Parkinson's Guildford Branch


Recent news



John Child

Claire Kershaw has asked for the news, that her father John Child sadly passed away on 18th December, to be shared with our group. John was a regular attendee at both the monthly branch meetings and Sam's Thursday exercise classes.


His funeral will be held on Friday 18th January at 12.45pm at Guildford Crematorium and afterwards at West Surrey Golf Club.


Please contact Claire at if you will be attending.


Sharon Blight - Bowls Champion!

Sharon, who was forced to give up tennis after an accident, joined the Aldershot Underwood Bowling Club. After seven years she has now become Champion.

Sharon Blight


Sharon says:

“I Had to overcome the sheer inner emotions of belief, not only for the match itself, but I was playing the no 1 player in the club who happens to be my mother. She is a very good player, an experienced county standard player, who does not give in.


I had to win this match! I have always been runner-up so it was an emotional boost and I am now No.1 in the club which secures entry to the next level of play in the North Hampshire zone."


Sharon was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease ten years ago and has worked tirelessly on behalf of Parkinson's UK ever since.


Fundraising Event: Guildford Cathedral Abseil – 18 May 2019

Many of you (and your friends and relatives) have taken part in this event in previous years to raise money for Parkinson’s. Anyone wishing to participate in the 2019 abseil will be able to apply online via the Parkinson’s UK website in due course. It hasn’t yet been launched, but we will let you know in due course once it is live on the website. Keep the date free in the meantime if you or someone you know is interested.


PUK is also looking NOW for volunteers willing to help on the day with registering and stewarding participants, and selling merchandise.


The primary task will be:

  • escorting our abseilers up the 249 steps to the top of the Guildford Cathedral Tower. (This will involve working in pairs, with one volunteer leading the participants up the Tower and one volunteer following at the back, making sure that the participants reach the top of the Tower safely. The volunteers will then return to the bottom of the Tower and wait for the next set of participants.)

Other tasks may include:

  • Supporting and encouraging the participants
  • Answering any questions that participants may have
  • Alerting a member of the Guildford Cathedral staff and the Regional Fundraiser of any problems that may occur

The first set of abseilers will start their climb to the top of the Tower at 9.30am and the last abseil will take place at 3.30pm. Volunteers will be needed for two sessions: 9.30am-12.30pm and 12.30pm-3.30pm but you are welcome to volunteer for the whole day should you wish.


If anyone wishes to volunteer in this capacity, then they should contact Lily Coombs, PUK’s Regional Fundraiser, at with the following information.



Phone number

Email address

Preferred role (stewarding up and down cathedral stairs / registration/ merchandise)

Emergency contact name and number


Surrey - Are there enough sports activities for disabled people?

Active Surrey have started a piece of work with colleagues from Disability Sports Coach (a charity based in London) to see if there is demand for provision of new inclusive sport/physical activity clubs/provision in Surrey. Disability Sports Coach have developed a short survey which can be completed by individuals or by clubs/organisations on behalf of groups of individuals.


It would be fantastic if you could help Active Surrey to get a realistic picture of the levels of demand for organised activities that are inclusive of disabled people (both children and adults) across Surrey so that they can then source funding to help satisfy any unmet demand. The survey should take just 2-3 minutes to complete. Deadline to complete is 16 November.


Kind regards

Alastair Jack

Area Development Manager – Surrey and West Sussex

Parkinson’s UK


Ann Donovan

Here is a message from John Donovan:


"Ann Donovan passed away peacefully on Mon Oct 1st, aged 82. She and my father, Dave, had moved to Yorkshire in December 2017 to be near myself and my sister, Maggie - so the funeral, followed by a cremation, will take place in Leeds on Oct.11th.


However, given that nearly all their friends live down South, there will also be a memorial service on Friday Oct.19th, 12 noon at St Paul's Church, 280 Hook Road, Hook, Chessington, KT9 1PF - and we would love to see any of their friends from Guildford Pds who can get there.


My mother, Ann, requested that there should be no 'funereal' black worn as this service is to be a celebration !"


Prevention is better than cure this winter - September 2018

It may seem premature to start thinking about the long, cold winter months when the weather is still warm, but September is the perfect time to consider your personal winter health plan.


This might include committing to a healthier diet, getting more exercise and ensuring your medicine cabinet is stocked up with the basics, but the NHS always recommends organising your vaccination against influenza as a priority.


Flu is a major threat to our health from early autumn right through to spring. With more people than ever getting seriously ill with flu-related complications, enormous pressures are placed on the NHS system, taking up intensive care beds and causing long delays in A&E.


Not only does vaccination help prevent flu, it provides more protection against secondary bacterial infections such as pneumonia, which, like flu, can be fatal in older people or those with long term conditions. Avoiding illnesses like this also reduces the need for antibiotics which in turn prevents antibiotic resistance – another serious problem facing the UK population and the National Health Service.


Last winter saw record flu vaccination levels - with nearly 1.5 million more people getting protected than in 2016 - but we know we can do better in 2018! A flu jab is quick, painless and free for those who sit within an eligible group. Get it done at participating local pharmacies or through the practice nurse at your GP surgery. Children receive an easy nasal spray, meaning no nasty needles!


So who is eligible?

  • all children aged two to nine (but not ten years or older) on 31 August 2018
  • those aged six months to under 65 years in clinical risk groups (for example those suffering from long-term health conditions such as bronchitis, emphysema, diabetes or asthma)
  • pregnant women
  • those aged 65 years and over
  • those in long-stay residential care homes
  • carers

N.B. Because the children’s vaccine has a shorter shelf life, availability will be limited later in the season so the sooner they have it done, the better. Most schools offer an immunisation programme – look out for the letter requesting parental permission.


Jo Lang, Communications Manager, NHS Guildford and Waverley Clinical Commissioning Group. Email: Telephone: 01483 405426.


Fighting Fit Programme

Fighting-Fit has announced the availability of a weekend residential programme for younger and working-age people with Parkinson’s.


A pilot programme will be held from the 9th - 11th of November 2018 at the Holiday Inn, Weston Turville, Bucks, HP22 5QT for an inclusive price of £150 for a single or £250 for a couple. Details here



New data protection regulations came into effect on 25 May 2018 to give all of us greater protection when our personal details are stored by organisations. Charities like Parkinson’s UK, and the local Branches, are no exception to this and have to ensure that membership lists and other personal information are stored securely, and that individuals have consented to their data being used for defined purposes.


All Parkinson’s Guildford and South Surrey branch members who are not Parkinson’s UK members were contacted in June, asking for consent for us to continue to communicate via email or other means.


In line with Parkinson’s UK policy, any members who have not renewed their consent by 31 July 2018 will be deleted from the membership list and will no longer receive communications from us.


Members wishing to be re-instated on the membership list can do so by completing the form, either online or by post, which is available in the Branch membership section of our website.


Research into “freezing” in Parkinson’s sufferers.

A presentation to the Guildford and South Surrey Branch meeting on 22 May 2018. Dr Will Young (Brunel University)

Full report here


Surrey Care Record - Important Information from Surrey Heartlands

The Surrey Care Record will be launched on Wednesday 29 August 2018. In the weeks that follow, this will give selected health and social care professionals shared access to people’s medical records in order to improve care.


 A leaflet may be downloaded that explains key details regarding the Surrey Care Record. The leaflet will be made available in GP practices and all households will receive a copy through the post over the next few weeks.


For further information regarding the Surrey Care Record please consult the Frequently Asked Questions page on the Surrey Heartlands Health and Care Partnership website or use the contact details contained in the leaflet (telephone, TEXT and email).


Guildford Cathedral Abseil 2018

These photos were taken at the Abseil that took place on Saturday 13 May 2018.

Lin and Lily


The first photo shows Lin Woolmington with fund raiser for Parkinson's UK Lily Coombes who walked up the tower steps with Lin.


The  photograph on the right is Darren Dunkley, a member of our Working Age group in Guildford.


Godalming Farmers Market

Here are some photos of our cake stall at the Farmers Market in Godalming on 15th April 2018. The wide selection of cakes included some for restricted diets and £220 was raised for branch funds. Julie Tearle displayed a range of her hand-made cards on the stall with some of the proceeds going to the branch.

Cake Stall
Cake Stall


Parkinson's Awareness Week Dinner Dance - April 2018

Over 100 people gathered at  the Guildford Harbour Hotel on Friday 13th April for a dinner dance to mark Parkinson's Awareness Week. The evening started with a specially developed "Parka" Haka performance by the Parkinson's exercise class "PD Movers and Shakers".

PD Movers and Shakers
PD Movers and Shakers


Parkinson’s UK Online Self-Management Programme

We are pleased to announce that Parkinson’s UK will be offering our self-management programme as an online group this spring. This new online self-management pilot is for people with Parkinson's, partners and current carers.

Full details here


Disability Equipment Service

Need to buy or sell disability equipment or have equipment that you would like to donate?

The Disability Equipment Service (DES) website - is a national website for the buying and selling of disability equipment. The website is free to use and has been designed with simplicity in mind. It also includes a wanted section. We accept donated equipment with a percentage of proceeds being donated to charity (currently Guide Dogs).


Surrey County Council - Adult Social Care Online

A suite of online checklists and self-assessments to provide residents with alternative ways to access support and information. Available 24/7 here.


"My support needs and financial assessment"

Surrey County Council’s Adult Social Care service has launched a new online tool so residents can self-assess whether they are eligible for social care support. Details here.


Participants needed: A self-management guide

We have an opportunity for you to trial a pilot self-management guide for people with Parkinson’s who fall, and their caregivers. Details here


Branch Volunteering Vacancies

We are currently seeking to fill the following key volunteering positions:

  • Branch Secretary
  • General Committee Volunteer

Descriptions of these roles may be found here


If you would like to get involved in any of the activities of our branch, in whatever capacity, please contact Hilary Austin on 01483 422543 or email her at: