The Meath Epilepsy Charity is a unique and specialist care home in Godalming, which supports adults who live with complex epilepsy and disabilities to live as independently as possible. In addition to providing specialist residential care and supported living services, they also welcome day clients to their dedicated ‘Skills Centre’. The people who are supported by The Meath are enabled to access a broad range of daily, life enriching activity sessions, both at the Skills Centre and at their popular furniture up-cycling High Street Social Enterprise ‘Changing Perceptions’.
The need to live a fulfilled life is one that is universally shared, regardless of living with epilepsy, a disability and whether one lives at a care home or not. Yet The Meath find that often, people are surprised to learn that the people they support are enabled to achieve so much. As Helen Jackson, Marketing Manager explains, “All too often when I say to people that The Meath is a care home, they imagine the people we support sitting in winged back chairs and watching daytime television. While, for some people who are elderly, that might be a comfortable scenario, but The Meath is a care home for adults of all ages and the people we support are keen to embrace the many opportunities they have to create, discover, learn and challenge themselves every day.”
The people who are supported by The Meath have a lot to contend with, such as experiencing frequent seizures, living with physical or learning disabilities, attending many medical appointments, medication, diet changes and pain management. These experiences serve to make the people who are supported by The Meath all the more determined to have the best day possible and to embrace the many opportunities they have.
Despite the daily skills sessions and outings being so vital for the people they support, statutory care packages cover only the basic requirements of life and do not stretch to the full cost of these activities.
So how does the charity overcome the misconceptions surrounding epilepsy, disability and care homes, in order to increase awareness and fundraise to sustain these vital, life enriching services for the people they support?
One answer, it turns out, is to enlist the pro bono support of two advertising executives and an innovative and inclusive production company to create their very own, short but punchy little film. In under 1 minute, the joyously life affirming film ‘Capable of More’ sees Meath resident Sean shrug off (and destroy) some of the stereotypes that come with living with complex epilepsy and disabilities in a care home, and empowers him to grab life’s steering wheel.
The Meath created the film, along with a ‘Behind the Scenes’ film a year ago but the release was put on hold due to the unexpected and unwelcome arrival of COVID-19. One very strange and tragic year on, The Meath feel that the film is all the more pertinent to today’s viewer. Tania Cantoni, Head of Fundraising & Marketing at The Meath, explained that the film release was well timed for an important day for the epilepsy charity, “We’re thrilled to have rolled out our film in time for International Epilepsy Awareness Day (Purple Day), on 26th March. In general, Epilepsy still has a low profile, but Purple Day goes some way to making the unseen neurological condition, visible. We cannot see epilepsy, only some of its symptoms and these are just the very tip of the iceberg. Hopefully, our short film will grab lots of attention this Purple Day and encourage people to find out more about The Meath and epilepsy.”
Star of the film Sean is proud to play a central role in the film as he feels that it shows that people who have epilepsy and a disability can exceed expectations. Momentarily casting aside his role in this important messaging, he could not quite resist adding “I also love how cool I look driving the roller, I can’t wait for my girlfriend to see it!”
To see The Meath’s ‘Making of Capable of More’ and ‘Behind the Scenes’ film or to find out more about epilepsy and the work of the charity visit www.meath.org.uk