Parkinson's Swindon and District


Recent news


Dance for Parkinson's with Swindon Dance

Dance for Parkinson’s is being added to our Exercise Programme starting Friday 28th April. Following an initial 3 month trial, should sufficient numbers continue to support this new venture, it will continue on a permanent basis providing funds remain available.

Details here


Carer Support - Respite Programme Enhancement

The Parkinson’s Swindon & District Branch “Thursday Parkinson’s Respite” to help support carers of people affected by Parkinson’s that started in February is being enhanced and improved. Details here


Information Sessions For Those Living With A Person With Parkinson’s

Swindon’s Parkinson’s Services are holding 6 sessions aimed at people who live
with or support people with Parkinson’s. These sessions are detailed here.


Living Well with Parkinson’s

This free 4-week course is for people who have a diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease. The next course is Fri 27 January. However if you would like to attend a future one, please apply as per the flyer here.


Dance for Neurology

Following on from the talk by Swindon Dance on Friday 13 January Helen Ganberg has requested we send out the links below.


Helen has spoken to their specialist teacher Sarah Fletcher who has been trained in Dance for Parkinson’s and she has said that some other centres do include those with other neurological conditions such as MS.


As was explained at the meeting the process involves seated moving, stood supported moving and then if possible moving away from the chair. It was also very well demonstrated at the meeting with over 50 people joining seat dance movements to music and all seemingly enjoying the experience.


The scheme originally started in this country at English National Ballet but our teacher Sarah uses a range of dance styles- not Ballet.


Here are some links to Dance for Parkinson's websites and articles:


I hope these will give you more of an idea of why and what is involved.

With best wishes



Healthwatch Swindon Invitation

An invitation to work with Healthwatch Swindon to influence health and social care services.

Details here


Swindon & District Branch Carer Support

Following a success Grant Application from the Wiltshire Community Foundation to finance the first two years of Carer Support, the Swindon & District Branch is pleased to announce the launching of a Respite Programme to help support our Carers. This grant is specific for and allows us to fund 300 hours of respite per annum. If successful and funds or grants permit we hope to add to the yearly total of funded hours. Details here


LIFT Psychology in Swindon

The courses that are offered by LIFT to people with a GPs in Swindon. Some of the courses have already started but others have yet to commence.

Courses Brochure (October – December 2016)


Making a Life History Book

Info that the SLT team use with patients whose memory is starting to deteriorate. These books help them to recall important events in their lives and are a source of enjoyment and discussion for all. Details here


Patient & Carer Questionnaire

Rachel our Lead Parkinson’s Disease Specialist Nurse has requested that if you receive a patient or carer questionnaire, can please fill it out and return it in the stamp addressed envelope provided.


Everyone will not receive a questionnaire as they are sent out on a random selection basis.


These questionnaires are very important as they will help maintain the level of Parkinson's Services provided. So please do complete them if received.


Rachel Gardner (Lead Parkinson's Disease Nurse Specialist)

Dave Logan (Branch Chair)


Appointment Attendance - Please Help

We have been working really hard to reduce the number of people that don’t turn up to our appointments however it appears from our stats that we are not dropping this number very significantly.


Appointment letters are sent out for Parkinson’s Nurse appointments and home visits.


For the physio reviews, patients are sent a letter asking them to call in to confirm their appointment with our admin lady.


Rehabilitation Assistants usually call to book home visits and also to ensure that people are aware of the dates that they are attending Booster courses etc.


In this financial year we have had 92 slots left unused. This means that people have either not turned up to the appointment or have called in with less than 24 hours’ notice meaning that we are unable to get other people to attend instead of them.


I’m sure that you are aware that this can be very frustrating to us as professionals as we always run with a waiting list of patients that wish to see us and these people have to wait longer than is necessary.


We are aware that sometimes it cannot be helped but in many cases it can, so please could you contact us as soon as possible if you cannot or do not wish to attend so that we can reschedule the appointment for someone else.


With many thanks,



Rachel Gardner

Lead Parkinson’s Disease Nurse Specialist

Swindon Parkinsons Service


Northern Ireland Half Marathon - Thank you Judith!

Congratulations on successfully completing your challenge of running in the Northern Ireland Causeway Coastal Half Marathon. Judith Kitson successfully raised over £1200 in sponsorship plus gift aid contributions. Details here


Lion’s "Message in a Bottle"

A form which goes in the plastic tub kept in your fridge is available on their website  that you can fill in then print and save. Looks clearer to read than Parkinson’s shaky hand writing.


New video - Newly diagnosed with Parkinson's?

The Swindon & District Branch of Parkinson’s UK, supported by Swindonviewpoint, have made this film to let those newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s in the Swindon area know about the wide range of support available and to assure you that no one has to face Parkinson’s alone.


Updated Parkinson's Support Services

New information from SEQOL now appears under the "Parkinson's Services" section of this website.


Outpatient Welcome and Liaison Service (OWLS)

New service provided by Great Western Hospitals.

Please note that 3 days prior notice is required to book this service.  Details here


100 Plus Club Rules With Effect 1 June 2016

The 100 Plus Club rules have been revised to reflect the increased participation and will provide greater chances of winning. Details here


Walking Football

Les Fulcher

Meet Les Fulcher, Swindon & District Branch member and and one of the stars in our Walking Football group. In the short time that Tony Falkingham has been running this program it is totally amazing how quick and competitive it has become. As our coach Dan Martin says, football means a lot of time is spent on one foot and we are now seeing the players turning quick on the ball making use of the Tai Chi golden thread that goes through the head and down to your center core balance point. Pip Morris our Parkinson Services physiotherapist at the Swindon Intermediate Care Centre at GWH is delighted with the results and has told me it is making both sides of the brain communicate with each other. The skill levels and comprehensive along with the use of the Refs whistle has greatly increased.


A decision was made at yesterday's committee meeting to extend it by 30 minutes to allow a longer warm up period and longer rest times between the 15 minute games.


New times are Mondays at Grange Leisure from 12 - 1.30pm from Monday 18 April.


Why not come along and enjoy the fun of Walking Football for Parkinson's.



Message from Paul Mayhew-Archer

If you missed the My One Show Parkinson's Awareness Week feature, here it is....



Paul Mayhew-Archer Radio Interview and

Parkinson’s Awareness Week 2016

Paul Mayhew-Archer

Paul very kindly travelled to Swindon on Wednesday 23rd March to be interviewed on behalf of our Branch by Swindon 105.5. The interview which was with Shirley Ludford will be broadcast on Friday 25th March between 1pm and 2pm and on Sunday 27th March at 11am.


Paul also recorded an introduction for use during the Branch’s Parkinson’s Awareness Week activities (18-23 April) and extracts from the 23rd March interview will also be broadcast during that week along with other pre-recordings.


On behalf of the Branch, thank you Paul.

Dave Logan

Branch Chair 23rd March 2016


Taking Control - Powers of Attorney

Personal experience and advice by Ken Luxon


Please support this Parkinson’s Challenge

Our dear friend and Branch member Noel Kitson’s daughter Judith, who lives in Northern Ireland, has taken up a challenge to run a half marathon in September around the North Coast of Ireland – The Causeway Coast Half Marathon. Her sponsorship money will be divided between Parkinson’s UK Research and our Swindon Branch so it would be good if we can help her raise sponsors via our Branch Newsletter and Website, Facebook etc. Noel himself is a Derry man so this challenge location is very apt.


Judith has set up a Just Giving page to collect sponsors to support her challenge in support of her father Noel’s condition to both help research into a cure and of Noel’s Branch which he is so fond of and also supportive himself. Noel is now out of hospital after a long stay and thankfully recovering his strength. He is looking forward to re-joining our Balance & Exercise & Tai-Chi classes.


You can see video clips of the event on You Tube- search Causeway Coastal Marathon or by visiting


Supporting people with Parkinson’s

Metronomes presentation

On 16 February 2016 the Swindon & District Branch of Parkinson’s UK handed over five metronomes to Ashleigh Parker in the Woodlands Therapy Centre Gymnasium, SwICC at GWH.


The metronomes were purchased and donated by the Branch to help our Parkinson’s physiotherapists with their treatments in support of people with Parkinson’s who have walking difficulties.


The photo shows Dave Logan and Sandra Wanless handing over the metronomes to Ashleigh.


The Branch is pleased to be able to help and support both people with Parkinson’s and those who provide our medical care & treatments.


Dave Logan

Branch Chair

16 February 2016


A Request for help from Dr Emily Henderson

The Branch has been requested to please consider the following:

Detailed information here


Help us to help you

If you are affected by Parkinson’s and live in our area and would like to attend our exercise classes but have no means of transportation to enable you to do so then please contact us so we can try to help you. The Health Lottery is keen to help those who are disadvantaged, however, we need facts and figures to help us apply for funds to do so. Justin Tomlinson MP for North Swindon and Minister for Disabled People, has visited our group and recommended we apply for Health Lottery funding. He is a supporter of our group and the work that we do and has written about us on his own website. More here


Good News- an Early Christmas Present

We are pleased to announce that after successful interviews a job offer was made and accepted by Liz Tregoing for the post of our second Parkinson’s Disease Nurse Specialist (PDNS) who will join Rachel Gardner, Lead PDNS at GWH Swindon. Details here


Balance & Exercise Class Christmas Lunch 16 December 2015

Following the first Balance & Exercise class took place in the Stratton Suite at Grange Leisure, tables were quickly put up and laid for our joint class Christmas Lunch..... See the full report here


Minister for Disabled Branch Visit - 11 December 2015

The Swindon & District Branch met the Minister for Disabled, Justin Tomlinson MP, on Friday 11 December 2015. The meeting was arranged on Justin’s request through his Ministerial Office and was held at Grange Leisure, the Branch’s home ground, who kindly hosted the visit for us. Complete review of the visit here.


The Class of 2015

The joint Parkinson's & MS Special Class held their annual Christmas Lunch at the Manor Farm today, 10th. December. Andy Wright ensured good appetites by giving an extra vigorous session prior to the meal. For Andy our instructor, remember we are always better than Salisbury.

Class of 2015


Robert helps Parkinson's UK bring forward the day no one fears Parkinson's

Tuesday, 8 December, 2015

On December 2nd South Swindon MP Robert Buckland joined up to the five-year mission of charity Parkinson’s UK - to bring forward the day when no one fears Parkinson’s.


In the run up to Christmas, Parkinson’s UK is highlighting the issues faced by people with Parkinson’s, a brain condition which can leave people struggling to walk, speak and sleep, and how things need to change.


Parkinson’s affects one in 500 people in the UK, and can cause a myriad of symptoms including insomnia, depression, and hallucinations, robbing people of their independence. But through more research, improved services, and empowering people with Parkinson’s to take control, their lives can be turned around.

Robert Buckland MP


Robert joined follow MPs at the charity’s parliamentary reception in Westminster to find out how they could get involved in Parkinson’s UK’s new approach to combating the condition.


Robert met Parkinson’s UK president and actress Jane Asher, as well as people affected by Parkinson’s including Paul McCourt, who has had Parkinson’s for five years and said he ‘crumbled’ when he first heard his diagnosis.


Parkinson’s UK wants to see quality services as standard for the 127,000 people like Paul with Parkinson’s in the UK. They also want people with Parkinson’s to feel empowered to take control of their lives, and to take part in clinical trials in their local area to help find better treatments and a cure in years not decades.


Robert said after attending the event:


“Attending Parkinson’s UK’s event, and hearing from people affected by the condition, really opened up my eyes to just how severely Parkinson’s can affect people in my constituency. But it also brought home how small changes, across the community, can have a huge impact. I’ll be doing everything I can to support their commendable mission.”


Parkinson’s UK Chief Executive Steve Ford said:


“It’s brilliant Robert Buckland MP has signed up to help us bring forward the day when no-one fears Parkinson’s. With their support, together we can turn around the lives of people with Parkinson’s. We look forward to seeing the difference Robert can make in South Swindon, and how he can help us to keep Parkinson’s on the political agenda.”


For advice, information and support, visit or call our free, confidential helpline on 0808 800 0303.



Pride of Swindon Awards Launch - 1st December 2015

While Dave Logan, Branch Chair, was in Bristol on request from Parkinson’s UK’s Marketing Team, Sandra Wanless (Secretary), Dave Hartley (Vice Chair) and John & Frances Gilbert (Committee Members) were very busy stuffing their faces in the Mayor’s parlour at Swindon’s Town Hall with lovely sandwiches and cakes. They were not there just for the lovely food, they were representing the Branch in suppot of the Mayor’s launch of the Pride of Swindon Awards 2016 in the capacity of a 2015 Team Winner Award. Full details are in the Swindon Advertiser article below.




Christ Church Christmas Market - Saturday 21 November 2015

Christmas Market

The photo shows Margaret Whelpdale, Dawn Falkingham, Christine Brown and Sandra Wanless who are some of the people who helped on the day at the Branch stall in Christ Church on Saturday 21 November.


A successful day at Christchurch Christmas Market fundraising for the Branch. The majority of the items on sale were hand crafted by Branch members and friends.


With much thanks for the time they spent hand making Christmas and birthday cards, tree and other Christmas decorations, knitted scarves, baby clothes and other such items, Christmas gifts from hand made felt and many other fantastic items, a sum of £207.25 was raised.


Thank you to all who helped either on the day or the evening before setting up in the Church and again to all who made and or donated items for sale.



Florence Cole Receives Award at Autumn Concert

We were pleased to be able to honour Florence (Flo) Cole for her fundraising efforts to help improve the lives of people affected by Parkinson’s during our Autumn Concert.


Flo received her Honorary Life Membership Certificate from Emily Scotcher, Parkinson’s UK’s Regional Fundraiser South, at the Branch’s Autumn Concert on 2 November. The Concert was held at Blunsdon House Hotel and Emily stated that it was an absolute privilege to meet such a wonderful lady who was so inspirational and an example to us all. Flo also received a beautiful bouquet of flowers from PUK. Read Flo’s full story here



Pride of Swindon Award. March 2015

Photos from Pride of Swindon Award Ceremony and Unveiling of P of S Plaque in Swindon’s central Library with Swindon Mayor Clr. Teresa Page.