Helen is vibrant and full of life. Her laugh rolls around the Bowls Club where I met her at the Parkinson’s Support Group Christmas function. Helen is the coordinator of the support group and moves through the group stopping to chat with each person: sitting down for a quiet word with some, patting others on the shoulder, giving another’s hand a squeeze.
She sets the tone for the group and it is enlivened through her presence. Helen’s husband of 32 years, Fred, has Parkinson’s and as well as being his wife she is also his carer – something many of the women in the group have in common with her.
Helen can barely sit still long enough to tell me about her life … she has get-togethers to organise, trips away – for the carers as much as sufferers – and people to farewell as the Christmas function draws to a close.