East Sussex is the latest county to be getting involved in preparations for this year’s Post Polio Syndrome (PPS) Day organised by The British Polio Fellowship, with the announcement that the Brighton Wheel on the seafront below East Cliff will be illuminated in the charity’s colours to mark PPS Day on Thursday 22 October.
Some 50 metres above sea level, the Brighton Wheel has established itself as a spectacular new attraction and a great way to see some of the principal landmarks of Brighton and the South coast generally. The air conditioned capsules provide three revolutions per sky voyage, with commentary by Steve Coogan. Brighton is a hugely popular destination and seaside resort and as part of the largest local authority in South East England, the support of the Wheel for PPS Day is a massive boost to the charity as it aims to shine a spotlight on the needs of some 120,000 people in Britain living with PPS – a debilitating neurological condition affecting the same number of people as Parkinson’s yet, receives only a fraction of the attention.
“The news that the Brighton Wheel is supporting our PPS Day campaign this year is fantastic news,” said CEO of The British Polio Fellowship, Ted Hill, MBE. “Iconic structures and buildings throughout Britain have kindly offered to help and thanks to the Brighton wheel we can literally say we have our message up in lights for the whole of the South East of England. It helps our efforts to show that those living with Polio and PPS in Britain today have not been forgotten.”
On behalf of the Brighton Wheel, General Manager Delso Da Silva said: “We are pleased to be able to illuminate the Brighton Wheel for Post Polio Syndrome Awareness Day. Brighton can boast a fantastic asset in the Brighton Wheel and we are happy to help The British Polio Fellowship with such a worthwhile cause on a special day for the charity and its members.”
The Brighton Wheel is the latest in a host of national landmarks that have agreed to see their structures in a different light in support of The British Polio Fellowship’s annual drive to raise awareness amongst the public and medical profession of PPS. Other famous structures taking part include the Emirates Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth; Queen Elizabeth Hall in London’s South Bank; the Millennium Bridge in Gateshead, the tower at Gloucester cathedral and the Falkirk wheel in Scotland. Many more are joining all the time.
The news of two new confirmed Polio cases in Europe in September has brought Polio back to the public mind and shows that there is still a long way to go before Polio is defeated. The news also helps to highlight the needs of the thousands in Britain still living with the late effects of Polio and PPS, something PPS Day each year looks to address by taking the message to the four corners of the UK.
Now in its third year, PPS Day was marked at the House of Commons in 2014 and this year will be at The Welsh Assembly, supported by Assembly Member Mark Isherwood, AM.
At 45m in diameter, 50m above sea level and with 36 capsules (including a luxury VIP capsule), the Brighton Wheel is a major new tourist attraction offering breathtaking, panoramic views of the city’s famous landmarks and stunning coastline by day and by night. Previously installed in Paris and at the World Cup in South Africa, it’s taken more than £6 million of investment to bring the wheel to Brighton.
“We know the Brighton Wheel must have many demands on their time, so we are very grateful for their support,” added Ted. “With the sheer number of Iconic buildings on board, this year’s PPS Day is set to be the best yet. It is never plain sailing for those living with PPS, but this year it feels like we have taken another big step towards making the country aware of their needs.”
The British Polio Fellowship provides support and information for its members along with others in the UK who live with the late effects of Polio and PPS. The charity is still welcoming buildings wishing to take part in this year’s PPS Day and anyone interested should contact Fatema at The British Polio Fellowship on 0800 043 1935 for more information.
To find out more about The British Polio Fellowship and to learn about the late effects of Polio and Post Polio Syndrome visit the charity’s website at www.britishpolio.org.uk