Parkinson's UK in 2011

As 2011 draws to a close, it's a good time to reflect on the successes from the year and look forward to 2012 - the year of the London Olympics, the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and, of course, Parkinson's Awareness Week 2012.

Not only did we win a prestigious Charity of the Year award at the Charity Times Awards in October, but it's been a great year for our fundraisers.

Our London Marathon team raised more than £326,000 - the highest ever amount raised for the charity from this event.

An intrepid team of cyclists travelled across Cuba to raise £40,000 for us, and our London to Paris bikers (including Josie, pictured right) raised over £13,500 from their trip across the Channel.

Parkinson's research continued to hit the headlines and our research team commented in the media on topics including gene therapy, stem cells, exercise and Parkinson's medication. We've also funded 26 research projects, worth over £4million, and our new Research Support Network now has more than 500 members.

2011 has seen our helpline answer more than 21,000 calls from people affected by Parkinson's and the launch of our peer support service - where trained volunteers share their personal experiences and understanding with others over the phone. The service has already had great feedback from users.

From the rallies and marches of the Hardest Hit campaign (thanks to Roy, pictured left, and many others), to delivering your messages to the Prime Minister in a Christmas card, we have been making a stand against cuts to disability benefits.

And we've been working hard to keep Parkinson's at the top of the Government's agenda throughout 2011. By speaking to leading decision-makers, we made sure politicians were listening to the voices of people affected by Parkinson's.

There are now 310 Parkinson's nurses in the UK, providing vital support and expertise for people affected by Parkinson's. Thanks to continued campaigning, this is up from 289 in 2009 and means 6,300 more people now have access to a nurse.

These are just a few of the highlights from a really successful year for the charity. But we couldn't make any of this happen with the dedicated support of our volunteers, supporters and staff.

More than 1,900 new members have joined us in the past year, and we now have around 6,000 followers on both Facebook and Twitter. But we want even more people to join us in 2012.

Tell us your highlights from 2011 or ideas for 2012. Add them below or email

We wish everyone a very merry Christmas and a happy new year.

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