Activities launched for people with Parkinson's disease in Royston
PUBLISHED: 11:55 21 June 2018
People with Parkinson's disease in Royston and the surrounding villages could benefit from new groups and taster sessions that are soon to be happening in town.
People with Parkinson’s disease in Royston and the surrounding villages could benefit from new groups and taster sessions that are soon to be happening in town.
Julie Wilson, of Parkinson’s UK, is starting up a host of activities in Royston for sufferers of the degenerative neurological condition, to improve symptoms and the isolation that comes with it.
She told the Crow: “In Royston we’ve been doing taster sessions of different things, we’ve looked at specialist exercise and get support going, with the groups at the Jolly Postie. Things get isolating for people, so just being there for a chat and a cuppa can be quite powerful.
”I have found developing the activities in Royston so rewarding. To help people access the support they need in their local area makes me feel a great deal of personal satisfaction. I feel really motivated to continue to build on what we have started here, and increase people’s access to exercise, therapeutic and social support.
“I want to build on the wonderful community feel we have, and continue to facilitate opportunities for people with Parkinson’s and their families in Royston.
“People say, and I don’t want them to say it because it’s my job, but they do they say things like ‘this has made such a difference to me, it’s changed my life
“One lady in another area was petrified of going along she hadn’t been persuaded to do anything, but went along to a Dance for Parkinson’s class and she’s still going after a year.
“If someone rings and says they’re nervous, I’ll give them a call on the day before to see how they’re doing and if they’re going to go, and if I’ll try to be there.
“I think it’s a bit like an oasis in a desert, when you’ve had nothing in your area and you feel like ‘what is anyone doing to help me?’ and then someone puts something in it means so much to people.”
Symptoms of Parkinson’s include tremors, slowed movement, speech changes and more, so this informed Julie’s decision to get these dance and singing classes going.
Royston singing teacher Linda Bance, of Play Music Play, will launch the first singing session on July 2.
Julie said: “We’re not trying to create a pitch perfect choir, we’re about getting people using their voices because they can suffer.”
People can get quieter with their voices with Parkinson’s, so that’s where the music comes in and to have Linda on board to start it off is a great thing.”
Linda told the Crow: “Many people in this area know just how passionate I am about music making for wellbeing.
“Helping Parkinson’s UK set up a choral group in this area means a great deal to me.
“My husband David, a sufferer of this neurological disease, is constantly being bullied by myself to sing along to the radio and make music.
“This can help the breathe, tone and quality of the voice so a often a casualty with this condition.
“Our workshop will include many aspects of music-making. singing, drumming and rhythmic work it is aimed at everybody no matter what your strength.
“Carers and other members of the family are very welcome. We are hoping to have lots of fun.
“We are in the process of setting up some training to local choral leaders in the hope that somebody might come forward to help begin a regular Parkinson’s choir in the area.”
The two-hour Sing, Move and Play workshop at Coombes Community Centre in Burns Road on July 2 costs £3 – call Julie on 07500097222 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book your place.
You can also contact Julie if you’re interested in Dance for Parkinson’s classes, due to start up again later this year.
And head to the Jolly Postie in Baldock Street on June 25 – and the last Tuesday of every month – for the Positively Parkinson’s Cafe, where a drink and a cake while you chat with others with the condition and their carers, costs £3.