Simons named Motor Neurone head of comms

The Motor Neurone Disease Association has appointed its first head of communications.

The Motor Neurone Disease Association has appointed its first head

of communications.



Laura Simons, former senior public affairs officer at the Consumers’

Association, will be heading up a team of ten people, reporting to chief

executive George Levvy.



Although the main focus of the organisation remains care and research

into motor neurone disease, Simons wants to raise awareness of both MND

and the association.



Simons’ appointment follows a survey of MND sufferers to establish what

role the association should play.



’People with MND wanted us to raise awareness and particularly target

health and social care professionals and policy and decision makers,’

said Simons.



Motor neurone disease affects the nerve cells in the brain and spinal

cord which control muscles. The damage to the nerve cells results in

muscle wasting, which eventually leads to an inability to function

physically.



’Seventy-seven per cent of people have heard of the disease but

understanding is very low,’ said Simons.



The association runs an information service and helpline which receives

over 4,000 calls per year.



The MND Association is currently providing support to the BBC, which is

due to start shooting a film about an MND sufferer in June, starring

Helena Bonham Carter.



’We are working very closely with Helena Bonham Carter and the rest of

the team on how MND would affect the character,’ said Simons.



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