Friday 12th December 2014

EPILEPSY is a common neurological condition. It is estimated that around 54,000 people in Scotland currently live with the condition.

There are over 40 different types of seizures which can range from staring to the unusual or rapid movements more commonly associated with the condition. It is widely accepted that there is a lack of awareness about the condition and the actions of people experiencing a seizure can often be misinterpreted. Indeed, it is not uncommon for persons experiencing as seizure to come to the attention police as a result of their actions. Examples of such behaviour include:

• Resisting paramedics on entering an ambulance
• Resisting Police
• Urinating in public
• Removing clothing in public
• Being aggressive in a shop
• Sitting in a taxi refusing to pay the fare
• Walking up and down the aisle of an aeroplane refusing to fasten seat belt
• Fire raising

Purple is the colour most closely associated with Epilepsy due to an International Epilepsy Awareness Day (“Purple Day”) which was launched in 2008 and aims to champion a positive social attitude to the condition. While this takes place on 26 March each year, the colour purple is used throughout the year when promoting Epilepsy Awareness.

West Dunbartonshire has its own Epilepsy Support Group which meets on the third Thursday of every month. Over recent months the group has been working with Police Scotland and Scottish Fire & Rescue Service to promote awareness of the condition.

As a result of this work, agreement has been sought with Dumbarton Football Club to hold an Awareness Day on Saturday 13 December v Raith Rovers.

The intention is that volunteers from the group be in place outside both the home and away turnstiles and will distribute purple cards to all spectators. Printed on these cards will be some useful information about Epilepsy, the work of the group and contact numbers, as well as biographies of a couple of group members giving an insight into living with the condition.

West Dunbartonshire Epilepsy Support Group
Meets on the third Thursday monthly 10am – 12noon in the upstairs meeting room in
the National Park HQ, Carrochan Way, Balloch, G83 8EG

Alan Findlay

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