Charity near Oswestry forms choir to support Parkinson’s sufferers

Friends of Parkies helps people  in the Shropshire, Wrexham, Mid Wales and the Marches area.

Phil Bowen was diagnosed in April 2014, and the then Parkinson nurse, Val Coleman , started holding coffee mornings at Chirk Community Hospital for anyone suffering with the condition but especially anyone newly diagnosed as there was no information or support from the NHS or other clinical bodies.


Phil said: “Whilst there are several famous people who have recently been diagnosed with the condition, that have made the headlines, the support network for sufferers is very poor so what can we do to raise the profile and maybe encourage other groups to be formed to build a support network.

“To this end we have formed a choir in our group, and co-written lyrics to a song entitled “Help us take control “, sung A Cappella to the tune of Men of Harlech, took on the services of a musical director and go into the recording studio on Monday.

Ian Bunting worked closely with Val and from these coffee mornings the charity was formed and a committee of six was set up.

The group is not affiliated with Parkinsons UK as they believe that the local benefit should be a priority over a national body that “pays huge amounts of funds out in rents and salaries”.

They have had several changes of venue but currently meet in St Martins where their members, currently numbering 65, meet once per month for two hours to listen to guest speakers, take movement classes and socialise.

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Phil added: “Coming to terms with the debilitating illness is difficult as there are a range of symptoms relating to the prescribed medication and the side effects of taking said medication, rarely are two people the same.

“The purpose being to get it onto as many media sites as possible to raise the profile of the condition that affects 180,000 people and is increasingly being diagnosed in younger people.”

For any information you can call Phil on 01691 778168.

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