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Parkinson's Awareness Week marked at Gravesend Cyclopark

People living with Parkinson’s took to specially adapted bikes at the Cyclopark to raise awareness of the disease.

About 40 people went along to the Gravesend park where they rode on bikes designed to give people with disabilities and mobility problems the chance to join in with other cyclists.

The Gravesend branch of Parkinson’s UK arranged it as part of Parkinson’s Awareness Week and the Mayor of Gravesham Cllr Greta Goatley popped along for a visit and had a go on one of the bikes.

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Visitors get to grips with the specially adapted bikes. Picture: Andy Payton
Visitors get to grips with the specially adapted bikes. Picture: Andy Payton

Alan Lander, who is joint branch co-ordinator with his wife Ann, said: “It went wonderfully. I was overwhelmed by how many people turned up and everybody enjoyed themselves.

VIDEO: The Gravesend branch of Parkinson's UK raises awareness of the disease at the Cyclopark. Video by Andy Payton

“Our members were having a whale of a time. The Cyclopark was absolutely brilliant and gave us whatever help we needed.

Brian Wilkinson and Pat Walden set off. Picture: Andy Payton
Brian Wilkinson and Pat Walden set off. Picture: Andy Payton

"We’re having terrific funding problems, like everyone else, and the object of the exercise was to make people aware of Parkinson’s and how they can help by raising as much as they can.

Cllr Greta Goatley and Scott Francis from Sanfran Fitness, Medway, at the Cyclopark. Picture: Andy Payton
Cllr Greta Goatley and Scott Francis from Sanfran Fitness, Medway, at the Cyclopark. Picture: Andy Payton

“We run a support group, which does exactly what it says. It gives people the opportunity to chat about anything.

From left, the Cyclopark's Alex Flint, Janine Starling, area development manager for Parkinson's UK, and Alan Lander, Gravesend branch coordinator, with Mayor of Gravesham Cllr Greta Goatley. Picture: Andy Payton
From left, the Cyclopark's Alex Flint, Janine Starling, area development manager for Parkinson's UK, and Alan Lander, Gravesend branch coordinator, with Mayor of Gravesham Cllr Greta Goatley. Picture: Andy Payton

"It’s very therapeutic. You can talk and get to know each other and realise you’re not alone.”

Izzy Clark, 12, demonstrates a forward control bike. Picture: Andy Payton
Izzy Clark, 12, demonstrates a forward control bike. Picture: Andy Payton

The Gravesend branch of Parkinson’s UK meets at Chalk Village Hall, Chalk Road, Chalk, from 2.30pm to 4.30pm on the last Monday of the month.

Ann Lander, centre, with Marion Dixon and Stephen Dixon, finding out how to get involved. Picture: Andy Payton
Ann Lander, centre, with Marion Dixon and Stephen Dixon, finding out how to get involved. Picture: Andy Payton

Members listen to speakers and singers, eat homemade cakes and play rock and roll bingo, where they strike off song titles instead of numbers.

There are also sitting down exercise classes and other events throughout the month.

Call 01474 813089 or email Gravesend.parkinson@yahoo.co.uk to find out more.

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