Date: Thursday 16 April 2015
We lent a helping hand to Matthew’s Friends, a Surrey-based charity that supports people living with severe forms of epilepsy and brain cancer, by donating £500 towards an exciting new project.
Matthew’s Friends was established in 2004 by Emma Williams, whose son Matthew (now 20) was diagnosed with the rare form of epilepsy known as Dravet Syndrome when he began having seizures at just nine months old.
After years of trying different medicines, nothing seemed to help control Matthew’s condition. That is, until Emma enrolled him onto a research trial at Great Ormond Street Hospital in 2001 to try a high fat, adequate protein, low carbohydrate diet known as the Ketogenic Diet.
Within two weeks of starting the trial, Matthew’s seizures had reduced by 90% and within eight months he was off medication altogether. Inspired by her son’s journey, Emma set up Matthew’s Friends with the hope of helping other families in a similar position, and to offer guidance about Ketogenic Dietary Therapies.
The money donated by our South East regional business unit – which is currently building high-quality homes at our Meridian Square development in Hurst Green, Surrey – will be put towards an exciting filming project that the charity has lined up.
Julie Edwards, Trustee and Deputy CEO of Matthew’s Friends, says: “It can be very daunting for people when they first start learning about the Ketogenic Diet, so we are here to provide support and guidance. We are the only UK charity that is 100% dedicated to this cause.
“Our next big project is to create a series of ‘how-to’ videos, including things like how to shop for a Ketogenic Diet and how to batch cook on a Ketogenic Diet.”
Matthew’s Friends currently offers a 24-7 support telephone helpline which is open 365 days a year, as well as an introductory DVD, several books and a starter pack for families who have recently been prescribed this medically-managed treatment. The charity also hosts conferences and meetings to educate people about the Ketogenic Diet, as well as a treatment clinic for children and adults where there is no service or long waiting lists.
“We receive no government funding so we really are reliant on donations like Taylor Wimpey’s to keep going,” says Julie. “We would like to say a very big thank you – £500 will make a massive difference. If anyone would like further information or would like to support the work of our charity, we would invite them to visit our website www.matthewsfriends.org or call 01342 836571.”
Our team at Taylor Wimpey South East generated the £500 donation by putting £25 in the pot for every visitor to our Meridian Square showhome opening weekend which took place in January.
Jason Stokes, Sales and Marketing Director for Taylor Wimpey South East, says: “We wanted to help a charity that was local to our Meridian Square development and Matthew’s Friends seemed the perfect choice.
“This wonderful charity does a fantastic job and helps so many families across the UK so we were delighted to hand over £500 towards their exciting film project.”
Meridian Square currently offers a choice of three and four-bedroom houses.