Penwortham fundraising hero secures £500 donation for Preston branch of Parkinson’s UK

A retired woman from Penwortham who has for years collected donations for Parkinson’s UK outside her local supermarket has taken fundraising into her own hands during lockdown.

Saturday, 21st November 2020, 7:00 am
​Hilary Wheale

Hilary Wheale, who lives with Parkinson’s herself, has been a fundraising stalwart for the Preston branch of Parkinson’s UK, collecting donations outside Booths, making raffle prizes, helping out at meetings, and organising guest speakers. Despite not being enable to be as involved as usual during the pandemic, Hilary has nevertheless found a way to help.

As a resident at their Hardwick Grange development, Hilary appealed to the retirement communities management company McCarthy and Stone for help. Knowing of the personal connection between Hilary and the charity and how disappointed she was not to be able to fundraise in her usual way, the developer donated £500 to her cause.

“I suffer with Parkinson’s and so for me the charity is a real life-line," says Hilary. "I can chat to people who are in a similar situation to me and who understand what I’m going through. It’s helped me to see that a diagnosis doesn’t mean the end, and there are so many good people there who donate their time and efforts to supporting one another."

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Hilary was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in December 2007 and first moved to Hardwick Grange in August 2019, leaving her four bedroom bungalow for somewhere more manageable and wcloser to the town centre.

"Moving to Hardwick Grange means I am able to live independently for as long as possible, but knowing support is on hand should I ever need it," she said.

David Brown, Chairman of the Preston branch of Parkinson’s UK, said: “We're so grateful to McCarthy and Stone and to Hilary for the offer of help. Right now it’s incredibly important that as we’re asked to stay inside, those suffering with Parkinson’s continue to keep mobile, so funding weekly fitness and yoga classes is something we have been doing online.

"We’ve also introduced a dance class which has proved popular so we would like to be able to do more of this in future," he added. "We are now increasingly reliant on individual donations to allow our work to continue. This donation will help us to increase our digital services in Preston and continue the work of our local group at an increasingly difficult and uncertain time for us all."