What a fantastic day we just had in Kilkenny with our very first Move4Parkinson’s Pop-up Café. We were delighted to see so many people turn up to spend the afternoon with us.
We started with a very interesting talk from Kilkenny’s local neurologist, Dr Paul Crowley, where he spoke about the benefits of cycling and taking part in activities such as Set-Dancing and singing to support the symptoms of Parkinson’s.
We then had our well-known Set Dancing teacher Pat O’Dea up to talk about his personal experience working with People with Parkinson’s and the positive feedback he has had from PwP’s who participate in his classes. This was followed by a fun, interactive session of set dancing, where he soon had everyone clapping their hands and tapping their feet.
After a great deal of chat, tea and coffee (many thanks to the local Supervalu) Mags spoke about her journey with Parkinson’s, where the idea for a “Voices of Hope” choir came from and how Move4Parkinson’s has evolved over the last two years. She talked about the excitement of coming to Kilkenny to launch our very first choir outside Dublin and introduced the new choir director Ann Moylan.
Finally our Dublin Choir Director Jen spoke of the benefits of singing for Parkinson’s and within minutes had the entire audience singing three parts round of “By the Waters of Babylon”. Then Ann Moylan, the Kilkenny Choir Director spoke about her aspirations for the new choir.
Not only was this our first Pop Up Cafe, it was also our first opportunity to set up a “Wall of Hope”. Previous feedback we received from our Empowerment Day showed that people with Parkinson’s were looking for “Hope, Positivity and Shared Stories”. Parkinson’s not only affects us physically, it can have a very negative affect on our emotional well being, leading to apathy and depression. We wanted to give people a space where they could write up their own messages of hope on the wall, so we could all be inspired and take an active role in changing our outlook.
It seems to have worked! We had a great response to the launch of the choir in Kilkenny, with a number of people immediately signing up to join on the day. We will be in touch with you all in two weeks time with details of rehearsals.
In the meantime, thanks to everyone in Kilkenny who made us feel so welcome yesterday. We really appreciate your amazing support and encouragement and we look forward to singing with you in Kilkenny very soon.