Volunteers are needed for a pilot project to help people living with Parkinson’s in the north-east.
Parkinson’s UK, the national charity that supports people with Parkinson’s is working with Sport England on the Parkinson’s Power project, which is currently running across the north-east of England from Berwick to Darlington.
Being active and exercising can really help people to live well with Parkinson’s, and the project will help people with Parkinson’s to access more opportunities to become and stay physically active.
There are nearly 6000 people in the north-east living with Parkinson’s, and the project is focusing on supporting people to become and stay more physically active by doing things they enjoy. Part of this work involves using volunteers to support people to take their first steps to lead a more active life.
Project Support Officer Anna Castiaux is running a brand-new volunteering scheme called Parkinson’s Power Buddies, and she needs recruits to join up from across the region.
“We want volunteers from all walks of life who can spare us an hour or so a week and really want to make a difference to the life of someone who needs it,” said Anna.
“Activities that Buddies will support will be very varied, it could be accompanying someone to an exercise class for the first time, doing a bit of gardening together, or just going for a walk. That’s the beauty of our project, there is something for everyone!
“Full training will be given to all volunteers, Buddies don’t need any specific knowledge about Parkinson’s or being physically active, and everyone from age 18 upwards is welcome.
“Our Buddies will play a vital role in supporting people with Parkinson’s” commented Anna, “As well as enjoying the benefits of being active and meeting new people themselves. The project really is a win win!”
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological condition, meaning that it causes problems in the brain and gets worse over time. There is currently no known cure and symptoms include tremors, slow movement and stiff and inflexible muscles, although those with the condition can also experience a range of other symptoms such as problems with balance, insomnia and depression and apathy.
Remaining physically active and exercising is one way of helping people to live well with Parkinson’s, and research shows that it can help with mobility and balance as well as improved physical and mental wellbeing.
For more details about becoming a Parkinson’s Power Buddy, contact Anna on 07970 407 838 or email parkinsonspower@parkinsons.org.uk
For more information about Parkinson’s, visit www.parkinsons.org.uk or call our free, confidential helpline on 0808 800 303