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Connect at the House of Lords

03 July 2009

Connect held a reception at the House of Lords on 23 June 2009 to raise awareness of aphasia with parliamentarians who heard directly from people with aphasia about the everyday issues they face living with a communication disability

Speakers at the House of Lords reception

Left to right: The Lord Speaker, Baroness Gould of Potternewton and Dr Jocelyn Cornwell, Chair of Connect Board of Trustees in The River Room, House of Lords

Over 70 Members of Parliament, Peers (Lords and Baronesses) and other guests heard speeches by the Lord Speaker, Baroness Gould, Ann Keen MP, Jocelyn Cornwell (Connect’s Chair) and Alan Hewitt, a Connect employee with aphasia, who made a powerful speech about his own experience which included how he lived for three years without being able to speak and how Connect has supported him to return to work.

People with aphasia and Connect supporters talked to guests about the challenges and inequalities people with aphasia face, not just with everyday interactions, but with wider issues such as accessing employment and travel.

Baroness Gould of Potternewton kindly sponsored the event and said 'We learnt so much this evening. Everyone in Parliament must know what aphasia is and how it affects their constituents'.

Phyllis Campbell-McRae, Chief Executive of Connect said,'We are grateful for this fantastic opportunity to talk directly to MPs and Peers about aphasia and the work we do at Connect. We plan to build relationships with Members of Parliament and Peers who have an interest in aphasia and communication disabilities, to help raise the profile of this ‘hidden’ disability in Parliament and support people with aphasia in the long-term'.  

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