What is #UniteForParkinsons?
#UniteForParkinsons is a global Parkinson’s campaign – launched on 11 April 2017 by the EPDA and Parkinson’s UK. The campaign aims to raise unprecedented awareness of Parkinson’s around the world and to grow an active global Parkinson’s community.
In 2017, our aim was to engage the international Parkinson’s community in sharing a simple social media hashtag (#UniteForParkinsons). We wanted to prove there was an appetite to work together on a common cause, and when 9,000 people from 89 countries used the #UniteForParkinsons hashtag on 11 April 2017, we knew we had created something significant, and that there was potential to develop it into something bigger.
In 2018, we built on the 2017 foundations and created a bigger and better campaign. The EPDA and Parkinson's UK teamed up with Parkinson's organisations in Africa, Australia, India and the US, including the Michael J Fox Foundation and the World Parkinson Coalition to broaden the #UniteForParkinsons campaign scope and ambition. This time, we wanted to reach the general public and turn #UniteForParkinsons into an impactful campaign to show the world what Parkinson’s truly is. We did this by creating an official #UniteForParkinsons promotional film using emotive video footage from people all over the globe. The #UniteForParkinsons film – which you can watch below – was seen 18,000 times, and we created a staggering 880,000 social media engagements.
Two concise reports outlining the results of the past two years are available for download here:
#UniteForParkinsons 2017 – Post-campaign analysis
#UniteForParkinsons 2018 – Post-campaign analysis
The 2019 and 2020 #UniteForParkinsons campaigns
It is with great sadness then that Parkinson’s UK decided not to lead another #UniteForParkinsons campaign in 2019 with the EPDA. And as a small organisation with limited resources, we were not in a position to spearhead the campaign ourselves.
As a result, the EPDA chose to support other exciting campaigns and events for World Parkinson’s Day in 2019 and 2020. For example, we became Affiliate Partners of the INSIGHT into Parkinson’s virtual summit in 2019; the online conference brought experts, academics, specialists, clinicians and, of course, people living with Parkinson’s and their carers together from the comfort of their own homes. The INSIGHT organisers used the #UniteForParkinsons hashtag as part of its marketing plans, making the event a perfect forum to keep our global campaign alive.
Also for World Day 2019, we partnered with the #UNITED for Parkinson’s campaign, which actively built on the #UniteForParkinsons success by uniting already committed Parkinson’s supporters from around the world to highlight the problems that come with misrepresenting people with Parkinson's. This campaign involved Parkinson's charities, policymakers, researchers and healthcare providers, and led to the wonderful Parkinson’s Eve conference on 10 April 2019.
In 2020, meanwhile, as part of the EPDA’s World Parkinson’s Day activities, we will be active supporters of the Parkinson’s Vision 2020 conference – an important event specifically focused on the specific concerns, challenges and needs of people living with young onset Parkinson’s (YOPD).
#UniteForParkinsons in the future?
Rest assured, the EPDA would like to plan and lead further #UniteForParkinsons campaigns in the future. In the meantime, you can still help us keep #UniteForParkinsons alive and well! How? By using the hashtag in your own World Parkinson’s Day activities! By doing so, you will help us in our efforts to lead #UniteForParkinsons in the future.
If you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you all for your continuous support!
The EPDA would like to thank the following companies for their generous financial support in 2017 and 2018, which enabled the EPDA to promote the #UniteForParkinsons campaign across the world.