Epilepsy Scotland by Lesslie Young

Lesslie joined Epilepsy Scotland’s training department in 2006 and was appointed Chief Executive in January 2009. Her passion for improving the life of people with epilepsy comes from personal experience. She has a daughter who has epilepsy and learning disabilities so she knows how a diagnosis of epilepsy impacts the person, their family and the community they live in. She was our speaker on Tuesday evening.

Lesslie qualified as a general nurse in 1976 and a midwife in 1978.After 10 years of being in charge of a busy specialist surgical ward, her next major posts were leading the introduction of quality assurance systems and performance indicators to hospitals in the public sector in Scotland and then in the private sector in England.

On returning to Scotland she set up a charity providing a home-based teaching system to children with learning disabilities and their families as well as a play group.

Lesslie also has an interest in how some people with epilepsy inadvertently enter the criminal justice system as a result of seizure activity and how the different agencies work with them.

This year, Epilepsy Scotland is turning 70!

That’s 70 years of support. It’s 70 years of campaigning on behalf of people living with epilepsy in Scotland. Ensuring that appropriate services and support are available and continue to fight the discrimination and stigma experienced by those living with epilepsy.

But sadly their services are still acutely needed. They must now make sure that they are moving forward together with purpose. Making lives better for people living with epilepsy and those who care for them.

History of Epilepsy Scotland

On 1 November 1954, the Scottish Epilepsy Association had its inaugural meeting at the City Chambers in Glasgow. In 1988, we moved into our current office at Govan Road in Glasgow.

During the 1980s and after going through constitutional changes, we changed our name to The Epilepsy Association of Scotland.

During this time, we were incredibly honoured to have so many eminent Scots such as Rikki Fulton, Jimmy Reid, Arthur Montford and Donald Dewar highlight the work we did, as well as helping with information events and lending their support during National Epilepsy Week.

Over the last two decades, they have launched a freephone Helpline service, Check-in serviceWellbeing service, Youth Groups in Glasgow and Edinburgh and our Welfare Rights service.

In 2021, the Epilepsy Scotland’s new SPIFOX Wellbeing Garden was opened. The garden is a space for parents to catch a minute to themselves, a place to display artwork and celebrate the creativity of the people in the community.

Mary Helen Shakespeare gave a worthy vote of thanks