SajeImpact was delighted to be able to support "Unrest" at Loughborough University on Saturday 28th April.
The event, organised by Sarah and her team, aimed to raise awareness of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) and dispel some of the many misconceptions about the illness.
ME, commonly known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) or ME/CFS, is a devastating multi-system disease that causes dysfunction of the neurological, immune, endocrine and energy metabolism systems.
The event, #UnrestLboro , was open to the public but also targeted people within medical, political, research spheres as well as those whose day to day work might bring them into contact with people with ME.
Clinical experts in ME are far and few between, so we were delighted that Dr Nacul and Dr Lacerda from the UK ME Biobank and CureME team, travelled from London to join patient contributors, Malcolm Pullan and Sarah Reed on the Q&A panel that followed the film.
Interactive boards allowed guests to learn both from the history of ME/CFS and patients own experiences of it.
We were delighted that it was so well attended by local politicians and activists including Nicky Morgan MP and Stuart Brady (Labour PPC for Loughborough).
Nicky Morgan MP said:
" Unrest is a very powerful film which brings the reality of suffering from ME/CFS to life. Being ill is hard enough but being ill and doubted must be so difficult. I will be working with other MP's in parliament to raise ME more in Parliament"
Dr Nacul said:
" ME needs to be recognised by everyone. We need to support people with the illness and change society's attitude towards it"
Sarah Reed said;
"The challenge is always how we can get wider society to understand the many problems people with ME face and to recruit people who are well enough to campaign with us. The film is a great tool for this and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. People from all backgrounds said they had learnt a lot and that it was a real eye opener. Some have also asked how they can help further which is music to my ears!"
May is ME awareness month where the #MillionsMissing will attempt to be seen by the world and push for better research, funding and education for ME. Millions of people globally are missing from society due to ME. Some of these were represented at #UnrestLboro by sending in their footprints so guests could 'walk in their footsteps' before watching the film.
Anyone can sign the global petition calling for better equality for ME equality here
Unrest film can now be viewed on Netflix and most other media platforms.
Sarah represents #MEAction for the Forward ME group that meets in Parliament chaired by the Countess of Mar. She is also working on engaging MP's with a planned, forthcoming Parliamentary debate on ME.