Photograph credit: Parkinson's UK
People with Parkinson’s and their families and carers will benefit from a £480,000 National Lottery grant for charity, Parkinson’s UK. The grant will help the charity transform the way it supports people affected by the condition by enhancing its digital support services.

Parkinson’s is a progressive neurological condition for which there is currently no cure. Around 145,000 people in the UK have Parkinson’s, and two people are diagnosed every hour.

Parkinson’s is complex and affects everyone differently so it is essential that the right support is available at the right time for every individual.

The grant will ensure Parkinson’s UK’s services prioritise reaching people at the crucial time of diagnosis and continue to offer individuals and their families and carers, both reactive and proactive support throughout the rest of their life.

The funding from the National Lottery will also ensure the charity can maximise its support services to do this, enabling people to better manage their condition and feel empowered to live well with Parkinson’s.

The project, called ‘Parkinson’s Connect’, will have digital service design methods at its centre, making use of pivotal technologies, allowing greater scale and presence of digital technologies in the increasingly tech-savvy Parkinson’s community.

Photograph credit: Parkinson’s UK

Shirley Jones, Head of Information and Support at Parkinson’s UK, said: 

“We are incredibly grateful for this generous grant from the National Lottery that will help us to make a real difference to the growing number of people with Parkinson’s in the UK.

“Ensuring someone is well supported and informed about living with Parkinson’s at the time of diagnosis is vital because it can help them control their symptoms, improve the effectiveness of the medication and enhance their quality of life.

“The money will be used to make our services more agile and effective through enhancing our online and offline support and reach more people at the time of diagnosis.”

John Knights, Senior Head of UK Portfolio at The National Lottery Community Fund, said:

“In a digital society, it’s important that charities and community organisations are not only able to adapt to be fit for the future, but can harness the power of digital to identify new opportunities to improve services to support more people. Now, thanks to National Lottery players, these organisations can increase their digital capacity to have a greater impact in communities and support our sector to thrive in the digital age.”

The Digital Fund was developed through a series of one-to-one interviews and workshops, with the aim to help organisations grow their digital capabilities, particularly around their operations and service delivery. It builds on The National Lottery Community Fund’s previous experience of supporting the voluntary sector’s digital transition, which extends back over a decade.

To find out more visit www.parkinsons.org.uk and www.TNLCommunityFund.org.uk.