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'Join me on Inverness Walk for Parkinson's', urges Moray nurse

By Alan Beresford

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A BUCKIE-based nurse is encouraging people from across the north of Scotland to get involved in Walk for Parkinson’s later this month in Inverness.

Inverness has been added to the list of Walk for Parkinson's events for 2023.
Inverness has been added to the list of Walk for Parkinson's events for 2023.

Parkinson’s UK is organising the event as a chance to get active, meet new people and raise funds to support groundbreaking research to improve the lives of people living with condition.

Following a route that takes in the beautiful surroundings along the canal path, past part of the Great Glen Way, the walk starts and finishes at Torvean Park on June 25.

Participants can complete either the shorter, family friendly two-mile route, which is fully accessible, or the six-mile route, suitable for those wanting to take on more of a challenge.

One of those set to don her walking shoes is Shirley Catto (54), who lives in Keith, is a neurology nurse specialist based at Seafield Hospital in Buckie. She is one of many who have already signed up to take part and is now encouraging more people from across the region to make their way to Inverness.

“There's always an amazing atmosphere at these events. Everyone is so grateful for you being there and you feel like you have really done your bit at the end of the day,” said Shirley.

Last year, Shirley, who works closely with people with Parkinson’s, was awarded the historic title of Queen's Nurse. She is taking part in Walk for Parkinson’s alongside a friend, Lesley Gibson, whose father-in-law, George James Gibson, lived with Parkinson’s for some time, before he passed away in 2022.

Shirley continued: “It’s often something you don’t know a lot about until someone close to you is diagnosed.

"Raising awareness is crucial, so people are mindful in their own communities and maybe try to find out more and see what they can do to help people with Parkinson’s.

"Raising funds is also really important, supporting research to find a cure and, in the meantime, better treatments, to stop Parkinson’s in its tracks so it doesn’t progress.”

It costs £12 to sign up to Walk for Parkinson’s, there is no charge for under-18s, and there is no minimum sponsorship required to take part. Walkers will receive a fundraising pack with tips and advice, sponsorship forms and an exclusive Walk for Parkinson’s T-shirt to wear on the day.

Walk for Parkinson's is the charity’s national community fundraising series, with events planned throughout the summer across the UK. Inverness a new location added for 2023.

Walkers will set out and return to a dedicated event village at Torvean Park. Entertainment and refreshments will be laid on at the event village, which will also host stalls offering information on services and activities available to people with Parkinson’s.

Parkinson’s UK is keen to hear from people who are interested in volunteering to help on the day at Inverness.

Marion Pirrie, Regional Fundraiser for Parkinson’s UK, said: “Parkinson’s is the fastest growing neurological condition in the world and affects an estimated 12,500 people in Scotland.

“Walk for Parkinson’s is a fantastic way for people to get together and raise money to support people with the condition, and their carers, to live better and fund research into the most promising treatments.

“We hope as many people as possible will come along to take part in the walk, which promises to be lots of fun, and also to consider helping out as a volunteer to support the smooth running of the event.”

More information on the walk and details of how to sign up to take part and volunteer can be found on the Parkinson’s UK website.

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