Parkinson's group in 'desperate' need of volunteers to save it from closure

PUBLISHED: 07:00 08 February 2018

The North West Somerset branch of Parkinson's UK.

The North West Somerset branch of Parkinson's UK.

Jeremy Long \ JCL Photography

A voluntary group which provides vital support to people suffering from Parkinson's disease could close if it does not find more helpers.

The North West Somerset branch of Parkinson’s UK, which meets in Nailsea, is in desperate need of a chairman and secretary.

If the posts are not filled in time for the group’s annual meeting in March, the branch could close.

Jill Gilbert, acting chairman, said: “If the roles of chairman and secretary are not filled it is almost certain that, under Parkinson’s UK rules, our group will not be allowed to continue as a branch.”

The group offers a wide range of support for people suffering with the degenerative condition including comfort days, social events, singing groups, counselling, workshops and support sessions.

MORE: New workshops to help people diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

Jill said: “The situation has become pretty desperate as we’ve been warned the branch will not be able to continue as such if we don’t have volunteers for the roles of chairman and secretary by the time of our general meeting on March 10.

“We have in excess of 130 members in North Somerset. We also support many more people with Parkinson’s in the area who have not chosen to become members but nevertheless are able to access many of our activities and things like the workshops for those who are having difficulty in coming to terms with their diagnosis – and their carers, family and close friends.

“It would be very sad for many people if that were to change.”

The group can only run for three months without a permanent chairman, secretary and treasurer.

Jill said: “Fortunately we still have a treasurer, as Chris has kindly agreed to continue in this role, even though he has already served the maximum six years usually allowed.

“But we absolutely must have a new chairman and a secretary.

“The roles of branch chairman and branch secretary – this job could be split between two volunteers – are not onerous and newcomers would have the help and support of ‘old hands’ on the committee.

“Please help us to save the North West Somerset branch of Parkinson’s UK.”

Anyone interested in filling the roles, can call Chris Coppin on 01275 854348 or Jill on 855524.

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