New epilepsy support group to launch in Rayleigh

Mick Ferris

National charity Epilepsy Action is launching a new coffee and chat group to support people affected by epilepsy in Rayleigh and the surrounding areas. There are over 65,000 people living with epilepsy in the south-east.

The first drop-in event will be held on Wednesday September 11 from 10am to 12pm at The Roebuck on the High Street in Rayleigh. The monthly session is an opportunity for people affected by epilepsy to come together in an informal setting to support each other and share experiences.

Epilepsy Action volunteer and group leader Danni Bristow is looking forward to launching the first meeting next week and says she hopes it will be a lifeline for people in the area. Danni, 35, has had epilepsy since she was a child and knows only too well about the needs of people with the condition and the challenges they face.

“Having epilepsy has a significant impact both physically and emotionally and I know how important it is to share what you’re going through and support each other. I can’t drive to my nearest group in Basildon and I can only really talk about my epilepsy with my specialist nurse who I don’t see regularly.

“I want this new group to be there for people with epilepsy in Rayleigh and the surrounding area to meet every month and talk about what they’re going through. I also want to welcome parents with epilepsy and also parents of children with epilepsy and encourage them to share their experiences to help each other.

Whatever you’re going through, talking to people and just knowing you’re not alone makes such a difference.”

Danni also hopes the new support group will help others in the community to learn more about epilepsy and how to help someone having a seizure.

She said: “My children are now 10 and 6 and are my registered carers. They both know how to help me if I am having a seizure and it makes such a difference. I have four different types of seizures and don’t get any warnings before, so I know how important to is to be able to know what to do to help someone.

To find out more, email Danni on

Epilepsy affects around one in every 100 people in the UK and 87 people are diagnosed every day. Each year Epilepsy Action directly helps over 2 million people through a range of services, including the Epilepsy Action Helpline freephone 0808 800 5050 and website, and branch network.


Mick Ferris

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