Garden gathering effort ‘inspiring’

Belly dancers performing at the garden gathering
Belly dancers performing at the garden gathering

Ten years with Parkinson’s have not stopped Sue Scanlon from being as active as she can.

The inspirational 61-year-old likes to keep herself moving. She is an avid hoola-hooper, a member of a walking group, a juggler and attends regular ballroom dancing lessons.

Maggie Brackley, left, and Sue Scanlon opening the party

Maggie Brackley, left, and Sue Scanlon opening the party

Sue’s latest achievement has been raising £850 for Parkinson’s UK at a garden gathering she organised with Maggie Brackley, 67.

Sue said: “I was diagnosed with the condition nearly ten years ago and I have coped by living beside it, not with it.

“This is a progressive condition and there is currently no cure but with more funding for research, one may soon be found.”

Sue and Maggie, who are both members of Yapton Village Women’s Institute, held the party in Climping and laid on entertainment for friends and family. There were belly dancers, musical quizzes and a pluck the duck tombola.

Serving cream teas to guests

Serving cream teas to guests

Sue’s son, Ian, said: “The effort Mum put in was inspiring. There must have been over 100 guests that attended to give generously and a lot of fun was had by all.

“She doesn’t let Parkinson’s stop her living a fast-paced life and organising this party is just a snippet of what she gets up to.”

Sue, from Climping, and Maggie, from Yapton, wrote to businesses requesting donations for the raffle, which resulted in prizes including signed Brighton and Hove Albion football shirts, tickets to Goodwood Revival, days out at Fontwell Racecourse, hampers and fish suppers.

Maggie said: “Sue is an inspirational lady who is an amazing example of positive thinking and living with Parkinson’s despite the difficulties.

“We had great fun organising and planning the event with a small group of friends and everyone commented on how much fun it was on the day.”

Garden Gathering is a new feel-good fundraising project for Parkinson’s UK and Sue and Maggie wanted to support it to raise money for both research and the support the charity gives to sufferers and their families. The idea is to bring the festival vibe to gardens and favourite open spaces.

Paul Jackson-Clark, director of fundraising, said: “As Sue and Maggie have shown, you don’t have to go to festivals like Glastonbury to get that festival feeling.

“Garden Gathering is the perfect opportunity to bring together friends and family closer to home. We are very grateful for their support.”

A fundraising pack full of tips for organising events, including festival wristbands, a teepee donation box and a festival themed game, is available from the Garden Gathering team on 0800 138 6593, or visit for more information.