Northumberland County Council has become the first local authority in the north to adopt the Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Charter .
The council is a key service provider for people with MND and its adoption of the charter signals a clear commitment to transform lives, by working with other organisations to support those who are living with the disease and their carers.
MND is a fatal, rapidly progressing disease which affects the brain and spinal cord. It affects up to 5,000 adults in the UK at any one time, and six people die every day from the disease.
Councillors have an important role to play in helping to shape the services which people with MND rely on, such as social care, housing, healthcare and public transport, as well as supporting the Champion the Charter campaign.
The five-point charter was launched to improve people’s understanding of the disease as well as the care and support on offer, by coordinating efforts and improving local standards of care.
Colin Hardy, from Berwick, is the campaigns contact volunteer for the MND Association Group. As a carer for his sister, he has campaigned tirelessly to get local authorities to adopt the MND Charter.
Colin said: "As somebody who has lost family and friends to this disease, I am so proud of Northumberland County Council for making this commitment. It means there will be a more joined-up approach to providing care for people with MND and a better quality of life for people living with terminal and long-term illnesses in Northumberland.
"The campaign has been an amazing journey and it should encourage everyone out there who is affected by MND. It’s a massive landmark by a forward-thinking council and a beacon for others to follow.
CounSusan Dungworth, cabinet member for adult care and public health at Northumberland County Council, added: "I am delighted that we have agreed to adopt the charter, in response to Colin's campaign. It is essential that we all work together to promote a better understanding of MND and look at ways to improve the standard of care and treatment on offer for people who live with it."
For further information, visit www.mndassociation.org/mndcharter