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Foundation celebrate World Parkinson’s Day

11 April 2024


Foundation celebrate World Parkinson’s Day

11 April 2024

This week Hartlepool United Community Sports Foundation have been celebrating World Parkinson’s Day on April 11 with the rest of the Parkinson’s community.

The Foundation currently run two chair exercise sessions in Stockton, at Ragworth Community Hub, and link into a similar session at West View Advice and Resource Centre in Hartlepool. The groups, run by Dean Carwright, are collectively known as the Movers and Shakers and currently engage with around 80 Parkinson’s sufferers and their families.

Each session involves around 40 minutes of exercise which is mainly chair based and designed to help improve strength, balance and co-ordination. Following the exercises, the groups have a social get-together involving a cup of tea and a chat when they can get to know one another. This social element has subsequently expanded into quiz nights, fundraising events and days out as people form new friendships.

A regular attendee, Adrian, stated:

“I was a little apprehensive about coming along to the group initially, putting it off on a number of occasions before I finally came along. My fears were unfounded as I was made to feel welcome immediately and have certainly benefitted from the exercises.”

This led to Adrian becoming more active in fundraising and raising awareness of Parkinson’s and has recently been interviewed on Radio Tees and contributed to the Jeremy Vine show on Radio 2.

“It has been great to get involved and help to grow the groups within the local area. I have made a lot of new friends and am also now involved with a Parkinson’s research project.”

The efforts of the Foundation to grow our groups have also been acknowledged by Parkinson’s UK as well. Kirsty McDowell, the Area Manager for the Northeast and Yorkshire added:

“The sessions run by Dean are incredibly valuable for the local Parkinson's community. Having the opportunity to get and stay active makes a real difference to people's lives, so it's fantastic that these sessions have gone from strength to strength. Dean makes it fun, friendly and sociable meaning people stay motivated and gain many social benefits too."

So, this week, we have set up various fundraising and social events across Hartlepool and Stockton whilst encouraging all of our attendees to wear something blue to as a tribute to everyone that has experiences of Parkinson’s.

As Dean said: “Our groups have grown steadily over the past couple of years, but we want to engage with as many people affected by Parkinson’s as possible. We know how a diagnosis can have a negative impact on confidence, and people’s mental health in general, but exercise is a great antidote to low moods and has been medically proven to slow down the progress of Parkinson’s.”

If anyone is interested in joining one of our Movers and Shakers classes, contact Dean Cartwright on 07834 982338 or via email at for further details.

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