Our HOPE sessions provide a safe space for families to socialise, reduce isolation, build relationships, share information, access support and guidance and most importantly for children to have some fun!
The sessions are held once a month on a Sunday at Oakleigh School from 2-4pm. We provide lunch, courtesy of Warburtons one of our fantastic supporters, as well as entertainment for the children. With the support of our volunteers, children are encouraged to explore the fantastic facilities we have available at Oakleigh school. These include a soft play room, craft tables and adapted playground with climbing frames, trikes and various outdoor games. Teenagers can hang out, watch a film, play on the Wii, use the art resources and chill in the quiet spaces. There is even the opportunity for teenagers to volunteer to set up a HOPE Session, find out more in Teenage Corner.
These sessions are also a much needed chance for parents to meet other parents, talk to some of our medical experts or to have a bit of respite while our volunteers entertain the children and maybe even have a little pamper at the nail bar.
For HOPE session dates please go to our EVENTS calendar.
We also organise daytrips throughout the year to exciting venues local to the London area. So far we have been lucky enough to visit Legoland Windsor, London Zoo, Diggerland, The Science museum. We know that outings can sometimes be stressful or overwhelming for our children and families, so we work closely with the venues to make sure that the visit is as seamless as possible. Check out our GALLERY page to see some of the fantastic days out we've organise.
The whole family are welcome, please click below for our upcoming events.
At the HOPE sessions, teenagers can take part in the activity of the day or choose to hang out and watch a film, play on the Wii or challenge one of our volunteers to a game of choice. They are welcome to use the art resources to paint or draw and there are quiet spaces available to finish homework or plan projects.
We always have epilepsy professionals on hand to offer advice and Alex Cox has kindly offered free and confidential counselling for young people who attend HOPE.
We also offer the exciting opportunity for teenagers to volunteer to set up a HOPE Session, which is great experience for their CV for college and university. Contact us if you would like to find out more.
A MESSAGE FROM ALEX COX - HOPE Trustee
I have worked with Young Epilepsy for the last ten years and during that time have supported countless young people on their journey. One thing we know is that talking about what troubles you can really help. It’s why we offer counselling and mentoring sessions which are a safe space where teenagers can discuss how they feel about their seizures and talk about ways to manage when things are feeling tough.
I have also been part of support groups that run both locally and online. One of the main goals of these support groups is giving young people a chance to meet others with their condition. It sounds crazy, but so many young people have never met someone else with epilepsy. Seeing young people sharing advice and giving each other ideas on how to cope can be really powerful.
Life can be really hard. If you feel down sometimes or are struggling, that’s okay. It is okay to feel not-okay sometimes. It might be helpful to reach out to someone you trust and share how you are feeling. There is no shame in getting some help if you feel you need it. You can speak with your GP about getting counselling or discuss other options, or reach out to one of the epilepsy charities for support. Remember that you are not alone.