In praise of Symfunny, raising funds for Parkinson’s research

I have now been back from Australia for three weeks, jet lag has faded and I have adjusted from Autumn to Spring! The bluebells look stunning, walking through woods is such a pleasure.

Bluebells near Burgess Hill, Sussex.

Our local choir, the Good Vibrations, have just had their annual jazz evening and we were well supported by family and friends. We had seven songs, our most ever. The next day saw the beginning of Parkinson’s awareness week with the slogan “We won’t wait” (relating to the need for a cure) and a whole programme of events both local and national.

Last week a group of us went to see Symfunny at the Royal Albert Hall, a concert to raise funds to help with research into a cure for Parkinson’s. The main drug, Dopamine, for treating the condition, hasn’t changed for over 50 years and only masks the condition for a time and has lots of side effects.

Symfunny No2 at the Royal Albert Hall, London

We saw a whole range of performers from singer Katie Melua to comedians Jason Manford, Josh Widdicombe, Jack Dee and the “I’m Sorry I haven’t a Clue” team, from Pete Townshend of the Who to singer Aled Jones. The comedy writer Paul Mayhew-Archer who wrote such sitcoms as “The Vicar of Dibley” and “Mrs Brown’s Boys” also made an appearance. Despite having had Parkinson’s for 5 years he continues to work hard and has been commissioned to write a romcom about romance blossoming in a Parkinson’s ballet class which made me chuckle! Saturday saw the summer term start at English National Ballet Dance for Parkinson’s , we are focusing on the “Rites of Spring” which is completely new to me.

At the beginning of May our Australian friends will join us for a week on a narrow boat travelling from Bradford on Avon through Bath to Bristol. We have never tried this kind of holiday before, lots to learn. If I am on lock duty I hope it is easier than it looks! Fingers crossed for some good weather.