to me that I
give a voice
"I was diagnosed with Parkinson's at the age of 52 and once I had come to terms with the impact of the condition, I wanted to increase awareness and support for people with young onset Parkinson's.
"After being involved with the charity in a number of other ways, including as a facilitator for the Self-Management Programme, the Parkinson's UK Scotland team asked if I would be interested in representing Scotland on the newly established Younger Parkinson's Alliance.
Using my experience
"I very much saw this as an opportunity to use my personal lived experience to highlight the unique needs of individuals diagnosed at a younger age, to shape and improve the support provided.
"The Younger Parkinson's Alliance is made up of individuals with young onset Parkinson's, some of whom represent other charities and networks for younger people.
"It's supported by staff from Parkinson's UK and chaired by one of the Trustees. We meet in person around 4 times a year, with additional Skype calls in between if necessary.
Giving something back
"It's my desire to give something back by influencing Parkinson's UK, clinicians and other people with the condition alike. It is very important to me that I give a voice to fellow people with Parkinson's.
"Our aims include raising awareness of young onset Parkinson's among policy makers and healthcare professionals, generating an overall understanding of the long-term needs of people like me.
"I very much enjoy being part of the Alliance. It has improved my knowledge of young onset Parkinson's and the specific needs of those with the condition.
"Most of all it has inspired me to help make a difference."