By Stacey Foster, Support Group Coordinator
Anytime I can visit with a Support Group or SGL either online or in person, I am happy! Thank you for having me, I enjoy meeting you all.
Between the end of August and September, I visited several Support Groups:
Castle Hill: vibrant and well-led by Melissa Fratzia. The Group likes to come together for a morning tea and chat, before settling in for the month’s guest speaker. For August, that was me. I shared information about Parkinson’s NSW services that are available to all Group participants and enjoyed chatting with participants before and after the meeting. A big turnout – close to 40!
Chatswood: a friendly group that’s very ably led by Cathie Rankin. They, too, enjoy gathering for an afternoon tea and chat at the café where they meet, before heading into their meeting room to hear from the guest speaker. For August, it was Dr Paul Silberstein speaking about Deep Brain Stimulation. The purpose of my visit was to support the leadership handover to Stephen Hand, who is taking on the role for the next five months while Cathie is enjoying a well-earned break. Thank you, Stephen for this commitment.
Chinatown: Our bilingual Support Group with participants from all over Sydney, who have a great leadership team who are dedicated to supporting each other and the Group. Thank you for the warm welcome! The Group start their meetings with exercises, facilitated by their leader Rosanna Ng. I was definitely put through my paces! Next, we heard from Dr. Eric Ho who spoke about high blood pressure. The meeting finished off with a light lunch, wonderfully homemade by participants of the Group – all of it delicious.
Lismore: Another big and busy group that’s well led and supported by the leadership team. Marie and Brayden co-lead and Desley leads the Carers Group. They are well-resourced and offer a library for their participants. I spoke again about Parkinson’s NSW services and brought with me some resources. Tim Ayers, Parkinson’s Nurse, also attended and spent some one-on-one time with participants. It was great to see some of the participants playing pool while chatting, general socialising by others, and carers having their own space and time.
Milton-Ulladulla: It was lovely to visit this group on the beautiful south coast! The Group have been without a leader for quite some time, but it’s great to see that they still see the value of coming together each month to socialise and learn from guest speakers. I shared Parkinson’s NSW services and resources, and we spoke about the current challenges facing the Group. After communicating with them all year, I enjoyed meeting them face to face