NI councils light up to raise awareness of Motor Neurone Disease

Belfast City Council
Belfast City Council
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Six of Northern Ireland’s eleven councils were last night lit up in honour of the 40th anniversary of the Motor Neurone Disease Association, the only charity which funds and promotes global research into MND and provides support to people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Council buildings in Antrim and Newtownabbey, Ards and North Down, Belfast City Council, Causeway Coast and Glens, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council and Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council were illuminated in either blue or blue and orange on Sunday evening to mark the event.

MND is a fatal, rapidly progressing disease that affects the brain and spinal cord.

It attacks the nerves that control movement so muscles no longer work, leaving people locked in a failing body,
unable to move, talk and eventually breathe.

More than half of those diagnosed pass away within two years and it claims the lives of 6 people every day in the UK.

There are currently around 100 people living with the terminal illness in NI, many of who are
supported by the volunteer-led NI branch.

Burnavon Arts Centre in Mid-Ulster

Burnavon Arts Centre in Mid-Ulster

Branch Chairman Stephen Thompson said: "The funds we raise help to provide specialist
equipment & services for those living with MND which are not available from statutory services.

"We also hold Afternoon Tea Support Meetings in five venues across NI to provide an opportunity for
people with MND, their families and carers to meet as well as having a team of trained Association
Visitors who keep in regular contact to provide emotional support.

“It is great to see so many of our council buildings lit up in recognition of the MND Associations
anniversary. MND is still considered a rare illness so awareness is vital to ensure we can continue to
support the people we do.”

The simultaneous illumination comes as the Northern Ireland branch of the MND Association close
in on their target of having all councils adopt the MND Charter. The five-point Charter is a statement
of the respect, care and support that people living with MND and their carers deserve and should

The first council in Northern Ireland to pledge its commitment was Belfast City Council in
2015, while only Newry, Mourne and Down and Derry City and Strabane are yet to have their
support finalised.

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