Support group for Parkinson's sufferers needs more volunteers

PUBLISHED: 12:00 05 November 2017

The North West Somerset branch of Parkinson's UK.

The North West Somerset branch of Parkinson's UK.

Jeremy Long \ JCL Photography

A support group which helps people suffering from Parkinson's disease in North Somerset is desperately appealing for more volunteers.

The North West Somerset branch of Parkinson’s UK holds monthly meeting, funds sessions to help people come to terms with a diagnosis and provides a wide range of practical help and support to patients and their carers.

The group, which meets in Nailsea, was set up more than 30 years ago and has members from across North Somerset.

It is run by volunteers, but a number of committee members will be standing down in March and the group is appealing for more people to help out.

Jill Gilbert said: “Everyone on the committee is volunteer and the branch is entirely self-funding. Many of those on committee have been there for a long time and some will be standing down at the annual meeting in March.

“Some have Parkinson’s, some are carers, while a few of us are simply people who care about helping out.

“Currently we have no chairman and some of the committee are taking it in turns to be acting chairman. We all do our best, but we need continuity in order to maintain the efficient running of the branch.

“Prior to the meering in March, we need to find new committee members. Committee members need to have transport or the means to get to meetings – held monthly in Nailsea on the Monday afternoon before each branch meeting.

“They should be enthusiastic and pro-active, as well as happy to attend and sometimes help out at social and fundraising events.”

Parkinson’s is a progressive neurological condition that affects one person in every 500 and there is currently no cure.

The main symptoms are tremors, rigidity and slow movement but sufferers can also experience tiredness, pain and depression.

Parkinson’s UK funds research into finding better treatments and ways to improve the quality of life for people with the disease.

The charity is also leading the work to find a cure.

Support groups provide a lifeline to patients and families and volunteers offer friendship, support and advice.

Anyone interested in joining the committee can call Jill on 01275 855524.

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