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Guildford And South West Surrey Branch Of Parkinson’s Group Raise Awareness

Published on: 27 Mar, 2017
Updated on: 8 Mar, 2017

With World Parkinson’s Day coming up on April 11, Guildford and South Surrey Parkinson’s Group is keen to raise awareness of the support services it provides, and to attract more volunteers.

One in every 500 people in the UK has Parkinson’s. There is currently no cure, but drugs and treatments are available to manage many of the symptoms.

Parkinson’s UK was founded in 1969 by volunteers, and more than 40 years on, volunteers are central to everything the group does. There are 365 branches of the charity across the country and the Guildford branch has more than 600 members. Membership is open to everyone – whether they have Parkinson’s, care for someone with the condition, or are a family member or close friend.

Members take part in numerous activities, from exercise, choir and speech therapy classes, outings, fundraising events, meetings and social gatherings.

A speech therapy class will start after Easter, and it is hoped that physiotherapy and hydrotherapy will be available at the same time. Since these classes will be on a first come, first served basis, it is vital that those who are interested make contact as soon as possible.

Social gatherings include a “working age group” which meets at the Parrot pub in Shalford for evenings of pub grub, chat and support.

The group also provides expert advice from specialist advisers and nurses. An annual lecture, delivered at the Royal College of Surgeons by an acknowledged expert, focuses on latest research and initiatives to try to find better treatments and a cure for Parkinson’s.

Awesome Abseilers Emma, Laura, Anne and Carol raised over £15,000 for Parkinson’s UK in 2016.

There are numerous opportunities to get involved as a Parkinson’s fundraiser – from tea and cream scone afternoons to abseiling down the side of Guildford Cathedral. This year the challenge will take place on May 27. Sponsored fundraisers will climb the 249 steps to the top of the cathedral tower and after experiencing the panoramic views of Guildford, abseil 160ft down to the ground.

During Annual Parkinson’s Awareness Week (this year, April 10 to 16) the branch will also hold a street collection in Guildford.

The Guildford and South Surrey Group is looking to recruit more volunteers, particularly men. If you have some time to spare, contact Hilary Austin on 01483 422543 or email hillawrie@gmail.com. You can also visit the new website, www.parkukguildford.co.uk.

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