A SUPPORT group has been set up to help people suffering from epilepsy, and it has been backed by Fareham MP Suella Fernandes.
The group, which meets monthly, is also hoping to raise awareness about the brain condition, which affects more than 500,000 people in the UK.
It was set up by Hugh Sach, 38, from Fareham, who has epilepsy, with the help of Miss Fernandes.
Mr Sach said: ‘We give each other support, boost our confidence and this doesn’t make us feel alone.
‘Most people do not know what epilepsy is and they tend to ignore it.
‘They just don’t think about it until it happen to them or someone close to them.
‘There should be more information in schools. People should be educated and be aware of it.
‘There are over 40 types of epilepsy and if you don’t know what it is you could be very scared and feel lost and alone’.
This is exactly what happened to Doreen Ashworth, 72, from Locks Heath, who was diagnosed with epilepsy in January.
She said: ‘We were on holiday abroad and I slipped down in my chair. My husband thought I had a stroke. We had no idea of what epilepsy was.
‘I am happy that I found this group as it helped me to feel supported and stronger.
‘It’s a four-month wait before I can see a specialist.’
The group are now meeting once a month and try to help each other – with new members welcome.
The group works alongside the charity Young Epilepsy, and Dawn Oliver, one of its representatives, said there is an urgent need of psychological support, education and awareness.
‘It is a hidden condition and creates fear,’ she said.
‘This group helps them to realise they are not alone.’
Miss Fernandes said there was a lack of awareness of the condition, which affects the brain and causes repeated seizures.
She said: ‘When Hugh got in touch with me I immediately realised there was a need of supporting people affected by epilepsy in the local area.
‘There is a significant lack of support and awareness. I hope this group can help.’
The group’s next meeting will be on Friday, April 1 at 1pm at Cafe Imbizo in West Street, Fareham.
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