Hampshire 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 Emirates Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth harbour will be illuminated in the charity’s colours to mark PPS Day on 22 October.
Soaring some 170 metres above Portsmouth harbour and the Solent, the stunning Emirates Spinnaker Tower is taller than the London Eye, Blackpool Tower and Big Ben and in just ten years has established itself as a national icon for Britain, making the tower’s support of PPS Day invaluable in promoting 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.
“To have so many national monuments supporting us is wonderful and the news that the Spinnaker Tower is joining us too is just the icing on the cake,” said CEO of The British Polio Fellowship, Ted Hill, MBE. “The backing of such a famous landmark is going to prove invaluable in helping us to get our message out across the country and for those living with Polio and PPS, shows them they have not been forgotten.”
Sarah Webb, General Manager of Emirates Spinnaker Tower, commented: “I am delighted to be able to light for Post Polio Syndrome Awareness Day. We have a fantastic asset in the Emirates Spinnaker Tower and its ability to light different colours as it gives us the incredible opportunity to spread awareness of many worthwhile causes throughout the year.”
Emirates Spinnaker Tower is the latest in a host of national landmarks that have agreed to go turquoise in support of The British Polio Fellowship’s annual drive to promote the existence of PPS to the public and medical profession alike. Other famous structures taking part include Queen Elizabeth Hall in London’s South Bank, the Millennium Bridge in Gateshead, the tower at Gloucester cathedral and many more joining all the time.
The news of two new confirmed Polio cases in Europe this month 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.
As the centrepiece of the Renaissance Portsmouth Harbour project, Emirates Spinnaker Tower boasts three viewing decks, with 360 degree panoramic views over 23 miles of Portsmouth and the South Coast. The open air Sky Deck at 110 metres allows visitors to taste the sea air, while braver visitors can stroll over the Glass Sky Walk some 100 metres above sea level!
“The Tower has a history of supporting a number of charities and we know they 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