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MPs learn to Calm, Cushion, Call

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MPs learn to Calm, Cushion, Call

From Glasgow to the south coast. From County Durham to Essex. And from the UK’s longest-serving MP to those elected this decade, MPs from the three leading parties met with the Epilepsy Society this week to learn one simple message: Calm, Cushion, Call.

For one afternoon only, a corner of Parliament turned purple as we decorated a room in Portcullis House, where MPs have their offices, with our distinctive Calm, Cushion, Call posters.
So, why were we there? For many years, we've heard from you – our supporters – that we should do more to spread awareness of epilepsy among politicians. 
Recently, we've run our law-changing, award-winning Zach's Law campaign seeking an end to anti-epilepsy trolling and have just launched FixIt4Free, calling for free dental repairs post-seizure. But we believe it is also important to increase epilepsy awareness among MPs by teaching them seizure first aid.
Our Calm, Cushion, Call message has recently been adopted by St John Ambulance as part of their national first aid training. It is simple, memorable and effective. And MPs agree with us. 
Calm, Cushion, Call
This week, to mark World First Aid Day, we took over a room in Parliament and invited MPs to drop-in and learn about seizure first aid. 

MPs who attended included Labour's Grahame Morris, Kim Leadbeater, Debbie Abrahams and Alex Sobel; the SNP's Patrick Grady; and Conservatives Paul Maynard, Rebecca Harris and Mims Davies. We were also joined by Sir Peter Bottomley, who holds the ceremonial title Father of the House, given to the current MP who has served the longest continuous period in Parliament: 48 years, in Sir Peter's case.

By far the stars of the show, however, were Jo Hardiman and Teni Majekodunmi, young women who came to the event to share with MPs their experience of living with epilepsy. 

Jo and Teni
Jo, from Bournemouth, said: 'It was amazing to be given the opportunity to step into Parliament with the Epilepsy Society team and be able to discuss Calm, Cushion, Call with different MPs. Being able to share and express our own individual stories is such a powerful way to send out our message and to get the word out. Meeting MPs in Parliament is a big step forward for us in getting our voices heard.'
And Teni, from Colchester, agreed. She said: 'I had a truly fantastic experience visiting Parliament and telling MPs about Calm, Cushion, Call. They seemed to take it all in and I feel they left the room with a firm understanding about what to do in the event of seeing someone have a seizure.'
While we have promoted our Calm, Cushion, Call message for a number of years, this was our first time explaianing seizure first aid to MPs.

Nicola Swanborough, Head of External Affairs at the Epilepsy Society, said: "We would like to thank all those MPs and their staff who joined us in parliament on Wednesday. We know that two thirds of the public who do not have a family member with epilepsy, would not know how to support someone through a seizure. That is why it is so important that our seizure first aid messaging is instantly memorable in an emergency. Those three short words could help save a life.”

“It was encouraging to see how keen the MPs were to take on ‘Calm, Cushion, Call’ and to spread awareness among their constituents.”

You can see a collection of photographs from the day below. 


Grahame Morris, Jo and TeniPaul Maynard, Jo and TeniKim Leadbeater, Jo and TeniMims Davies, Jo and Teni


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