younger people too.
Together we can make a difference
Our main focus is working with Parkinson's UK to make sure working age people with Parkinson's are represented, supported and part of a supportive community. We share our thoughts and insight into these areas.
Overall aim: make sure younger people with Parkinson’s have a supportive network, and that they and their loved one don’t feel alone/isolated
Overall aim: Continuing to improve understanding and care for people with young onset within NHS and Parkinson’s UK services
Overall aim: make employers / workplaces more Parkinson’s friendly and help people with Parkinson’s get what they need from employment experiences
Who are we?
YPA members all speak from lived experience and are passionate about ending stigma and creating change.
This year Genna designed a range of exclusive T-shirts and tote bags in her job at Next, with 100% of profits going to Parkinson’s UK. With slogans like “If nothing else be yourself” and “You are someone’s reason to smile”, the products promote messages of diversity and inclusion. They have been designed by Genna, 39, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2016 while on maternity leave from her job as a designer at Next.
Neil was diagnosed with PD in 2015. He is currently Chair of YPA and provides consultancy support to several charities, having previously spent his career in financial services. He is a fan of Cardiff city and his principal passion is long distance walking. Neil lives in Cardiff, is married to Elaine and is a father and grandfather. Neil has hosted the YPA podcast which you can listen to right here.
When I was diagnosed three years ago at the age of 51, I did the wrong thing. I googled it and scared myself witless. “There might not be a cure but I meet people who are happy to know that there’s a place they can go to for support, to ask questions and to ask for help. And it’s given me a new lease of life. We want to reach as many people in the community as we can, to say - come on, you’re not alone. We’re here to help.”
David Allan from Alloa had his Parkinson's diagnosis confirmed in 2012 after living with symptoms for several years. Previously working in public relations across Asia and the Middle East, David's diagnosis saw him return to Scotland and he's recently been appointed as a Trustee of Parkinson's UK.
I was diagnosed at 39 years old, which was a bit of a shock to us, especially as I had two young boys (3 and 1 years old) and for the first two years, I didn't take any medication and I tried to hide my symptoms. I soon realised my tremor wouldn't enable me to carry on living like this, so I decided to tell the world during a Parkinson's UK World Parkinson's Day media campaign in 2012. I founded South London Younger Parkinson's Network (SLYPN).
Julie Dodd, Director of Transformation Julie is part of the leadership team at Parkinson's UK where - among other things - she is responsible for helping the charity engage and involve under represented groups from the Parkinson's community.
Phil Bungay diagnosed 2012, aged 45, married to Louise, dad to Emily, William & James. Lives in Rochester in Kent, Lead Coordinator of the Parkinson's UK: Medway Working Age Group (www.parkinsonsukmedway.org.uk) and the Co-Lead of the Medway Neurological Network.
‘It’s taken me nearly 4 long years to pull Parkinson’s information together. It’s been like doing a jigsaw and I am still finding new pieces every day. Our vision for the two days of Fighting Fit is that it will give you a head start to live and work well with Parkinson’s.’ Pat has co-ordinated and produced the entire series of Podcasts on the YPA site.
Nick is 47 and lives in Waterlooville, just outside of Portsmouth. For the best part of 20 years, Nick worked on the frontline NHS as a nurse.
Ian was diagnosed at 41 over 13 years ago. World respected Naval Architect. Expert in design and build of gas carriers including cryogenic cargo containment systems. Haven't worked for a depressing 5 years We've 3 children, who were young but now grown up , moved out and missed. Considered down-sizing, taking on lodgers and providing airport parking just to make ends meet. Despite my terror of speaking in public i am trying to give lectures/ talks, to raise awareness of Young Onset PD.
Hello there. My name is David Sangster and I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease - age 29. I turn 40 in 2021. Statistically speaking, it is quite rare to be diagnosed with Parkinson’s at 29 and I will still 'too young’ for another decade or so. As younger people with Parkinson's, I feel it is our responsibility to help the community. We all have roles to play - individuals - for the collective push for better awareness, understanding and to educate society about PD.