EPF Youth Group: New Members, New Ideas!

As the summer winds to an end, the EPF Youth Group is preparing for its annual Fall Youth Group meeting, which will be held from 29 Sepember-1 October in Leuven, Belgium. On the menu of these two days: debriefing on the first Summer Training for Young Patient Advocates, brainstorming in preparation of next year’s edition, advocacy planning, and group governance.

The group meeting will focus on the planning of activities for 2018, which will be the second year of work on non-discrimination. The group will discuss potential projects, festivals, and speaking engagements for the coming year - all part of the Youth Group’s outreach and advocacy activities. The group will also discuss their experiences at the first EPF Summer Training Course for Young Patient Advocates, held in July in Vienna - and develop ideas on how to improve this event for greater impact in the next Course to be held in Summer 2018.

The Youth Group also welcomed two new members over the course of the summer. The first is Sophie Ainsworth, a young lupus patient from the United Kingdom who will represent Lupus Europe. Sophie is already an accomplished patient advocate who has been involved in projects on clinical trials and has presented to the European Medicines’ Agency on the importance of patient involvement in research. Her most ambitious work is RAiISE, a campaign she founded last year which aims to raise awareness of invisible illness in schools and education.

The second new member is Nathalie Schwarz, a young Crohn’s disease patient representing EPF member (the European Federation of Crohn's & Ulcerative Colitis Associations – EFCCA). At national level, Nicole is a member of the DDCV (German Crohn's and Colitis Association) and will have much expertise to contribute to the Youth Group, as she currently manages the activities of DDCV members between the ages of 16 and 30.

We welcome our new members and look forward to working closely with them to support EPF’s Youth Strategy!

For more information about the EPF Youth Group, please contact Danielle Flores, EPF Project Officer, Danielle.flores@eu-patient.eu.