A message from Claire Halpin
I would like to say a huge thank-you to everyone who came to, or was involved in the Parliamentary Lobby on Tuesday. Especially I would like to thank: Jennifer Bryant-Pearson, the 3 James', Patrick and the rest of the team at JBP who organised the event; to Geoffrey Clifton-Brown who hosted it; and to the inspiring and moving speakers who took part. It was a fantastic event, and one that Les would have enjoyed immensely - I am just a little sad that he wasn't able to be there.
The campaign was launched only 18 months ago, and has achieved an awful lot in the time it has been going. I know that there are a lot of groups and organisations working to achieve the same and similar aims as Empower and it is largely thanks to all of these putting pressure on the Government that we have achieved the recent breakthrough - the Governments Early Access Scheme. It seems to me that what Empower brought to the table, was the bringing-together of many of these groups, to form a collaboration of people working together for a common aim.
As those of you who knew Les will know, he was a great networker. Many was the time when I heard him in conversation with people and posed with the question 'what can we do about...this or that', say 'I know someone who might be able to help you with that - I'll put you in contact with them'. A good friend of mine once said to me that Les was one of the most charismatic people he knew. I could never see that of course, but there must have been something in it because everywhere he went, he made new friends, and what's more, kept in touch with them. So by the time he reached his mid-40s, he had this huge circle of friends and acquaintances, and he took great pleasure in introducing people to one another whenever he found that they had a common cause or interest.
Don’t forget you can show your support for the manifesto on Change.org http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/uk-government-and-european-medicines-agency-put-patients-at-the-heart-of-medical-innovation-3
You can also encourage your MP to show their support for Empower by signing this Early Day Motion http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2013-14/1250