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New Parkinson’s cafe to launch

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By Rufus Pickles
Dumfries and West
New Parkinson's cafe to launch

A NEW monthly cafe for people with Parkinson’s is starting in Kirkcudbright next month.

The first two sessions are scheduled for September 5 and October 3 at The Johnston.

It will be a regular, informal opportunity to access support and meet other people who live with Parkinson’s in the Stewartry.

Inspiration for the cafe came from retired counsellor Lynn Jackson, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2018.

She moved to Kirkcudbright last year to be closer to family and had searched around for a support group – something she had been used to in her previous location.

However, getting to the nearest groups in Dumfries and Annan was a challenge as she was no longer able to drive.

This prompted her to reach out to Parkinson’s UK which will be facilitating the first three sessions of the Stewartry cafe.

Lynn said: “I think the chance to get together with other people living with Parkinson’s is vital.

“We can be together, listening and encouraging each other, without the meetings becoming a therapy session but with the knowledge there is an understanding of the experience of living with Parkinson’s.

“Each one of us has different symptoms, but there is a commonality in some of them. To hear how people manage and support one another is very important.”

Parkinson’s UK Scotland has signalled there could be opportunities for further cafe meet ups.

Ms Jackson added: “I am keen to hear, from those who come along, what is needed and if there is any unmet need that can be supported.

“There is potential for the group to evolve. The main thing is to listen to what people have missing in their lives which the group can perhaps help to fill.

“We need safe spaces where we can talk about our fears, our expectations from life and encourage one another. We also need to laugh.”

Chloe MacMillan, area development manager for Parkinson’s UK, said: “Parkinson’s cafes are an opportunity for people with Parkinson’s as well as their family, friends and carers, to come together, meet with others and access information and support in an informal setting.

“We encourage everyone living with Parkinson’s in Stewartry to come along to the new cafe to make friends and find out about help available.”

The cafe will be open on the first Tuesday of every month, starting at 1.30 pm.

Parkinson’s UK local adviser Lorna Fraser will be on hand at the first session and nurse Shona Graham will be there in October.

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