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Back to 'Porty'

And so back to Porty it was, this time to speak to S5 and S6 school pupils. Portobello High School (affectionately known as Porty) was the very first school I presented to last September. It did feel a little strange returning there and delivering a presentation that the first time was inaugural but now, I have come to know so well. For the time slot available and for the senior year group I was talking to, it hasn't changed much at all. The slides and content are very much the same except for the opening slide which is now of me running out of Porty last September as part of the Mum On the Run for Epilepsy campaign (MORE). I remember that day well. It was raining heavily and I ran the 10k distance home! Thank goodness that, for me, there is only one thing worse than running and that is not running, otherwise I am sure I would not be doing this! 

There are two significant things to say about this visit. The first is that featuring Lil Wayne, the bad boy of rap amongst my list of celebrities who have epilepsy still gets a reaction, especially at Porty. I am reminded in their laughter which comes the instant the slide goes up, that they are all still with me, concentrating and listening. The fabulous feedback we received following my first visit to Porty was hugely motivating for us. I hope we are still making the same impression and having the same impact. 

The second thing to say is how nice it was to finally meet the Headmistress, Peigi Macarthur That is not to say that Peigi has been in any way illusive, in fact the contrary but Peigi and her children have been known to Inga, Muir's carer of the last 20 years and also Ann-Marie, MMT's family Liaison Manager, from their early days working in child care. Over the years I have heard of Peigi and her children on many occasions as both Inga and Ann-Marie speak so fondly of them all. It is testimony to the relationship that they are all still in touch with each other and a great pleasure for me to meet Peigi at last. 

Thank you once again to Jean Heath for inviting MMT to raise awareness about epilepsy at Porty. Another great school! We look forward to returning.

We were delighted to have the opportunity to welcome Ann Maxwell to Portobello High School to raise Epilepsy awareness amongst our S6 pupils and also share her story.  The pupils found the session both engaging and informative and were very touched by the personal experiences they heard of.  As a school we will look to support the ‘Mum on the Run’ campaign in the coming months and would wholeheartedly recommend this session to other schools given the positive feedback from our pupils.”
Mhairi Hume – Acting Deputy Head Teacher

Pupil quotes:

“You don’t often hear about all the different kinds of Epilepsy that exist – I found that really interesting.”  Robert Clark, S6.

 “Great to hear about someone’s personal experience.  I felt it had a bigger impact on me because of this.” 
Matthew Wingate, S6.

“I learnt that Epilepsy is more than just seizures – the talk really showed me how much Ann’s son’s life is affected on a day-to-day basis.” 
S6 Pupil.

“The assembly was moving and inspiring. It made me aware of the condition and how it affects the lives of so many people.”
Chloe Gardner, S6

“Ann’s assembly was heart-breaking. I learned so much.” 
Michael Gaffney, S6.

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