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COMMUNITY: United support Parkinson's UK

17 April 2024


COMMUNITY: United support Parkinson's UK

17 April 2024

Carlisle United welcomed Parkinson's UK for World Parkinson’s Day on Saturday.

On Saturday, we welcomed the Carlisle branch of Parkinson’s UK to Brunton Park. The volunteers held a bucket collection around the ground and raised an impressive £360 through the generosity of the Carlisle and Blackpool supporters.

The group of volunteers was lead by Chair Mike Whelan and Carlisle United Disability Group member David Little, who himself lives with Parkinson’s. Mike and David joined us in the Boardroom, where discussions with Tom and Patty Piatak were encouraging, as they explained some of the hurdles that people living with Parkinson’s encounter when trying to enter a sporting venue such as Brunton Park.

Along with the visit last week of Alzheimer’s UK, who did a walk-through audit of the facilities at Brunton Park, we look forward to taking on board everything that was highlighted from both groups and to working with them going forward to help make Carlisle United as inclusive as possible.

Mike Whelan, Chair of the Carlisle Branch of Parkinson’s UK said: “Parkinson’s Disease, occurs when cells in the brain stop producing dopamine. We don’t know why this happens, and there is currently no cure. Parkinson’s is not life-threatening, but it is progressive and it is life-changing. There are over 40 different symptoms of Parkinson’s and therefore there are at least 40 different streams of research that requires funding. Parkinson’s UK is the single biggest contributor to Parkinson’s research and the principal aim of this is to find a cure, whilst making those with Parkinson’s less prone to the effects experienced and hopefully delay the onset of the worst symptoms of the disease.

"Parkinson’s UK are already investing over £25 million in projects from early stage research to world-first phase two clinical trials of ground-breaking new treatments.

"In my opinion, the progressive and evolving support of Tom and Patty Piatak’s policies on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion will ensure that Carlisle United is front and centre of the community enterprise initiative and I am truly grateful to them for the opportunity to raise funds in aid of Parkinson’s research and for the generosity shown by all the club staff and for the hospitality experienced by our collectors on the day.”

David Little, Carlisle Branch of Parkinson’s UK and CUFC Disability Group said: “Thanks to all at Carlisle United for the use of the facilities. The club are a massive part of the community. Encouraging people from the Parkinson’s community to go to games will only have a positive impact on both sides. Thanks, I'm sure we will be back.”

Nigel Davidson, EDI & Mental Health Officer said: “It is crucial to recognise, that in our Carlisle & Cumbria community, we have people whose lives are made so much more difficult by the conditions they live with every day, some visible and many not so visible. At Carlisle United we are striving to be as accessible and inclusive as we can, to enable people to access the ground and other facilities at the club with as much ease and with as little negative impact on them as possible.

"We are looking at Disability in a different way, more aligned with the ‘Social Model of Disability’, which is the theory that ‘disability’ is created by society. In the negative, dated ‘Medical Model of Disability’, the emphasis is on curing or fixing the person, rather than adapting the environment to remove barriers allowing for a more inclusive society for all.

Having Parkinson’s UK as our guests today has helped us understand a lot more about what we can do as a club to facilitate those supporters with Parkinson’s access Carlisle United, and we look forward to working with them more in the coming season.”

Link to World Parkinson’s Day at Carlisle United:

To learn more about the work of Parkinson’s UK please see the website here:

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