IT HAS been a lifeline for Parkinson’s sufferers around the area for a decade.
And yesterday dozens of those who have been given hope and a new lease of life thanks to the Portsmouth and District Branch of the Parkinson’s Disease Society, came together to celebrate its 10th anniversary.
Since being founded on August 10, 2001, the support group has helped hundreds of people and shown them there is life after a diagnosis of Parkinson’s.
It has provided a place for people to socialise and talk to others in the same position, while also talking to health professionals and getting expert advice.
And it has been a place for people to take part in activities such as Tai Chi and skittles, and go on outings and away on holiday.
Margaret Doyle, from Drayton, is just one of those who attends the group and says it is an invaluable part of her life now.
The 65-year-old said: ‘It’s given me a purpose.
‘I always enjoy coming along. It’s something to look forward to and makes me feel I have something to do.
‘It’s such an important support group for so many people.’
To mark the group’s anniversary milestone, members enjoyed a celebratory lunch at Cosham Community Centre, where the group has been meeting since it formed.
The founding members were present to cut the cake.
Gwenyth Davies, who set up the group with her husband Cliff who has Parkinson’s, said: ‘It’s fantastic celebrating the 10th birthday.
‘The group’s just been growing and growing over the years and has helped so many people. We all think it’s invaluable.’ If you would like to find out more about the support group call Roger Millard on (023) 9220 0030 or Gwyneth Davies on (023) 9245 0307.
The group is also looking for a new chairman and secretary.
The chairman’s role entails being the main point of contact for the society, overseeing meetings, and promoting the society in the community. The secretary’s role requires basic computer skills, receiving and sending emails and attending committee meetings.
If you can help call Gwyneth Davies or Roger Millard.