READING EAST MP Matt Rodda has pledged to help improve the lives of people with Parkinson’s on World Parkinson’s Day, which is this Wednesday 11 April 2018.

Matt has signed up to take part in the ‘Parkinson’s in the Workplace’ training from Parkinson’s UK. The training aims to raise awareness of the challenges which people with Parkinson’s face. The push for greater awareness is part of the charity’s activity
to encourage people to Unite for Parkinson’s on World Parkinson’s Day.

A survey found that 32 per cent of people with Parkinson’s have been stared at in public and 11 per cent have been laughed at. In addition, 32 per cent of people do not feel that their symptoms are socially acceptable.

Parkinson’s affects 145,000 people in the UK, which is around 200 people in Matt’s constituency of Reading East, (or one in every 350 people in the constituency). With numbers of people affected expected to increase by a fifth by 2025, the charity is aiming to change attitudes about Parkinson’s to make life better for everyone living with the condition.

Through the training, Matt and his office staff will learn more about the progressive neurological condition, the complex symptoms people face, as well as how to recognise and best support constituents with Parkinson’s.

Matt said:
“I’m concerned that people with Parkinson’s face so many barriers, including being mistaken for being drunk, when out in public.
“My office staff and I want to take part in the training so that we are all better equipped to understand Parkinson’s and so that we can play our part in helping to improve the lives of everyone affected by the condition in Reading and Woodley and better understand the issues faced by residents with Parkinson’s.”

Steve Ford, Chief Executive of Parkinson’s UK, said:
“We are thrilled that Matt Rodda MP and their team have signed up to our ‘Parkinson’s in the Workplace’ training.

“Lack of public understanding can make simple things like getting the bus, going to work, or even heading out to the pub with friends daunting for people with Parkinson’s. That’s why one small action like signing up to learn more about the condition can have a big impact on people living with the condition. We look forward to seeing the difference Matt’s support can make to his constituents.”

Matt is also backing a petition from Parkinson’s UK calling for more organisations to sign up for the training. Supporters are invited to sign the petition here.

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