sQuad goes from strength to strength

Since 2010 the sQuad Working Age Group has brought together people affected by Parkinson’s in Derby and led to meaningful discussions, activities and relationships.

In 2015 an average of 23 people came to the regular meeting at 11am on the first Saturday of every month.  During the year the meeting moved from QUAD arts centre to a larger room at St Peter’s Centre.  An average of 8 people met at 7pm on the third Tuesday of every month for curry night at The Flower Pot.

sQuad members have been active in a wide range of ways:

  • Parkinson’s diagnosis and how it is communicated are life-changing matters.  In early 2015 we began to suggest that staff use a consistent approach when people are diagnosed and how they are counselled, and a consistent approach post-diagnosis.  Our account of members’ experiences fed into the work of the newly established Parkinson’s Excellence Network, which brings together medical professionals nationwide.
  • sQuad and Derby Branch supported the East Midlands Research Support Network Research Forum on exercise, set up a subsidised gym membership scheme at VirginActive, organised a workshop to look at individual exercise needs and initiated local group exercise classes.

Other highlights included the first meeting of the sQuadettes group for women with Parkinson’s, a guided walk in Little Eaton, a visit to a Jazz gig with one of our carers playing and many other activities.

At our meetings we provide and discuss information about living with Parkinson’s. This is made much easier by professional back-up from Parkinson’s UK staff, especially Karen Bown and Lorraine Ray.  We also have the occasional speakers.

At the heart of everything we do is the attempt to support each other and reach all people with Parkinson’s, especially newly diagnosed and isolated people, as in the following case of a newly diagnosed woman:

‘I then Googled away and read about Ann Pitt, a retired teacher with Parkinson’s, and was desperate to contact her.  By reading the article I discovered that every month, Ann attends sQuad, an informal support group [in Derby].  This is some seventy miles away from where I live so I emailed them and with their help I spoke to Ann in late August.  She was my life saver giving her time, advice and counsel - My rock!’

Although most of us live in Derby we have members who regularly travel a distance to come to our meetings.

Pam, Ann, Kev & Chris