The British Polio Fellowship is holding a unique event at The House of Commons on Wednesday 22 October to mark Post Polio Syndrome (PPS) Day and celebrate 75 years of the charity supporting those living with the late effects of Polio and PPS in the UK. Hosted by Andrew Love, MP the event culminates a year of events marking the charity’s special anniversary in 2014 and the campaign to see PPS more widely recognised.
The event is being held in Terrace Dining Room A from 4.00pm to 6.00pm and brings together over 90 friends, members, MPs and supporters of The British Polio Fellowship guests to hear a welcome from Andy Love MP at 5.00pm, followed by a speech by Robin Luff, chair of The British Polio Fellowship expert panel at 5.15. Attendees will include Paralympians Anne Wafula Strike, MBE and James Crisp plus QVC presenter and author Julia Roberts and many more influential figures from the charity and medical profession.
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“To be able to mark this year’s PPS Day at the Palace of Westminster is a fitting way to round off our 75th anniversary year and we are very grateful for all Andy’s efforts on our behalf,” said Ted Hill, MBE, CEO of The British Polio Fellowship. “Being able to take our message to the very heart of government is vital if we are to deliver real change and the importance of this event in our PPS campaign cannot be overestimated.”
The event builds on the work done this year to promote the needs of those living with Polio and PPS and on the Early Day Motion introduced by Andy in October 2013. Receiving widespread cross party support, the EDM recognised the charity’s work; calling on the Department for Health to bring forward a strategy to address the needs of those suffering from PPS and to publicise those needs within the medical profession.
Whilst the worldwide struggle for Polio eradication continues, the MP for Edmonton believes a greater understanding of PPS amongst healthcare professionals is needed to tackle the problem more effectively. Speaking in advance of the event, Andrew Love MP said: “The British Polio Fellowship has worked hard over the years to provide practical support for those suffering from Polio and PPS. It is a pleasure to host this event and look forward to seeing some of my fellow MPs on the day who will be able to meet some of those still living with Polio and PPS first hand.”
Whilst vaccination has put a stop to new cases of Polio, there are still approximately 120,000 people in the now affected by Post Polio Syndrome (PPS) and The British Polio Fellowship is on hand to help those facing a new battle against PPS; launched PPS Day to help raise awareness of their needs of a condition that affects the same number of people as Parkinson’s disease, but at the moment, is much less well known.
“This event is important to us in so many ways,” added Ted. “It is a chance to remind everyone of The British Polio Fellowship’s achievements over the last 75 years of our history and to say thank you to those who have supported us and continue to do so on this journey we are on to confront PPS. This is just the beginning. The battle to beat Polio worldwide continues. We have a new battle here in the UK to beat PPS and it is a struggle on behalf of our members we are determined to win.”
Dealing effectively with Polio and PPS needs to be a combined effort between charity and government and in a year in which The British Polio Fellowship has been ‘sowing the seeds of hope’ the charity anticipates that PPS Day 2014 will provide a platform to make PPS a talking point in the corridors of power. Parkinson’s has instant recall with the public and everyone knows what it is. Yet around the same number of people are suffering with the debilitating neurological condition that is PPS in silence. This is the ‘education challenge’ the charity looks to address with PPS Day.
“Surviving Polio is just half the battle for many people and we must ensure that they are given the help and support they need to face the new challenges that PPS presents,” added Ted. “PPS Day is an excellent way to start the ball rolling and start a conversation with MPs, the medical profession and the wider public.”
The British Polio Fellowship is a charity dedicated to helping, supporting and empowering those in the UK living with the effects of Polio and PPS. For more details or information on The British Polio Fellowship, call us on 0800 043 1935, email at email@example.com or visit the website at www.britishpolio.org.uk