A support group for those affected by Parkinson’s disease, started three and a half years ago by a Wincanton couple, has been promoted to a full branch with a change of name from Wincanton Area Parkinson’s Support Group to Wincanton Area Branch of Parkinson’s UK.
Stephen Beech, with the support of his wife June, started a support group following his own diagnosis with Parkinson’s disease for fellow sufferers and their carers.
Steve says, “We started with just 16 members but now have more than 85 who come from Mere, Zeals, Gillingham, Shaftesbury, Sherborne, Yeovil, Castle Cary, Bruton, Wincanton, and further afield.”
“With the unstinting help of a small band of members the group has grown and this meant moving, three times, to larger premises and
we now meet at Charlton Musgrove Memorial Hall.”
On 18th March several members from Parkinson’s UK London HQ office, local dignitaries, invited guests, members of other branches and support groups, together with Wincanton members held an inaugural meeting in which the group was formally adopted as an approved Branch of Parkinson’s UK. After this formal process an AGM was held.
The meeting began with Neil Smart, Parkinson’s UK Regional Manager South West giving a short presentation about the work of Parkinson’s UK, and also about being a branch. Neil highlighted the fact that the group now had more opportunities to raise money for research and to help those in our community who suffer with Parkinson’s and their carers.
When the election of officers had taken place, Neil handed over to the new chairman Stephen Beech. More than 50 people attended the event and, as usual, homemade cakes and tea was a great way to end this historic meeting