Fighting Fit is proud that the EPDA is promoting the Fighting Fit programme.

The EPDA is the main European organisation focusing on raising awareness of Parkinson’s and has been championing and working with the global Parkinson’s community for 25 years. It provides information and resources to all Parkinson’s stakeholders, raising awareness of the disease’s complexities and impact, and advocating for concrete policy change that can benefit the Parkinson’s community.

The article about Fighting Fit which includes interview with two of the co-founders, Pat Salter and Laurel Miller, can be found here.

In the article EPDA mentions the five things that PwP should know about Fighting Fit which are as follows:

  1. As well as accessing information, participants will have the chance to try out exercise and activities and share their concerns and anxieties.

The programme will include dancing and boxing sessions, as well as covering topics such as employment rights and benefits and personal relationships.

“What makes Fighting Fit different is its focus on the ways that assistive technology can help PwP, the development of skills for working life and the sharing of information about employment rights, finance and relationships,” said Laurel.

Pat added: “We will encourage participants to experiment with exercise, reinforcing its importance as medication. People will have the space to consider how best to take new ideas forward in their life.”

  1. The programme is open to a mix of PwPs attending alone, and those bringing partners.

There are spaces for 18 people – likely to be six PwPs to attend on their own and a further six with partners. “The split in the number of places on the pilot may vary but we don’t plan to accommodate more than 18 people in total,” explained Pat.

Laurel added: “We are hoping that people attending the programme will build trusting relationships during the programme that they may want to maintain after the weekend. We will be helping to facilitate this if it seen as helpful – either through the use of a Facebook Group or WhatsApp. Sharing experience with like-minded people in a safe setting is a core part of what we believe will make this programme successful and different.”

  1. The programme is designed specifically for younger and working-age PwPs

“We think it is likely to be more beneficial for people who have been diagnosed more than 18 months,” said Laurel. “Some participants may be retired for different reasons.”

  1. The fully-inclusive weekend package will be held between 9-11 November 2018 at the Holiday Inn, Weston Turville, Buckinghamshire, UK.

It costs £150 for a single place, or £250 per couple. “We are grateful for the support of Parkinson’s UK which has enabled us to create a weekend for the pilot programme that most people will consider to be good value for money,” says Laurel. “However, looking to the future, we are considering ways to provide financial support or funded places for people that would like to attend but cannot afford to.”

  1. This pilot is hoped to be the successful first in a series of Fighting Fit events.

“We will refine the programme based on the feedback received and if there is sufficient demand arrange series of further weekend programmes in 2019 at the same location,” said Laurel. “We may open another centre in a different part of the country if there is sufficient demand. In the long term we want to increase awareness by publicising the programme to attract those younger and working-age PwPs who wouldn’t normally get involved in group activities.”

Fighting Fit is an innovative residential weekend programme for younger and working-age people with Parkinson’s that encourages self-management. The aim is to provide information and sign-posting, to share experiences and discuss the practical and emotional impact of living and working with Parkinson’s.

If you want to find out more, you can either contact us, or sign up to our newsletter which will provide you with updates and news about this exciting opportunity.