . Then, simply find somewhere to put it for all to see. You might display it in your bedroom window or on your noticeboard at work. You might ask someone in your local library, GP surgery or community centre to display the poster for at least one day
- Follow Epilepsy Action on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest and tell us about everything you are doing to celebrate Purple Day
- Remember to share all Epilepsy Action’s What does epilepsy look like? stories on Purple Day. You will find them on the organisation’s Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest accounts and our website. Please re-tweet, like and share them all – so that we can reach as many people as possible.
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