24 hours in Brussels

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If you’re looking for city-break tips about Brussels you’ll be disappointed, but read on for an insight into my first foreign photography assignment…

Did you know that the very first European Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day was on 8th September?

Well, earlier this month I accompanied the Heart Valve Voice charity to the European Parliament, where they teamed up with their European partners to present their heart valve disease manifesto to MEPs.


And it was literally a 24-hour whirlwind trip for me!

It started with a grown up (ie no kids) train journey. Just a 2-hour hop on the Eurostar from the impressive St.Pancras station to the not so beautiful (and about 5 times bigger) Brussels Midi station.

All my gear was carefully packed for the trip, but I did manage this snap with my phone before checking in.

It was a 9am meet at the European Parliament the following day – people from the UK, Ireland, Italy, Spain, France and The Netherlands. Patients, surgeons and MEPs, all with a single aim – to raise the awareness of heart valve disease in Europe.


The meeting was packed with presentations, information and enthusiasm – and frantic translation into various languages.

European partners assembled outside the Parliament
MEP Mairead McGuiness opening the roundtable discussion














And I had just enough time after the meeting to pop into the main chamber of the European Parliament, which luckily wasn’t sitting so I could get the camera out. And if you look closely enough you will see that the UK’s flag is still flying alongside the other 27 EU members.

Glad I made it here while we’re still part of it!



Heart Valve Disease Facts…

  • In the UK approximately 1.5 million people over the age of 65 are currently affected by the disease
  • Symptoms include breathlessness, chest pain, dizziness and fainting, but many people put these symptoms down to ‘just feeling old’
  • Heart valve disease can be detected by a simple stethoscope check by your GP

You can find out more on the Heart Valve Voice website.

For details of all my services, including event photography, headshots and promotional images please go to My Services, and feel free to drop me a line if you would like any further information.


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All images in this post are the property of Michelle Richards and subject to copyright.



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