It has been an extremely busy year for FND Action, and we have come a long way rapidly from starting up the charity in October 2016. With only a handful of unpaid volunteers, most of whom have FND / NEAD themselves, we have made great strides in raising awareness and supporting people diagnosed. We also held a UK FND Awareness Day on the 25th March and have lots more planned for March 2018.
Our peer support network on Facebook is continuously growing, and in just over a year stands at around 2,700 members from across the UK over 4 support groups. The kindness and support offered to each other is invaluable.
Our website is continuously growing by adding more content and keeping information up to date, and averaging 200+ page views per day.
Throughout the year we have had the opportunity to connect with many medical professionals by attending conferences, meeting them directly, and attending public events to raise awareness. As an example, in September we attended the 3-day 3rd International Conference on Functional Neurological Disorders which took place in Scotland. Over 500 delegates attended from across 5 continents, so you can imagine the size of our contact list now!
Functional Neurological Disorders, including Non-Epileptic Attack Disorder, have for far too long been hidden between Neurology and Psychology, leaving thousands of people of all ages feeling dismissed and left to care for themselves, or offered medical treatments and therapies which have not helped. Some have got better by finding ways to manage their symptoms and triggers, but ‘some’ is not good enough as it should be the case for ‘all’.
The positive news is all people we have spoken to want to know more and support the cause, and the medical professionals we have spoken to want to help more and offer better treatments … but it will unfortunately take time to reach all areas of the UK, and more research is desperately needed to understand the condition and find the best treatments.
We would like to say a massive thank you to all those who have supported us; people diagnosed and their family and friends, medical professionals, other charities and the public alike. Your support and encouragement has given us the strive to continue with our work.
Our huge thanks also go to all those who have donated and fundraised for us. In 2017 we have received over a staggering £6,000! These funds have gone towards raising awareness through the distribution of leaflets and information to the public and medical professionals, and providing support and awareness materials to those who have been diagnosed. Again, without your generosity we would not be able to do what we do to help those diagnosed.
If you are able to spare some time to volunteer with FND Action in whatever capacity, or if you yourself would like to raise awareness and would like our help with getting started, please do get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wishing you all a happy new year, and wishing for healthier days for all those who have been diagnosed.
We look forward to how much we can achieve in 2018!