Old Reigatian raise £15,000 for Parkinson’s UK

Club member Hamish Turnbull (left) nominated Parkinson’s UK as the club’s charity of the year

Old Reigatian RFC raised an impressive £15,000 for their charity of the year, Parkinson’s UK, during the 2019/20 rugby season.

The money will go towards research projects supported by the charity, as well as support for those affected by the condition. 

Members raised funds through events over the course of the season, including a past captains’ lunch, sports dinner and a quiz and race night. 

Club member Hamish Turnbull was inspired to nominate Parkinson’s UK for the club’s charity of the year because he has been living with Parkinson’s for four years. 

He said: “Parkinson’s UK has been close to my heart since I was diagnosed with the condition in 2016.

“I have been a member of Old Reigatians Rugby Club since I moved to Reigate from Scotland in 1987. The club have always played a pivotal role in creating lifelong friendships, today they have a strong reputation within the sport for the amazing amount of fundraising they do for charities. 

“When they approached me and asked me to be an ambassador, which I saw as a privilege and great honour, old friends were quick to rally round and offer their support to get this fundraising challenge off the ground. We set up our small committee of close friends. 

“The quiz night was greeted with tremendous success which only encouraged us to continue.

“It was to our great disappointment to have our finale event, ‘Beer and Bubbles Festival’, cancelled at the last moment due to Covid-19.

“However, we walked away very pleased with the amount we had raised and the support given through the club members and close friends over the shortened season. 

“We can only hope that this small amount will go towards enabling better treatments and the cure we all desperately crave.”

Parkinson’s is the fastest growing neurological condition in the world, and currently there is no cure. It affects around 145,000 people in the UK, including around 19,800 in the South East. There are over 40 symptoms, from tremor and pain to anxiety. 

Parkinson’s UK is the largest charitable funder of Parkinson’s research in Europe, leading the way in driving better care, treatments and quality of life for those with the condition.

Leigh-Beth Stroud, regional fundraiser at Parkinson’s UK for the South-East, said: “We are incredibly grateful to Old Reigatian Rugby Club and everyone who fundraised for Parkinson’s UK over the course of the season.

“With more than 40 potential symptoms, Parkinson’s can devastate lives. While we’ve made huge breakthroughs in the last 50 years, there is still no cure and current treatments are not good enough. 

“Fundraising for Parkinson’s UK helps us drive forward the groundbreaking research we urgently need to transform the lives of people affected by the condition.”