Awareness Walk raises awareness for SUDEP Awareness Day
I'm always looking for new ways to raise awareness. With SUDEP Actions 2nd Awareness Day approaching on the 23rd October, I considered ideas. I wanted to create something that would be amenable to everyone, and shout about SUDEP to the wider public. One night I decided I would arrange an Awareness Walk through London.
I planned it in central London to get the best coverage possible. I contacted Rachel Groves at SUDEP Action who gave me lots of useful information like police contact numbers to get permission.
On Saturday 24th October, we walked from Jubilee Gardens finishing at Speakers Corner in Hyde Park. We carried banners and wore purple.
The atmosphere was amazing; everyone was so upbeat and friendly, considering we were all drawn together through loss. I guess it’s because we all felt we were doing something. It was wonderful to meet with others and share our experiences. We had clothing, banners, placards and the SUDEP Action flag giving our message. The Sumaria family in particular had great ideas using ‘Placards’; they really stood out in the crowd.
At one point the heavens opened and the rain poured down but it didn't dampen our spirits! We were stopped a lot and asked questions about SUDEP.
A friend, Sandie, came up with the idea of bubbles and another, Caron, to finish by putting petals in the Serpentine to "close the walk down."
Leading the walk, it was amazing looking back and seeing a sea of purple, a lot of people were looking and reading the banners. What made it so great was that we were all on our own personal mission for our loved ones, mine being my husband G. Yet we were united, supporting each other, the greater cause. There really is strength in numbers. The serpentine lake in Hyde Park looked beautiful with hundreds of petals we threw in memory of all those lost to SUDEP.
There were around 80 people. I saw this as a huge success. The walk was around three and a half miles.
I intend to make it an annual event. Next year’s SUDEP Awareness Walk is planned for Sunday 23rd October 2016. We hope to inspire those abroad to join us in planning their own walks.
Caron commented: “It was lovely to meet up with old and new friends. Seeing a wave of purple was reassuring, like a family. It was an honour to carry photos of loved ones for those that could not join us.”