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Awareness Week 2013

Awareness Week 2013 was a huge success with hundreds of people getting involved in activities every day of the week, and thousands talking about hemiplegia at schools, work, online... We had extensive media coverage and many celebrities and public figures took part and supported the HemiHelp community in so many ways. Here is what we got up to!

Mitten Monday

Even someone as potty as me got a reaction when I walked into the Pilates class with a large green and white striped oven glove on my hand - they just had to ask!!! A primary school teacher at the class was very interested as she had heard of cerebral palsy but not of hemiplegia, and had some children with additional needs in her school.

mitten monday

Interestingly a friend of the Pilates instructor has a daughter aged 5 who had just been diagnosed the previous week after an MRI scan. The parents had never heard of hemiplegia and were devastated but relieved to finally have some answers. The Pilates instructor is going to suggest they contact HemiHelp. Julie, grandmother

I just wanted to say a big thank you for inspiring me to take part in Mitten Monday. […] I was successful in managing my underwear, trousers with zips and button and belt. I managed this as I had a technique using my hips and legs successfully. However, I realise this may be a bit difficult for my daughter and many others who have poor balance and coordination. I also recognise that this took a lot more time than I had imagined.

[…] At times, I get quite infuriated by my daughter not doing up her school coat especially when raining. However, I can now understand, as I too couldn’t master the zip and spent the day wandering around with my coat flapping. I now understand how annoying zips are and, more importantly, Mum nagging.

Thank you once again for giving me the opportunity to reflect and make changes for the better. Andrea, mum

Tuesday - Put Up a Poster Day


On Tuesday, at least 46 posters were put up across the country, mainly in GP surgeries.

Wednesday - It’s OK to Ask

Today as part of Hemiplegia Awareness Week, I did a presentation in front of my class at college. I was really nervous, but I feel it was a massive achievement as now 27 extra people know about hemiplegia, and I got some really good questions! Ella, 16

Jessica is 14 months younger than her brother Michael, who has hemiplegia, and they are so close […] During Hemiplegia Awareness Week Jessica stood up in her whole school assembly and spoke about hemiplegia and HemiHelp. Now Michael would often get children from the other years at school asking him questions about his hemiplegia. He thinks this is good as they now know the reason why he walks with a limp and his arm is behind his back. […] Tanya, mum

Thursday - My Way

I just wanted to let you know that my son's teacher asked him if she could play the My Way film to his Year 2 classmates (I let the school know about it at an IEP meeting at school) and the whole class got to watch it on Friday. The school’s SENCO/Deputy Head is also going to put an article in their newsletter about hemiplegia. This goes to all parents and carers! Mary, mum - Click here to watch the video.

Friday - Cake and Conversation


Held a cake sale for Hemiplegia Awareness Week today and have raised £90 (hoping to double that on Friday with a samsosa and pakora sale!) Thought I would share this photo from today. Was really good to make more people that I work with aware of the condition and how it affects my son. Emily, mum

As well as being a creative media student I am also a radio broadcaster and a presenter of a drive time show on Castledown radio in Wiltshire. For Awareness Week, Castledown radio kindly agreed to broadcast HemiHelp across the airways. There are thirty shows broadcast each week meaning HemiHelp was the big talking factor on all the shows. On Tuesday, I presented a show with two phone interviews, with John Adams (HemiHelp previous CEO) and with Andrea Dart (active HemiHelp member and parent of a 9-year-old with hemiplegia). HemiHelp and the radio station kindly tweeted about the interviews and within minutes we had re-tweets from big companies in Wiltshire as well as the BBC in our local area! Colin, 17


Other highlights

  • Members of the Scottish Parliament donned mittens to support Hemiplegia Awareness Week, and a number of them featured pieces about hemiplegia on their websites or blogs
  • Celebrities wore a mitten to support Hemiplegia Awareness Week
  • 129,680 people saw a story on Facebook about hemiplegia
  • At least 7 articles appeared in local newspapers making a total readership of 169,456 people
  • 7,218 visitors came to the HemiHelp website (almost three times the regular weekly visits)
  • At least 11 websites and 9 blogs featured pieces about hemiplegia, including 3 local Neurological Alliance branches and the Small Charities Coalition
  • 1,494 people watched the ‘My Way’ video on YouTube Almost £7,500 was raised by our members and supporters

A massive thank you to everyone who helped spread the word! Watch this space for more details about Hemiplegia Awareness Week 2014.

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