Our chair of Trustees takes on a year of challenges to raise money for Parkinson’s UK

Gary Shaughnessy is taking on another exciting program of fundraising challenges in 2021, from football matches to marathons.

Gary was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2014. He joined Parkinson’s UK as Chair in 2019. He's a passionate advocate for the benefits of physical activity in managing Parkinson’s symptoms. And to lead by example, Gary has mapped out an exciting itinerary of challenges for 2021.

Gary has a history of dedicating himself to fundraising challenges in support of Parkinson’s UK. Last year he took on a Three Legged Race challenge. Gary and his friend Andy completed 300 laps of their local village green over 24 hours, running a grand total of 123.18km. More than 450 Parkinson’s UK supporters from 15 different countries joined in with the challenge. 

Challenges for 2021

This year he’s covering everything from abseiling down the Spinnaker Tower to a gruelling 100 mile cycle from Bristol to London. He committed himself to these challenges on World Parkinson’s Day, earlier this year. Gary said:

"Over the years, I’ve been fortunate to have the support of many colleagues, family and friends. From encouraging me and joining me on runs and cycles, to sponsoring me. Your help has been a powerful motivator for me to keep poking Parkinson’s in the eye.

"But Parkinson’s hasn’t gone away.  More people live with the condition than ever and more people are affected by it through those they love and care for. A cure is ever more urgently needed.

"There is hope, as research improves and ways to help manage the condition (like exercise) become better understood. And this year, we’re stepping up the challenges to raise as much money as possible for Parkinson’s UK.”

How to get involved

Visit Gary’s fundraising hub to find out more about his year of challenges. You’ll also find details of how to sponsor him, as well as information about how to take on your own challenge.

Sponsor Gary’s 2021 challenges

Every pound you donate will go to Parkinson’s UK. The first £5,000 will fund research into neurotrophic factors, such as GNDF, that are showing potential to finally lead us to a cure.

The Zurich Community Trust will also match fund your donations (up to £15,000 in total) towards Zurich Cares. It’s a programme that supports charities across the UK and has been making a difference to those in need for half a century.