Laura Sandys MP Recognised for National Epilepsy Awareness

Laura Sandys MP

Laura Sandys MP


London, UK – March 5, 2015 – Laura Sandys MP for South Thanet has been shortlisted from over 100 candidates this year for the 3rd Annual Grassroot Diplomat Initiative Award. The award recognises outstanding politicians and diplomats who are representing civilian interests at the highest level in areas of policy, social and business overall. A passionate and dedicated campaigner, Ms Sandys has been nominated for her ongoing work on epilepsy awareness. 

Having epilepsy herself, Ms Sandys has a deep understanding regarding the concerns surrounding this issue and has consistently been pushing the debate through parliament.  

Epilepsy affects 600,000 people in the UK, 112,000 of which are aged 25 and under and is one of the most common neurological conditions in the UK. However, epilepsy has received bad press with images of epileptics having constant violent seizures and characterising them as being drunk or disorderly. Ms Sandys notes that there is still huge stigma surrounding epilepsy which can limit opportunities and create barriers in education and employment. Children with epilepsy face exclusion and discrimination on a daily basis being taunted for being crazy or having been possessed by evil spirits. Almost 60% of children avoid going to certain places because of the discrimination they experience and even 55% of adults have said that they refrain from disclosing their condition to new people in fear of being discriminated or receiving a negative reaction. Even within Parliament itself, only one other Member of Parliament has declared to having epilepsy when statistically there should be six. 

As a way to educating and changing people’s minds about epilepsy, Ms Sandys climbed Big Ben with the aim to convey a clear message that epileptics can live normal lives with normal expectations. As the Chair of the Epilepsy All Party Group, Ms Sandys has also been leading the way in ensuring that proper diagnosis of this 40-type condition is provided to epileptics nationally. Speaking from experience, the MP has stressed that careful treatment can make the difference between someone having mild and manageable seizures controlled through medication to extreme multiple fits a day that are life threatening. Through her leadership, South Thanet which is her own constituency have amongst the best services for people with epilepsy in the country with epilepsy related A&E admissions decreasing by 60% which isn’t a common figure.

Ms Sandys is pushing hard to get epilepsy to be taken seriously both politically and in practice, particularly by the Clinical Commissioning Groups and Local Authorities’ Health and Wellbeing Boards, to provide better assessment of epileptic needs. This is and will always be an ongoing campaign for Ms Sandys but her efforts in this area has proven her to be strong champion of common neurological conditions. 

Talyn Rahman-Figueroa, Executive Director of Grassroot Diplomat, said: “All too often, we hear stories of our governments not representing our needs but Grassroot Diplomat looks upon selfless individuals who work tirelessly for their communities. The award seeks to create a culture of positive role models within our governments which encourages others in power to follow suit.”  

Join Laura Sandys MP and other government nominees for the gala dinner at The May Fair Hotel, London on Thursday 5th March 2015. For ticket information please visit: or call 07511 816689. 

Further details about the awards can be found on:


About Grassroot Diplomat

Grassroot Diplomat is a non-profit diplomatic consultancy with the mission to facilitate trust and better communication between governments and civil society. As an independent agency, Grassroot Diplomat shows no allegiance to a solitary government but will act in the interest of the people, no matter where they are or what state their country is in. We do this by developing, strengthening, and facilitating relationships between governments and civil society stakeholders on a project-by-project basis. 


Nina Maxwell
Grassroot Diplomat
Suite 16662, 145-157 St John Street, London EC1V 4PW
Voice Message: +44 (0) 207 608 5532
Mobile: +44 (0) 7402 252 789

Joshua Crossley
Office of Laura Sandys MP
Member of Parliament for South Thanet
Telephone: 020 7219 5122