Parkinson’s is something I am very familiar with. My father-in-law and his daughter both had Parkinson’s, so does my son-in-law (not related) and I was diagnosed in 2000.

Some years ago, we met a young man of 21 years with Parkinson’s, and also Tom Isaacs, who inspired me to do something to raise funds for research. With the help of my husband, Gordon, we put together some of my “ramblings” of poetry and prose and produced my book, “Backyard Memories” which has raised between £5,000 and £6,000 and is still selling. We are now in the second print. (Copies available from Beth Roberts, Penadlake Cottage, Lanreath, Looe, Cornwall PL13 2PG)

Last year, together with our neighbour, we opened our lakes and woodlands to over 400 visitors for two afternoons in aid of The Cure Parkinson’s Trust and Prostate Cancer. CPT’s share was £2,000 and this we managed to match fund, just, thus making it £4,000. I say “just” as the window of time we had to get the bid in was only ten minutes!

With the help of ladies from our local churches who generously give of time, cream teas, cakes and hot soup, we have had these open days for the last four years in support of different charities, and will do the same this year on the 30th and 31st May. This year it will be for Pancreatic Cancer and our local hospice.

Funding raising is a good way of keeping “the little grey cells” active; we also meet lots of lovely people. It also stops one feeling isolated and from becoming introverted.

At 77 years old, I don’t really expect to see a cure in my lifetime, but both Gordon and I are keen to do what we can to help CPT in their quest.

Beth Roberts