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Norwich’s City Hall illuminated blue and orange to raise awareness of Motor Neurone Disease

PUBLISHED: 23:39 21 June 2018 | UPDATED: 23:39 21 June 2018

City Hall was illuminated in blue and orange to mark Global Motor Neurone Disease Awareness Day. Pic: Archant.

City Hall was illuminated in blue and orange to mark Global Motor Neurone Disease Awareness Day. Pic: Archant.

Archant

City Hall in Norwich was illuminated blue and orange to mark a worldwide day to raise awareness of motor neurone disease.

Campaigners and councillors join Lord Mayor Martin Schmierer on the steps of City Hall. Pic: Jo Heal.Campaigners and councillors join Lord Mayor Martin Schmierer on the steps of City Hall. Pic: Jo Heal.

Thursday was the annual Global MND Awareness Day, and the Grade II* listed headquarters of Norwich City Council was lit up in the colours of the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Representatives from the association were joined on the steps of City Hall by Lord Mayor of Norwich Martin Schmierer and members of the city council, including deputy leader Gail Harris, Liberal Democrat group leader James Wright and Labour councillors Julie Brociek-Coulton and Jacob Huntley.

Motor neurone disease (MND) is a fatal, rapidly progressing disease that affects the brain and spinal cord, attacking the nerves that control movement so muscles no longer work.

It kills a third of people within a year and more than half within two years of diagnosis.

Tracey Snelling marking Global MND Awareness Day at Sainsbury’s . Pic: Sue Heal.Tracey Snelling marking Global MND Awareness Day at Sainsbury’s . Pic: Sue Heal.

It affects up to 5,000 adults in the UK at any one time and kills six people every day. There is no cure.

Sue Heal, who lost her husband Jim to Motor Neurone Disease in 2012, began volunteering with the Norfolk, Norwich and Waveney Branch of the Motor Neurone Disease Association shortly after his death.

She said: “The support and friendship offered to us by the wonderful volunteers at the branch meant so much to us whilst Jim was alive.

I would encourage anyone affected by the disease either living with MND or as family, friends and carers to keep in touch – we are there to help.”

The illumination marked one year since Norwich City Council began supporting the MND Charter, joining King’s Lynn Borough Council – and 18 months since Norfolk County Council voted to support the charter.

Since then Broadland and South Norfolk District Councils have also lent their support to the charter and the association is hoping Breckland Council, North Norfolk District Council and Great Yarmouth Borough Council will pledge support soon.

The Norfolk, Norwich and Waveney Branch of the MND Association has been the charity of the year for the Sainsbury’s branch in Queens Road, Norwich.

They marked Global MND Awareness Day by allowing employee, Tracey Snelling, to dress in blue and orange whilst she worked.

The association said they were grateful to her for raising £675 for the branch by staying silent at her till one day last year.

She helped raise awareness of the difficulties faced by many diagnosed with MND, including the association’s late patron Prof Stephen Hawking, who lose their ability to speak.

Sally Light, Chief Executive at the MND Association, said: “It is essential that we raise awareness of MND so people understand what a devastating disease it is. Together we can make a real difference for people affected by MND and we are grateful for the amazing support of our volunteers”.

The Motor Neurone Disease Association is the only national charity in England, Wales and Northern Ireland focused on MND care, research and campaigning.

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