Today I welcomed Mold based charity “Same But Different’ to the Houses of Parliament on the launch day of their exhibition in the Upper Waiting Hall in the Palace. This was then followed by a reception in Westminster Hall.
Same but Different was established by photographer and marketing consultant Ceridwen Hughes (Ceridwen Barkley Photography). This project is personal to Ceridwen as her son, Isaac, has a rare syndrome called Moebius. From the moment Isaac was born she recognised that people made assumptions about him because of the way he looked and behaved. Having met many parents over the years who felt the same frustrations, she decided to use her skills to raise awareness of the people behind the conditions and counteract prejudice.
The most recent project Ceridwen has undertaken is ‘The Rare Project’. This project is designed to make people aware of the 1 in 17 people, or 7% of the population, who will be affected by a rare disease at some point in their lives. This equates to approximately 3.5 million people in the UK and 30 million people across Europe. There are between 6,000 and 8,000 known diseases which means collectively they affect a considerable number of people.
As awareness around a condition grows so too does acceptance. The aim of this project is to shine a light on some of these conditions and also highlight that just because a person has a disability it should not be all that people see. Ceridwen wants to introduce the person behind the condition.
The event was also attended by CLIMB. CLIMB is focused on leading patient organisation for Inherited Metabolic Disorders, supporting thousands of patients worldwide.
The exhibition was well attended and saw the Minister of State for Health, Nicola Blackwood MP, pay a visit. Giving Ceridwen an opportunity to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing people with rare diseases.
It was a pleasure to welcome Ceridwen from Same But Different to Parliament. I really enjoyed being able to facilitate both the reception in Westminster Hall and the exhibition space in the Upper Waiting Hall.
Ceridwen has worked tirelessly to bring her exhibition to life. The exhibition that Ceri has put on is excellent, and one of the best I have seen. Not only is Ceri a fantastic photographer, but she is a dedicated and passionate campaigner.
Same But Different, under Ceri’s leadership, has harnessed the arts to raise awareness of disability and counteract prejudice. This is sadly all too often an overlooked subject matter within the world of disabilities and it is so important that Ceri’s charity can continue to go from strength to strength. I hope this event will be but a small stepping stone along her journey in increasing the profile of Same But Different.
Ceridwen Hughes said:
“I am extremely grateful to David Hanson for his help and support. Especially in hosting the event and my exhibition in Parliament. This was an amazing opportunity to raise awareness and meet the Minister responsible.
“The aim of Same But Different is to raise awareness of the impact of rare diseases in mainstream society. This project is designed to give a voice to those who are often unheard and to bring communities together.”