The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has been recognised by a national charity for its support for students living with epilepsy.

Young Epilepsy has accredited UCLan with the Epilepsy Friendly status due to its ongoing improvements with supporting students living with the condition.

Staff at the University have taken it upon themselves to learn more about the effects that life in higher education can have on young people with epilepsy.

They have done so by enrolling in Young Epilepsy’s ‘Epilepsy Friendly’ scheme which provides free epilepsy training and resources for colleges and universities across the UK.

Epilepsy can have devastating effects on young people in higher education; Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy has a high occurrence in this age range. Stress, alcohol, tiredness, lack of sleep, dehydration, forgetting to take medication can all be contributing factors.

Edd Wood, Head of Student Wellbeing Services at UCLan, said: “The achievement of the Epilepsy Friendly mark is recognition of the work our Inclusive Support Team has undertaken to ensure UCLan is accessible and that students have the right support in place to enable them to succeed.

“The commitment to specialist epilepsy training enhances the Team’s knowledge and skills enabling them to effectively work with course and accommodation teams, to ensure reasonable adjustments and support are in place. The recognition compliments the work they already do with applicants and students who have declared medical conditions such as epilepsy, as well as those with disabilities, mental health conditions and specific learning difficulties, ensuring a successful transition to University.

“The mark demonstrates our continuing commitment as an inclusive organisation, committed to providing opportunities to all.”

Chris Denyer, Partnerships and Outreach Manager at Young Epilepsy, said: “Epilepsy is a misunderstood condition that can have serious impacts for young people in higher education. They may need extra support and we want all universities across the UK to be ready and able to do just that.”

Young Epilepsy is the national charity working exclusively on behalf of children and young people with epilepsy. They are a leading provider of specialist health and education services and offer support, information resources, training for professionals and also campaign to improve access to, and quality of, health and education services.

For information around becoming Epilepsy Friendly, please visit youngepilepsy.org.uk/EFM or alternatively email lthurston2@youngepilepsy.org.uk