The Greater London Authority’s offices have held two Unrest screenings over the past few months to raise awareness of myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME). The screenings, held for staff, took place at Union Street and City Hall, and were part of ME Awareness Week and the #MillionsMissing campaign.
Officers and staffers attended the two screenings, held in May and August respectively, and engaged in wider efforts to educate and inspire them to stand up on behalf of people with ME.
Laura Ringsell, Senior Policy and Projects Officer at the Greater London Authority, who was spearheading these efforts, said that it had been a privilege to share Unrest with her colleagues: “I made a vow when I returned to work to use this as a platform to speak up for ME/CFS sufferers. It has truly been a privilege to be able to share the film ‘Unrest’ and my own story of living with ME/CFS with colleagues at the GLA, who have opened their hearts and minds to learn about a subject they mostly knew nothing about. This is why it is vital we use our voices in whatever ways we can. It is only by telling our stories to new audiences that we can educate the public and, in turn, ensure that our suffering is no longer invisible.”
Additionally, the Greater London Authority and Ms. Ringsell shared a ME update and news story amongst the staff, read and shared by over 270 staffers at the Mayor of London office. As part of these activities, staff were made aware of the daily challenges of people living with ME, including her personal story, and a bake sale was organised to raise money for projects supporting those affect by ME.
Staffers shared some of their thoughts after watching Unrest:
“This film was eye opening, educational and heart wrenching. It was interesting to learn about how modern medicines don’t have all of the answers and the consequences that befall those affected by M.E./Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I strongly urge anyone to watch this film if you haven’t as it could affect anyone (including yourself).”
“I thought the film was a powerful and moving portrayal of the struggle for recognition and understanding for those people who are suffering from the effects of ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I would recommend to as many people as possible to watch this film to witness and understand the harsh reality of what it feels like for thousands of people to suffer this illness and how individuals cope with the difficulties it brings to their daily lives.”
Officers and staff at the Greater London Authority worked tirelessly to arrange these screening and raise awareness of ME amongst staff and we are deeply thankful for their efforts.