Ed Vaizey MP Parish News November 2014

We’ve all noticed in recent years that there seem to be ever more special days and weeks set aside to remind us of particular good causes. I’ve come across two recently which particularly struck a chord with me.

The first was SUDEP Awareness Day on 23rd October. This day was set up by SUDEP Action, a charity which was set up by Jane Hanna OBE and which is based in Wantage. SUDEP Action campaigns to raise awareness and understanding of the risk of Sudden Death in Epilepsy. I was very pleased indeed to be invited to become President of SUDEP Action and to host an event at the House of Commons on 23rd October which helped MPs to understand both the risk of sudden death for those with epilepsy, and the relatively simple steps that can be taken to reduce that risk quite significantly. It was sobering to hear from families who had been bereaved through sudden death in epilepsy and inspiring to see how determined they are to help others learn from their very sad experience.

If you, or someone you know, has epilepsy even in a very mild form, please do take a look at the website www.sudep.org and spread the word about this important but little-discussed issue.

Adoption brings challenges, immense rewards and can make a huge, positive difference to the lives of children and those who adopt them. National Adoption Week, which took place from 3 – 9 November, made all of those points and more.

This is particularly important for children who often wait the longest to be adopted – sibling groups, children with disabilities, children aged 5 and over and children from some black and minority ethnic backgrounds. The campaign encouraged us all to think about, and hopefully come forward, to adopt these children and give them a loving home. As you’d expect, there’s a website for this week too where you can find more information about adoption – www.nationaladoptionweek.org.uk/adoption. If you’ve ever wondered if this might be something to consider, why not take a look at that too.

It seems that every day or week now has a special label or significance. Not all are relevant to many of us, but some really do bring an opportunity to highlight an important issue and make a real difference.

As ever please feel free to contact me on any matter at the House of Commons, SW1A 0AA, 020 7219 6350 or vaizeye@parliament.uk. Email is the quickest and most reliable way to get in touch, as I keep a very close eye on my emails and can reply very quickly. I also send out occasional general interest emails about developments in the Wantage and Didcot Constituency. If you would like to be added to the distribution list, please do email me at vaizeye@parliament.uk or sign up at www.vaizey.com. Surgery details can be found at www.vaizey.com.

And finally, as the festive season approaches, may I wish everyone a happy and peaceful Christmas and a prosperous new year.

Ed Vaizey MP

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