I met with Ceri Hughes of Same But Different, a charity based in Delyn which raises awareness of disability and counteract prejudice through the use of the arts, and Gareth Hughes of National Lottery Wales.
Same But Different have been holding a series of exhibitions, one of which coincided with the new film highlighting facial disfigurement called ‘Wonder’. Same But Different held an exhibition at Cineworld, Broughton over Friday and Saturday (1-2 December) to raise further awareness.
Same but Different was established by photographer and marketing consultant Ceridwen Hughes (Ceridwen Hughes 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.
I have worked with Ceri in the past to bring the work of Same But Different to Parliament. This culminated in a week long display for all MPs and Peers to see, as well as visitors, in the grand Upper Waiting Hall outside the Committee rooms. This was combined with a reception in Westminster Hall.
Same But Different have been awarded a grant of £250,000 from The Big Lottery Fund Wales to highlight rare diseases through their Rare Aware programme throughout North Wales.
The film Wonder is about a child with a rare disease and how society relates to him. It was a great initiative for the charity to highlight photos in the cinema to raise awareness for cinema visitors.
Ceri has tremendous drive and passion to ensure that the arts can combat prejudice of disability. She has used her amazing talent as a photographer to help raise awareness of disability and the announcement that Same But Different has been awarded £250,000 from The Big Lottery Fund Wales is well deserved.
The Rare Aware programme that Same But Different have been undertaking ensures that awareness is raised on the 1 in 17 people who are affected by rare diseases. It is important that we remember the need to ensure that our health service is given the support its need to help those with rare diseases as all too often this may not be the case. We need to ensure that family and friends of someone with a rare disease are given care as well as the person with the disease. Only then can we ensure that we are giving the best quality care for all.
Tackling discrimination, in whatever form it takes, is vital if we are going to ensure our society is compassionate and respectful. Ceri’s work is helping us to achieve that goal.