Voluntary Sector: Ann Conroy pulls in celeb support

Neurological charity The Ann Conroy Trust is set to embark on its first national PR campaign this month.

The trust, which provides advice and support to sufferers of rare brain conditions Arnold-Chiari Malformation (ACM) and Syringomyelia, is using its 25th anniversary to raise its profile.

It has appointed Dutch PR founder Paul Simpson, who underwent neuro-surgery for ACM in 1997, to run the campaign on a pro bono basis. Simpson has also joined the board of trustees.

He will focus on raising awareness among medical professionals, carers and sufferers. 'A lot of sufferers don't realise there is a charity to help people with these rare neurological conditions,' he said.

'We want to ensure people are aware that these conditions are treatable, and that they needn't suffer alone,' he added.

Pride and Prejudice actress Joanna David, who was treated for ACM 12 years ago, is endorsing the campaign as the charity's patron.

The campaign is also supported by BBC TV and radio presenter Nicky Campbell, who is taking part in a 420-mile sponsored walk from Mizen Head to Malin Head in Ireland.

Syringomyelia is linked with spinal cysts, while ACM causes the base of the skull to exert excess pressure on the brain.

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