A Turners Hill nurse is celebrating after winning the Best Practice category at the Young Epilepsy Champions Awards 2016.
Kirsten McHale is the clinical nurse specialist for epilepsy and neurodisability for children and young people at East Surrey Hospital.
She was awarded for her tireless efforts to raise awareness of epilepsy and educating those living with the condition as well as fighting the stigma associated with epilepsy.
She is actively involved with organising meetings with fellow epilepsy nurse specialists for peer support and advice, case discussions as well as sharing best practice.
Kirsten also provides epilepsy training for schools and is available for families to contact with their questions, concerns about epilepsy management, training or support.
In her own time she has organised events for young people with epilepsy to bring them together, share their experiences, make new friends and to stop them from feeling alone. Since joining East Surrey, she has impacted over 200 young lives.
Kirsten said: “It feels absolutely overwhelming to win and the evening was very emotional for me.
“I thought I was just doing my job but to know I am making even a small difference to the families I work with, I know I’m doing my job well.
“The Young Epilepsy Champions Awards are about raising awareness and I am thrilled to be recognised with the Best Practice Award.”
Now in its fourth year, the Young Epilepsy Champions Awards celebrate the achievements of those living with epilepsy, their families, carers, teachers and support networks.
Their aim is to recognise those who are fighting discrimination and are facing the daily challenges that living with the condition can bring.
Chief executive of Young Epilepsy Carol Long said: “Congratulations to all of the Young Epilepsy Champions 2016. We have had hundreds of nominations from across the UK and this year the judges had a particularly tough time choosing the winners.
“Every single winner and finalist are truly inspiring people doing incredible things for the epilepsy community.
“These awards highlight the importance of creating a better understanding of the condition and, in turn, bring focus on the great work that is going on all across the UK.”
Epilepsy is the world’s most common neurological affecting 112,000 children and young people in the UK.
For more information, visit youngpilepsy.org.uk