This year’s Parkinson’s awareness week in Blackpool will be topped off with a glittering occasion.
A fund-raising ball will take place on Saturday, at the Hilton Hotel, Blackpool, from 7pm.
The event will mark the close of the national awareness week for Parkinson’s, which runs this week.
Also as part of the week, the Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre branch of Parkinson’s UK has been manning an information stand at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, yesterday and today – they are there until 4pm.
The black-tie ball, which includes a three-course meal, magician, a raffle, auction and dancing, has been organised by Emma Whyham, from Staining, and her mother-in-law Mary. Guest speaker will be Jason Raw, Parkinson’s consultant physician.
Mary is branch chairman for the Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre branch of Parkinson’s UK and vice chairman of the national charity.
Last year, Emma hosted a Touch Of Sparkle event at her home salon, which involved skincare demonstrations, sales of gifts, refreshments and a raffle – and raised £230 for the cause.
Mary – whose husband was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2001 – said: “The ball is about two things – raising money and raising awareness.
“One of the most important things Parkinson’s UK is trying to do is to help people with Parkinson’s and their carers take control of their lives, and have better access to treatments, quality services and so on.
“People with Parkinson’s were asked about the sort of things which would help in their day-to-day lives.
“It was things like massage, physio, holistic treatments and complimentary therapies – things which can help with stress.
“We recently carried out a pilot with Spiral health involving physio, which was very successful.
“So the fund-raising will go to paying towards helping local people in those sorts of ways.
“Of course, Parkinson’s UK is a national charity, we have a local branch and local support groups.
“This week is all about raising awareness too.
“We are always looking to recruit volunteers to help with different things.
“We meet the first Monday of each month, at 7.30pm, at Cleveleys Park Methodist church.
“People can find mutual support, we also go on outings and day trips.
“Anyone is welcome to become a member of Parkinson’s UK, and to become one costs just £4 a year.
“But we want people to know we are here for everybody, they don’t have to be a member.
“If people would like help, they don’t have to be a member of Parkinson’s UK, anybody is welcome to contact myself or membership secretary Marjorie Fleming.”
Call Mary Whyham on 07903 119823 or Marjorie on (01253) 868086. There are a few tickets left for the ball, but those interested must be quick.