Nominated by a number of volunteers and staff, David, who is based in Glasgow was commended for showing the Parkinson’s UK values in many ways.
A valued and inspirational member of the Scotland Development Team, David’s shown a huge amount of commitment to helping improve the way Parkinson’s UK works, shaping the development priorities in Scotland.
David’s driven to deepen public understanding of Parkinson’s; he has helped Parkinson's UK with media and has been incredibly open in sharing his story on national news and TV. This has helped people with Parkinson’s in Scotland feel heard and understood, reaching out to Parkinson’s UK.
More recently he has started a cafe in Glasgow, and this is showing great promise, attracting new people as well as some already familiar to the charity. The cafe is valuable to people with Parkinson's and those affected as it brings them together and helps them to learn, share, and support each other, giving a valuable resource in a relaxed setting.
David is truly people-first; applying and sharing his knowledge and understanding of the emotional, motivational and cognitive needs of people in all the different projects and teams he is involved in. Recently, he noticed that his and others involvement with Parkinson’s UK involved many meetings, as he explains:
“Whenever I go to a meeting to do with Parkinson’s I notice that the chair/organisers are good at reminding people to get up, walk around, get refreshments etc. as part of housekeeping announcements. However, I find that it is possible to become so in engaged in the discussion that I forget to notice how my body is feeling.
Consequently, it’s not until I come to stand up that I realise that things are somewhat stiff. I wonder about developing a two minute Parkinson’s UK, ‘meeting and movement’ routine. This may involve some gentle stretches (top to toe), focused breathing, vocalisation and a hearty laugh etc. (or whatever the physios advise). For longer meetings, this could be repeated every hour and if it was also fun this might encourage participation.
The meeting and movement routine would become part of the meetings protocol. I think as well as serving a reminder to keep moving, the group participation aspect may foster positive group dynamics. A meeting and movement two minute programme guide could be printed alongside the agenda and/or printed as a pocket guide. Or a short video demonstration that can be played on a smart phone or tablet”.
The good news is that David’s idea has recently become a reality, with this meetings and movement routine, developed with physiotherapist Bhanu Ramaswamy to be shared next year - so watch this space.