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23 March 2016

Council offices to turn purple for epilepsy global awareness day

Epilepsy awareness day

The Courts, Carlisle is turning purple on Saturday 26 March to celebrate Purple Day, the global day of epilepsy awareness.  The iconic building joins other landmarks from all over UK in showing epilepsy's true colours by switching on purple lights.

Epilepsy Action has worked with Cumbria County Council to turn The Courts purple to raise awareness of the condition.  It joins landmarks across the UK, from Enniskillen Castle in Northern Ireland, to Trafalgar Square.  The charity is also encouraging people across the country to celebrate Purple Day by hosting special purple-themed events and challenges.

Purple Day was created in 2008 by then nine-year-old Cassidy Megan, a Canadian girl living with epilepsy.  She came up with the idea as a way to dispel the myths surrounding epilepsy and raise awareness positively.  It is now celebrated annually all over the world.

Epilepsy affects around one in every 100 people in the UK and 87 people are diagnosed with the condition every day.  Despite this, it is still an often misunderstood condition. Purple Day is a great opportunity to raise awareness and funds.  The money raised on Purple Day will help to support the 600,000 people with epilepsy across the UK.

Epilepsy is simple to explain.  It is the tendency to have seizures.  However, there are many different types of epileptic seizure, and everyone experiences them differently.  They range from experiencing strange sensations to falling unconscious, but they can all have a major impact on daily life.

Through medicines and other treatments, some people have their seizures controlled.  But for many, seizures continue to disrupt and disable.  As well as seizures, people with epilepsy regularly have to deal with unfair discrimination and prejudice.  This is because other people often don’t understand what epilepsy is like.

Hattie Hodgson-Crome, Media Officer at Epilepsy Action, said: "It has been fantastic to work with Cumbria County Council to turn The Courts purple this Purple Day.  Traditionally the lavender flower represents loneliness, but Purple Day is a reminder that no one has to live with epilepsy alone."

"Epilepsy Action, is hoping to turn the whole country purple, whether that's baking purple cakes, wearing something purple, or lighting up buildings.  Every penny raised from Purple Day will help Epilepsy Action to continue vital work in supporting the 600,000 people with epilepsy across the UK."

Melvyn Worth Cllr, Chairman Cumbria County Council, said: "Purple Day is a great opportunity to raise awareness.  I hope that turning The Courts, Carlisle purple will get local people talking about epilepsy on 26 March.  I feel it’s so important to raise awareness and understanding about the condition throughout Cumbria."

Epilepsy affects around one in every 100 people in the UK alone and 87 people are diagnosed with the condition every day.  Each year Epilepsy Action directly helps over 1.3 million people through a range of services, including the Epilepsy Action Helpline 0808 800 5050, branch network, specialist nurse scheme and award-winning website, epilepsy.org.uk

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The Courts, Carlisle is turning purple on Saturday 26 March to celebrate Purple Day, the global day of epilepsy awareness. The iconic building joins other landmarks from all over UK in showing epilepsy's true colours by switching on purple lights.