By Claire Schofield
People and places in Leeds turned purple today in support of Purple Day, an international epilepsy awareness day.
The day saw a host of purple-themed events take place all across the UK for Epilepsy Action, with five UK landmarks turning purple in honour of the day.
Leeds’ First Direct Arena will be switching its lights to a glowing shade of purple in support of the cause, along with The Blackpool Tower, the SEE Hydro in Glasgow, Portsmouth’s Spinnaker Tower and London’s King’s Cross mainline station.
Rebecca Armstrong at Leeds Arena, said: “We are delighted to be able to light up for Purple Day to raise awareness of epilepsy and support Epilepsy Action.”
Leeds University Student, Christina Hughes, 22, from Cheshire, said: “I’m wearing purple today to help raise awareness for epilepsy. I have friends from college and school who suffer with the condition and I think this is a brilliant cause to help raise awareness. I would encourage as many people as possible to get involved.”
Purple Day, now in its sixth year, was created in 2008 by a young Canadian girl called Cassidy Megan who was diagnosed with the condition as a child.
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder associated with abnormal electrical activity in the brain and affects one in every 100 people in the UK.
To drive more positive awareness of the condition, Cassidy created the themed day and selected purple as the motif as lavender is internationally recognised as the colour of epilepsy.
Michael White, fundraising officer at Epilepsy Action, said: “Traditionally the lavender flower represents loneliness, but Purple Day is a reminder that no one has to live with epilepsy alone.”
In celebration of the purple-themed day, Epilepsy Action, the UK’s leading epilepsy organisation, is encouraging people across the country to show their support by getting involved in any way they can.
Michael White, fundraising officer at Epilepsy Action, said: “Here at Epilepsy Action, we are encouraging people to ‘turn their world purple’, whether that’s baking purple cakes or wearing something purple.”
“Every penny from Purple Day will help Epilepsy Action to continue vital work in supporting the 600,000 people with epilepsy across the UK.”
Charities, such as Epilepsy Action, help to improve the lives of those affected by epilepsy by campaigning for better quality healthcare and fairer access to education and employment.
Get involved with the event by visiting www.epilepsy.org.uk/epilepsyweek or join in with the purple fun on Facebook and Twitter using the hash tag #purpleday
For more information about the condition visit www.epilepsy.org.uk