Reflections: Our achievements in 2009

Steve Ford It's the end of our 40th Anniversary year and I'm snowed in at home with seemingly no trains running out of Kent! So it's a good opportunity to reflect on the past 12 months.

It's really been a fantastic year in so many ways. We've had record number of new Parkinson's nurses appointed in all parts of the UK. Our new national network of Information and Support Workers is now supporting people with Parkinson's across the whole of the UK.

In campaigning, we've pushed our message through the Fair Care for Parkinson's campaign across to decision makers in all 4 UK countries, and have a review of neurology services on the agenda for England in 2010.

We launched the Parkinson's Brain Donor Appeal in April during our Awareness Week, to encourage more people to pledge to donate their brains to Parkinson's research. 2,332 people have signed up to the register this year, more than doubling the original number of people on the list.

And the success of the appeal hit the headlines today, with Dr Kieran Breen, our Director of Research and Development, appearing on BBC Breakfast, Sky News and the Today Programme. I’d like to thank everyone who has signed up so far but we still need more people to sign up to the register. This has been our most successful media campaign to date, with over 700 pieces of coverage and 2 communications awards

But looking back, what has really encouraged me has been the way that the voice of people living with Parkinson's has had a much stronger influence than ever before. It's this voice that gives us the passion and determination to build on our achievements in 2010.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Steve Ford is Chief Executive of the Parkinson's Disease Society

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