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Resources mentioned in our August 2020 Branch meeting

Your ideas for the future of our Branch

Join us in a series of online meetings to help us think about what we can do to support and engage our Branch members and others affected by Parkinson’s.

What’s it all about?

Thanks to a very generous offer from professional facilitator Ed Bearcroft and his international team, we have skilled guidance for these meetings and we hope to generate great ideas for future activities and development.

How can I help, learn more and take part?

Contact Jonathan by email or phone 07713 241838 for more information.

In particular, we are very keen to hear from people affected by Parkinson’s who do not normally engage with our Branch. If you know any such people who might be willing to be interviewed by one of us, please encourage them to get in touch.

Respite Care grant scheme relaunched

What’s it all about?

Our Branch received a generous legacy a few years ago that was used to fund respite care allowing unpaid carers to have some time to themselves. After a break of a year or so, our scheme has now been relaunched in a new form.

Learn more

Full details of the scheme, including an application form and contact information, can be found by following this link to the Respite Care page of our website.

Lending library of aids for living with Parkinson’s

What’s it all about?

One outcome of the In Control By Design project was a collection of daily living aids that you can borrow. In this way you can find whether any individual gadget or aid is helpful for you, without having to buy it.

There is no charge to borrow items. All we ask is that you make a few notes on how useful the aid was for you, and contribute to the reviews that will soon be published on the project’s website (more details to follow).

How can I borrow an item?

The library is held by Pen, our indefatigable Secretary. We understand that borrowing or returning physical items may be difficult at present, but nevertheless we encourage you to contact Pen to explore possible arrangements. Contact Pen by email

PD Avengers, a new advocacy team

What’s it all about?

Inspired by the recent book Ending Parkinson’s Disease, an international team of Parkinson’s activists has formed PD Avengers to mobilise international awareness and support. Visit their website to lend your voice. Membership is completely free.

We are very excited that several of the founder members of PD Avengers are members or close friends of Oxford Branch.

Our Virtual Art Gallery

Thanks to the efforts of Pamela Hutchinson-Collins and the creativity of many of our members, we will soon have an online exhibition of art, craft and other creative work by people with Parkinson’s. The exhibition will be available for everyone to view very soon, but meanwhile please contact Jonathan by email if you would like a preview of what we’re doing or if you have work you might like to add to the exhibition.

Exciting new research information from Kevin

Our research officer, Dr Kevin McFarthing, has an international reputation for his brilliant work in gathering information about the progress of clinical trials and the development of new Parkinson’s treatments.

In collaboration with a team including Dr Simon Stott of Cure Parkinson’s Trust, he has recently produced a major article in Journal of Parkinson’s Disease reviewing the current state of clinical trials.

That piece has a lot of technical detail, but Kevin has also written an easy-to-read article for Parkinson’s UK’s research blog that provides an exceptionally clear and interesting description of what is happening and what we can expect in the coming years.

We are hugely grateful to Kevin for his untiring efforts to keep this information in the public eye, and for his skill in making the technical details so easy to understand.

World Record-breaking Three Legged Race

Gary Shaughnessy is Chair of Trustees of Parkinson’s UK and has Parkinson’s himself. He is hugely supportive of our Branch, and an active member of PD Avengers (mentioned earlier on this page).

Gary and his friend Andy Tucker aim to break the world distance record for a 24-hour three legged race. Their original date in May was cancelled, of course, but they now plan to do it on 17th-18th October 2020. It’s a virtual event and anyone can join in and earn sponsorship! If you are interested in taking part, visit the event page on Parkinson’s UK’s website.

As well as challenging a world record, they are raising funds and awareness for Parkinson’s UK. You can learn more on Gary’s fundraising page.

Zurich Community Trust has committed to match everything raised, with their money split between the UK children’s mental health charity Place 2Be and Spanish charity AEFAT that supports people with the aggressive neurological condition Ataxia Telangiectasia.

Branch Holiday

Our Branch Holiday, at Warner’s Studley Castle Hotel in Warwickshire, looks likely to go ahead for the planned dates 12th-16th October 2020 (4 nights). Warner’s offer a "Coronavirus Guarantee" so that we can cancel any time up to the end of September without penalty, if necessary because of the situation.

It may still be possible to make a booking if you have not already done so. Please contact Martin Cowell for full details of cost, conditions and so on.