Keeping Parkinson's on the political agenda
Parkinson's UK has been front and centre of the political stage over the last few months.
We have taken every opportunity to ensure the issues that matter to people with Parkinson's and their family, friends and carers are on the agenda of decision makers.
What we've been doing
Autumn party conferences
In September and October a record 40 meetings were held with MPs and Peers at Liberal Democrats, Labour and Conservative Party conferences.
Our campaigns on Personal Independence Payments, NHS continuing healthcare and mental health were championed by our supporters Ronnie and Suzette Shahmoon and Elaine and Ed Evans.
Downing Street reception
In October we invited researchers, supporters and celebrity patrons to a reception at 10 Downing Street hosted by the Prime Minister.
The event was held to mark 200 years since the first medical report of the condition by Dr James Parkinson.
It also provided an opportunity to talk about our groundbreaking research while outlining what support we need from government to find better treatments and a cure.
Appearance in front of a parliamentary group
In November Ronnie and Suzette Shahmoon spoke candidly to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Medical Research about their family's experience of Parkinson's and mental health problems - which they were never told was a common symptom.
After many very difficult years following Ronnie's diagnosis at 29, they are now stronger and 'happier than ever', and Suzette has retrained as a therapist.
Giving evidence to the Public Accounts Committee
Our policy and campaigns lead on health, Matina Loizou, gave evidence about NHS Continuing healthcare to an influential parliamentary committee that scrutinises public spending.
Matina talked about the systemic failures that are leaving people without the support they need and the worrying cuts that are further affecting this vital funding.
In the absence of an executive in Stormont we held a series of meetings with people with Parkinson's and their carers to identify issues to campaign on next year.
Campaigner David Allan, who has Parkinson's, recently met with MSPs from the Scottish Parliament's Health and Sport committee to talk about medicine management in hospital and continuity of medication supply in the community.
We have also been raising our concerns about the Social Security Bill that deals with the devolution of benefits from Westminster to Scotland. Local campaigners have also met with the Cabinet Secretary for Health, local MSP and MP about the proposed closure of Lightburn hospital. We are now awaiting a decision.
This year we've been busy briefing politicians on access to speech and language therapy and next year we'll be focusing on Get It On Time - something that many AMs have already expressed an interesting in supporting.
Join our campaigns network
If you'd like to help us campaign to get better health and welfare services please join our campaigns network. As a member of the network, you'll receive regular updates on our work and concrete actions you can take to help.