News 2022

Cobham Brass Band

The Nursing Association of Bramley, Wonersh, Shamley Green and Blackheath

The Cobham Brass Band and The Nursing Association of Bramley, Wonersh, Shamley Green and Blackheath have each nominated us as their charity of the year and have raised funds for our branch. Our sincere thanks to both organisations for their generous donations.

The Occam Singers Autumn Concert

The Occam Singers, a Chamber Concert based in Guildford, held their Autumn Concert of music at Holy Trinity Church, Guildford on 22 October 2022. They kindly invited the Guildford Parkinson’s Branch to benefit from the bar at this event and from a retiring collection. A fantastic £300 was raised. The Occam Singers have also nominated us as their charity of the year.

New clinic at the Royal Surrey County Hospital

Amanda Dodson, our local Parkinson’s Nurse Specialist, is starting a clinic in the Royal Surrey County Hospital on alternate Monday afternoons so do not be surprised if you get a letter with that address. As the letter will say, you must not use the check-in screens – as Amanda is providing a community-based service her patients are on a different system.

We appreciate that this may not be particularly convenient for some people because of the parking etc BUT by doing this it means Amanda will be going into the Royal Surrey on alternate weeks. She will be working from there all day Monday so will be able to chat to the consultants and also be able to see any of her patients that are in-patient which is a service she has not been able to offer before now. For people with Parkinson’s who are in-patients this is a significant service improvement (and one that Amanda has wanting to do for some time) as she will also be able to liaise directly with ward staff- nurse/doctors/therapists. This should eventually improve the in-patient experience as Amanda will be able to do on-going staff training.

Amanda will also be trying to target Guildford and North Guildford patients to attend her clinic.

Dates for your diary

6 December 2022 – Christmas Lunch at Broadwater Pavilion

Branch members will have received a leaflet giving details of the Parkinson’s Christmas lunch including payment info and how to get menu options. If you are a Branch Member and haven’t received a leaflet and are interested to know more, please contact Mrs Margaret Westwood, Committee Secretary, via our online contact form by clicking here

Recent fundraising events

Incurable Optimist –a one-man show by Paul Mayhew- Archer

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was well-known for her great sense of humour as well for her considerable support for the work of charities for over 70 years. Hence, after careful consideration and in line with government guidance, the Committee felt that She would have supported our decision to go ahead with our scheduled fundraising event on 17 September.

After observing a period of silence as a mark of respect for Queen Elizabeth II, a packed audience of over 250 was treated to a fabulous evening of humour as the comedy writer and producer, Paul Mayhew-Archer, entertained us with his hilarious one-man show Incurable Optimist. Paul, who for 50 years has been involved with hits from The Vicar of Dibley to I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue, showed us that there are jokes aplenty to be mined from Parkinson’s as well as from everyday life. Laughter is a great tonic and Paul not only gave us a lovely evening of laughter but he also inspired us to think more positively about life with Parkinson’s.

King’s College Guildford very kindly hosted the event, and a raffle and cash bar helped us raise an amazing £5,000-plus for the Guildford Parkinson’s Branch. We were honoured to have some illustrious guests, with the Mayor of Guildford, Councillor Dennis Booth, Deputy Mayor of Waverley, Councillor Penny Rivers and the Mayor of Haslemere Councillor Jacquie Keen, and their consorts joining us.

Of course such events only happen due to the generosity of sponsors and volunteers. Valerie Box captained the ship, supported by several teams of wonderful helpers who set up and organised the bar, the tickets and the raffle as well as the PA system.

Our heartfelt thanks to King’s College Guildford for providing us with their wonderful school hall and facilities; to our sponsors, Hall Hunter partnership; Guildford Lions Club; and Foundations Physio and all the local businesses that donated raffle prizes. Thanks also for the generous donations from the Lord Lieutenant of Surrey, the Grainger family and Crowther family.

A finally, a great show is nothing without the appreciation of a lovely audience so our thanks to all those who came and supported this important fundraising event.

Summer picnic

Many thanks to Clare Price and her husband John for allowing us to use their magnificent gardens at Great Halpenny Farm to host a fabulous summer picnic on 30 July in aid of the branch. Huge thanks go to Steve Heron and his large band of willing helpers for making it such an enjoyable day and a great fundraising event. On offer were cream teas and Pimm’s as well as a tombola stall and plant stall, all groaning with goodies. We were able to visit the chickens and beautiful horses on the farm. Just over 100 adults and 10 children came along and the weather was warm and dry as we relaxed to a background of good music, enjoying delicious food and drink while taking in the amazing views of the North Downs. We raised a fantastic £1323 for the branch.

World class trumpeter wows Witley!

Crispian Steele-Perkins performed The History of the Trumpet: a Musical Journey in Time, to a captivated audience of over 120 in the chapel at Barrow Hills School in Witley in May, helping to raise a magnificent £2,000 for the branch.

Crispian’s performance couldn’t really be described as a concert as it was more of a demonstrated talk, with trumpets at various stages of development being played along the way.

Amongst other accomplishments, Crispian has played with top orchestras and soloists, participated in the film scores for six James Bond Films, played in sell-out concerts in the Royal Albert Hall and Sydney Opera House and is best known as the soloist for the signature tune for the BBC’s popular show, The Antiques Roadshow, from which, he ruefully said, he had never received so much as a penny in royalties! He restores and collects period instruments and then tracks down the music of the time so the audience hears how the piece originally sounded. The audience enjoyed familiar and unfamiliar pieces and were introduced to lesser-known composers as well as the more famous.

He demonstrated that with the right mouthpiece, you (or at least, he!) can get a tune out of any piece of tubing and proceeded to play a length of hose pipe!

Crispian was a delight to listen to both for his renowned clarity and purity of sound for every note on each trumpet, cornet and bugle he played and for the informative and amusing talk alongside. He was very ably accompanied on the piano by Ian Richardson, Director of keyboard at King Edward’s School, which is associated with Barrow Hills.

The buzz in the refectory for the interval refreshments was tangible with everyone saying how much they were enjoying it. A wide spread of tempting finger foods had been prepared by a team of volunteers and was much appreciated. Other volunteers had overseen car parking, shown people where to go and the way to the food, while others ran the raffle. Huge thanks go to all the volunteers, led by Valerie Box, for all their involvement: the event would not have been the fundraising success it was without them.

Due thanks were also given to King Edward’s for providing the accompanist; Barrow Hills School for providing a venue, persuading their caterers to provide the interval drinks, and their overall help; and to the local businesses who had provided generous raffle prizes that attracted punters.

Longer Respite Care Opportunity for 2022!

Branch funded additional Respite Care once a month

Your committee is very much aware of the on-going burden placed on our members’ Carers. In 2021 we agreed to use some of the remaining Legacy money to fund some longer respite care.

Due to the pandemic we still have some funds available for this scheme and this will enable some Carers to have a well-earned break – a few days, perhaps, or even a whole week – during 2022. The offer is for up to £1,500 towards an individual’s care. A budget, enabling around five or more members to benefit, has been set aside for this and grants will be allocated on a first come first served basis. Requests (no more than one per person!) can be put in for a share of the budget. If your application is successful, there is no need to make use of it immediately. For instance, you may already have something planned for later in the year or simply want a break in the warmer weather.

It will be your responsibility to find a suitable respite placement, either with a care home or by a care organisation offering overnight care in your own home. It should be from a recognised home or agency, not an informal arrangement. Before applying, you should have identified a suitable provider and have registered your interest with them. You do not need to have paid a deposit at this stage.

We hope very much that some of you will take up this offer. If you wish to discuss further, with no commitment, then please contact Myra Newnes-Smith via our online contact form by clicking here

Myra can also send you more details and a simple application form to complete.

Branch AGM 2023

The 2023 Branch AGM will be held at Shalford Village Hall at 2.00 pm on 21 February.

Branch AGM 2022

Minutes of the meeting are available here.

The branch’s Annual General Meeting was held in person on 22 February.

Chair’s report and Financial report for 2021

The Chair’s report and Financial report for 2021 are now available.