People with Parkinson’s are today celebrating the 50th birthday of the support charity that has done so much to help them.
Members of the Parkinson’s UK Worthing and Washington support group consider it a major milestone and say it is a chance to reflect on how far they have come.
Rod Herod, member and volunteer, said: “The support charity for people with Parkinson’s turns 50 on February 26 and this occasion offers a chance to reflect on progress made with research, as well as the huge difference made to the everyday lives of people with this incurable condition through practical support locally.
“The Worthing and Washington branch will be joining in the birthday celebrations by seeking to ensure that everyone living in Worthing and district has a better understanding of Parkinson’s and the symptoms.
“By being more aware of the condition, we hope that people will offer support in the many familiar ways, from cash donations to help fund research into a cure, right down to a humble box of chocolates for our next raffle at our monthly get-togethers.
“We also want to continue providing activities and events to ensure that people with Parkinson’s live well.”
The group had members from Littlehampton in the west to Southwick in the east, and north as far as Arundel and Pulborough before expanding in 2016 and now also covers the area around Washington and Ashington.
Parkinson’s UK turns 50 on February 26. The charity was founded by Mali Jenkins in 1969 in a one room office in Putney as the Parkinson’s Disease Society.
The first groups were established in the 1970s to offer support and friendship to everyone affected by the disease.
Today, there are 450 groups, uniting communities across the UK and fundraising to support pioneering research and improve people’s lives.
Parkinson’s UK Worthing and Washington has about 275 members and holds monthly, all-day meetings that attract up to 90 people. It is the biggest Parkinson’s local team in the UK.
With a focus very much on 50, the group is now busy identifying a number of fundraising opportunities for the year.