Work on establishing the Tumut Support Group began in June 2022 when Barry Whiting reached out to his local Rural Health Coordinator and the Parkinson’s NSW Support Group Coordinator.
“I had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s in May 2021 and naturally started doing lots of research into the disease, what supports might be needed, and what was available locally.
“It quickly became apparent that a local Support Group would be a good idea because I reasoned that there must be other local people in the same boat as myself,” said Barry.
The Tumut Support Group first met in July 2022 and Barry was appointed Leader.
The fledgling Group wasted no time in setting up a roster of interesting and relevant guest speakers – including a local exercise physiologist and speech pathologist. It also tapped into regional resources including a Parkinson’s Nurse from the Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network based in Wagga Wagga.
The Group attracts an average of 10 people per meeting from the township of Tumut and surrounding areas.
“Actually we’d like to attract more people from Tumut itself,” said Barry.
To that end, the Group has been very active in building its profile in the local community. Fliers have been displayed in local businesses, there have been interviews with the local newspaper, listings on the local radio station’s community notice board and even interviews with ABC Radio Riverina.
“I’m very impressed with what the Tumut Support Group has achieved within the relatively short time it has been operating,” said Parkinson’s NSW Support Group Coordinator Stacey Foster.
“It is a good example of simple but effective outreach to the local community, and the warmth and support that community has offered in return.”
To enquire about Support Groups contact the Parkinson’s NSW HealthLine 1800 644 189