Who we are...

The Halifax and District Branch meets monthly to provide support and friendship to those living with Parkinson’s or those caring for someone affected by the condition. Held on the 2nd Saturday of every month these informal gatherings are usually accompanied by a talk or activity followed by refreshments and an opportunity to chat with other members. The branch is very active in raising awareness and fundraising throughout the year. Funds raised have enabled members to take respite care or engage in therapeutic activities. Becoming a member is easy – you can attend one of our meetings or contact our Local Adviser.

Parkinson’s UK Local Adviser Janet Edmunds: 0344 225 3638

Our Aims

The aim of the branch is to provide help, assistance, friendship and support to all those people in Calderdale affected by Parkinson’s. Not only to those living with the condition, but also carers, families and friends.

The Benefits of membership

Branch membership is free to members of Parkinson’s UK.
We meet monthly at : Elim Church, Hall Street, Halifax HX1 5AY

Meetings take place on the *2nd Saturday every month at 2pm. *(Except August & December)
We aim to provide a varied programme of informative, entertaining and social meetings. Please check before travelling.

We have a Local adviser, funded by Parkinson’s UK, who offers information and advice, particularly to the newly diagnosed.
Please ring Janet Edmunds on 0344 225 3638 if you require any assistance.

Respite Care

We have limited funds available to provide Respite Care and approved therapies.
Please contact our Parkinson's UK local adviser for more details.

Access to Relate Counselling

Please contact our Parkinson's UK local adviser for more details.

Conductive Education

Held in Huddersfield, subject to availability and prior training. A contribution of £10, for each 2 hour session, is requested to reduce costs to the branch. 
Please contact Phil Beckett on 01484 713035 for details.

(For those who are booked to attend, the dates are listed on our event calendar.)

For the Joy of Singing Group

For the Joy of Singing Group is presently searching for a tutor. Please check the main page, by following the link on the "Events page" for current information.

Please ring Anne on 01422 253368 for more details.

Exercise Groups

At the Maurice Jagger Centre, Lister Lane, Halifax. HX1 1UZ
Most Mondays   10.15am - 11.15am     'Tai Chi'
Most Tuesdays  10.00am - 11.00am      A Gentle Exercise Class
Please contact: Elaine on 01422 832645 for further details.


Held at Elim Church, Hall Street, Halifax HX1 5AY every Thursday.
Coffee served from 10.30am with the Dance Session commencing at 11am.
We finish at 12 noon, and ask for a voluntary donation of £4 to pay for room hire and refreshments
Please ring Natalie for more details on 07723 452673

A Monthly newsletter

Newsletters can be read and downloaded from our website.
Or they can be collected at our monthly Saturday meetings.

At the present time only 4 newsletters are delivered annually by post, to save on postage costs.

Annual Programme of Events

An annual programme of events is published each April with contact details and a list of all activities for the year.
Programme of Events & Therapies Timetables are available, throughout the year, in paper form on application.

Playhouse Theatre

Halifax Members are invited to certain dress rehearsals, free of charge.
If you would like to receive an email notifying you of an upcoming performance please email ianbarraclough@icloud.com to be added to the list of members receiving notifications.

All the packages listed above need to be accessed, initially, through the branch.

* Some of theses events are free. Others we ask a nominal contribution towards the cost of providing these services. If you require any further information, please contact one of the committee for further details.

Our History

The Parkinson’s Disease Society was founded on 26th February 1969, by Mali Jenkins in Tunbridge Wells. The Halifax branch was co-founded in October 1970 by Hilda Hitchen and her minster at King Cross Methodist Church. Hilda had contacted Mali to discuss PD and mutually support each other. Both had loved ones with Parkinson's:
Mali's sister had been diagnosed with Parkinson's and
16 years earlier Hilda's husabnd had been diagnosed, aged 40, only six years after their wedding.

Hilda Hitchen was a remarkable lady. Despite there being no help or support available and very little known about therapies, she managed to spread the word about PD, care for her husband and work tirelessly within the branch for nearly 30 years to the help those in Halifax, and surrounding areas, with PD. Even after the death of her husband in 1974, until her own failing health forced her to take a back seat in 1999. She continued in her role of Vice President of the branch, giving out information until her death in 2004.
She was one of the first people to be made an Honorary Life Member of the Society and the framed certificate signed by Princess Diana took pride of place in her living room. One of Hilda’s ambitions was to set up a Specialist Parkinson’s Nurse Service and just prior to her death in 2004 we were very pleased to be able to tell her of our success in securing a nurse in Calderdale.

Hilda once said ‘Of course, I would rather Parkinson’s hadn’t existed in my life, but through the PDS I’ve learned an awful lot, made so many good friends, locally and nationally and it has expanded my life so much.’

Present from the Past

According to Parkinson’s UK, 50% of people with Parkinson’s develop dementia within 8 years of being diagnosed. Their research shows that 80% of patients who have had Parkinson’s for 20 years or more will have developed dementia.
The result can be a loss of confidence and increasing isolation.

This fact from Parkinson's UK was the reason that Phil Beckett began to look into, and set up this project up. If after reading this, you would like to place your name on a list, to take part in a future session if they become available, please contact Phil on 01484 713035 for further information.
Open to anybody with Parkinson's but the project is aimed, particularly, at people living with Parkinson’s and who are suffering from mild dementia.
Dementia is defined here as some memory loss, slowness of thought and a general reduction in mental capacity.
Phil and volunteers will provide support and assist participants to recall their memories and trigger recollections, through stimulants such as:

  • Music Sharing memories
  • Listening to others’ recollections
  • Seeing and handling artefacts; and memorabilia

Phil and his team also help participants to make voice recordings, if they wish of their memories, so they can take a CD or a similar form of media away to keep and share with their families and friends.

Participants might like to leave the recordings with younger family members as a record of their lives or experiences. Some participants might want to produce written accounts of their memories, or complete a document to leave for their families, answering questions to trigger memories, but often these will just be a starting point, with memories coming tumbling out, especially when they hear others speaking about their recollections.

If participants are willing, they could be radio show guests to talk about the past or some of the recorded memories could be edited to be broadcast and reach and benefit a wider audience. If desired participants could remain anonymous, or elect not to be part of any such radio show. This would be for each individual to decide, there would be no pressure to do so.