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Parenting Groups

Epilepsy Scotland

Local epilepsy charity Enlighten recently merged with Epilepsy Scotland.

For some time prior to the merger, Enlighten had been developing an epilepsy service for children and families with epilepsy. The service was managed by their epilepsy social worker, Michael Adair, and provided:
- a support group for parents;
- weekly attendance at the seizure clinic at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children;
- sleep clinics for disabled children;
- a father’s group;
- parenting classes; and
- printed information for parents.

At the point of the merger, much of Enlighten’s services were unfunded. Critically, the worst affected was the work Enlighten had been doing with children and parents. Once lost, such services are difficult to re-establish and sustainability is a real issue for this sector. Epilepsy Scotland therefore asked the Muir Maxwell Trust to provide funding to continue these valuable services in the Edinburgh area.

"As any parent with a child with epilepsy knows, dealing with epilepsy isn’t just about managing the seizures. It also involves dealing with a possible myriad of other professionals, from health, to education, social work, welfare and employment rights. Along with this, and this is the bit that often gets overlooked, is the emotional impact on you and your family of watching your child have seizures.

Bringing parents together with that commonality of shared experience is one of the most effective ways of providing support. Not only can it provide a deeper and more sincere understanding of your experiences, the group can provide a wealth of useful practical information, not just about epilepsy, but also your rights as a family to support.

I am indebted to MMT for their support with the parent group meetings and for making it such a pleasurable and enjoyable experience. Their commitment to funding Epilepsy Scotland’s work for children and families is greatly appreciated."
Michael Adair, Epilepsy Social Worker, Epilepsy Scotland

With the service to children and parents now secure, Epilepsy Scotland hopes to gain from the merger with Enlighten and learn how to develop these valuable services across Scotland. Initial funding from MMT has allowed the time to establish ways to reach many of the other isolated parents across the country struggling to bring up their children with the challenges that epilepsy presents to individuals and families.