The lack of ataxia awareness in the UK has an astonishing impact on people who live with the condition. Their confidence, self-esteem and willingness to socialise is constantly challenged. Even the ability to leave the house, go abroad, or drive a car without being mistakenly arrested for being drunk and disorderly can go out of the window.
All because the general public don't understand their symptoms.
If you want to stop people with ataxia being mistreated by their employers; mistakenly kept overnight in airports or prison cells; told they can't achieve anything in life; refused alcohol while sober; denied welfare because their symptoms fluctuate; kicked out of bars and clubs while out with their mates; assumed to be cognitively impaired because they use a wheelchair; accused of lying and - perhaps worst of all, be misdiagnosed - then help people our public become ataxia aware.
International Ataxia Awareness Day
Every year on 25 September, people affected by ataxia, researchers and members of ataxia-related organisations join forces across the globe to shout about the condition.
Last year, many of our Support Groups and Branches held awareness stalls in cities, went for trips out wearing their Ataxia UK t-shirts, or took to social media and joined in on our digital campaign.
This is the perfect day of the year to centre your events and awareness activities around. Ataxia UK can help you contact local press and promote your event, if you do!
Our Methods Work
If you collaborate with Ataxia UK to raise awareness, you're in for a winner:
- Our last poll in mid-2016 showed that ataxia awareness on a national scale stood at 9%
- In 2017, we collaborated with our South West Branch to run a local awareness campaign in Exeter that rose local levels of ataxia awareness to 41%. We held another local campaign in 2018 in Derby. Where are we headed next?
- On International Ataxia Awareness Day 2018, we ran a digital awareness campaign with the help of some generous celebrities and the wonderful world-renowned TBWA marketing agency. This led to 359% more visitors coming to our website, 89% of whom were doing so for the first-time.
- ... After all that, we conducted another survey at the end of 2018 to discover that ataxia awareness on a national scale had risen to 15%.
Those are big numbers to get over two years. And we're not done yet!
Why not join us?
Ways you can help
Spreading the word doesn't always mean leafleting shoppers in the street - it can be done in many ways, that often double up as fun. Click on the boxes below to find a way you can raise awareness of ataxia, no matter who or where you are in the world. Or, better yet, sign up to our Ambassadors Project (launching in 2019) to train up and become an official spokesperson for the charity.