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JUNE 2002

Last Meeting
For our last meeting Roger had booked a speaker, but unfortunately he failed to turn up and we therefore had to organise an impromptu quiz. This was run by Marian and Eileen, after Roger had hastily returned home to get a set of quiz questions. In the event the evening was a great success with much fun and laughter, due in no small measure to our quiz master and score keeper. There were no winners and no losers, thanks to much good humoured prompting!
Our New Brochures
We have already found our new brochures useful to send out to potential new members and to people who offer donations. Suki Douglas of Neurocare has over 100 and will distribute these around the General Hospital, where they can be seen by the public. In our last newsletter we asked if sufferers and carers could keep an open eye for other places where they could be displayed, such as chemists or doctors surgeries. Rather disappointingly there was a nil response, so please think about this and if you have any ideas give Roger a call on 731145.
Social Get-Together at Corbiere Phare
This outing on Friday evening 31st May was a great success and the weather and also the timing were perfect. After the recent miserable weather we forget that we have ever seen the sun, but on this occasion it shone brilliantly and we had a window table, where we could see the sun going down over Corbiere. We were well served with a good choice of food and for some of us it was an interesting new venue, in the large new dining room with wonderful views. As usual the society paid for the meal and sufferers and carers paid for their own drinks and contributed to staff gratuities. This is a place where hopefully we can encourage Eileen to make a return booking!
Just Perfect
We bank with Lloyds TSB and Roger usually pays in at the town branch whilst Eileen normally goes to Five Oaks. Recently however Roger went to pay in at Five Oaks and was astonished to see the cashier stamp the paying in book before counting the many bags of copper and silver from collecting boxes. When asked why she did this the cashier replied that she knew the lady who paid in for Parkinson’s always balanced perfectly and she assumed therefore it was bound to be correct. This was not good banking practice but it was a compliment to the Society and especially to the efficiency of Eileen. Incidentally it is useful to know this bank is ideal for the disabled or anyone with mobility problems as you can drive right up to the door.
Collecting Boxes
Leading on from the topic of banking and small change, Roger is in charge of all our collecting boxes and empties all of these, except for about two that Eileen does and three that Betty Grihault deals with. We have lost two sites recently with the closure of Besant's shops and also two others with the closure of chemists within Spar shops. When however Roger was in Fortuna last week he spotted a till without a collecting box and therefore found a new site for a PDS box. Please keep your eyes open for any new shops or other business openings, or indeed any existing shop/business where we could have a collecting box. In the past our members have not responded to doing this but hopefully someone reading this will take notice and we can replace the lost sites.
28.5.02 Raffle/Communicare At our meeting members bought tickets totalling £20.00
28.5.02 Smartie Appeal donation amounted to £16.50
Card sales for April 2002 came to £65.58
1.6.02 Car Boot Pitch/Wanderers Football Club
Sale of Bric-a Brac, Books & Clothes £73.40
Thanks to Hedley & Lorraine for helping Eileen7.6.02 Bingo Night/Devils Hole
84 supporters raised £316.50
"50 Club" Draw
The first draw took place at our monthly meeting at Communicare on 28th May 2002. Results as follows:-
1st prize £20 Ticket No 29
Jack Schofield
2nd prize £10 Ticket No 12
Olga Wickings
3rd prize £5 Ticket No 13
Valma Le Feuvre
Eileen would like to thank everyone for supporting this fundraiser. It is fully subscribed and a profit of £290.00 will be made when the draw ends in October.
Social Get-Togethers
Our next meet will be on Thursday 27th June at 11.00 a.m, and we will again try petanque, which was rained off earlier in the year.
Lunch will be organised again at the L'Auberge Du Nord and Eileen will be asking you to pay £5.00 towards it, the Society will pay the rest. Please phone Eileen on 737128 by Monday 24th June if you would like to go along. Everybody is welcome and transport can be arranged.
On Tuesday 9th July at 12.30 p.m. we will have lunch at the Pomme D'Or Carvery at the Weighbridge. This will be free to sufferers and carers. Please phone Eileen by Monday 1st July if you would like to go.
Diary Dates
Saturday 29th June 11 a.m. – 4 p.m Card stall at Howard Davis Farm, Trinity re:- Trinity School P.T.A. Help urgently needed as Hedley, Eileen & Marian have another commitment for the Society to go to.
Friday 5th July 8 p.m Bingo at Devil's Hole, St. Mary. Everyone welcome.
Torquay Trip
As enjoyed by Eileen & Alan (A sufferer - carer and the driver)
On 8th May 10 sufferers and 6 carers set off for a weeks holiday in Torquay, funded by the Society. As a carer I was asked to contribute the very small amount of £100.00, and Alan went and all I had to do for the week was drive and have a good time. I'm extremely grateful to Roger for being a wonderful navigator, his eyes were 25 yards ahead of mine all the time.
As a group everyone looks after everyone else so thanks to you all for looking after Alan and allowing me to enjoy the driving.
Whilst I'm the one who makes you all laugh and does the silly things to help you have a good time little praise goes to Roger. Without his input and efforts in organising everything i.e. flights, hotel accommodation, with any special requirements, excursions etc. we wouldn't be able to have a holiday at all. Thanks Roger and jolly well done. Everyone feels that this trip was the best yet.
Thank you everyone for your company, good humour and for being willing to try everything we asked you to do. Thank you to the Society for paying for us to have a wonderful time.
Eileen & Alan Smith
Torquay Trip - Roger's Thoughts
When at a committee meeting we first discussed a holiday for 2002 I said that as I had organised all the previous holidays I would be happy to drive the mini-bus this year if someone else would do all the organising, but there were no volunteers for this and thus members were landed with me again organising things. Eileen said that she enjoyed the driving as part of the holiday and the navigating side of things is something I am well used to, having spent 10 years working in the U.K. and driving everyday to different destinations. One of my first thoughts on the holiday is that we should all be grateful to the late Thomas Kidd, who as a local benefactor put Jersey branch in funds to the extent of paying 100% of the cost of the Torquay trip.
Early in the year I said in the newsletter that we would be going to Cornwall and visiting the Eden Project and I was close to finalising arrangements for this when Marian told me that she had been approached by several members who felt that Eden would be too strenuous an excursion for our members to undertake. Coupled with this I discovered that this year there were no longer flights available to Plymouth from Jersey. I had received help and advice from Richard and Wendy Grainger, who have lived in Cornwall, and they gave me a list of possible resorts to stay at and also excursions and Richard advised me to enquire about chartering a small aeroplane to fly to Newquay.

 I then wrote to four airlines and received some prices, before Marian's timely intervention. This I now regard as a blessing in disguise, because the party we took this year was that much older and less able than in previous years and when we got to Paignton Zoo for example we had to use five wheelchairs and it was hard going as the zoo covers about 75 acres of terrain with a lot of uneven paths and small hills.
Fixing the dates of the holiday was a little more difficult this year because apart from finding out the best deals with the airline and the availability of hotel rooms I also had to fit in with dates (if possible) to suit the time that one of the party could have off from work and another person wanted to avoid about two weeks or so when she would be on a separate holiday and needed time to prepare for the Torquay holiday.
Some years ago we had a trip to Southampton where the hotel was only mediocre and really the quality of the hotel is one of the most important elements of the holiday. I now send away for a lot of hotel brochures before selecting any one and I ask for sample menus and when I have narrowed down the choice to half a dozen I then telephone with a list of queries and gauge their response. It was the helpful attitude of the hotel that resulted in my selecting Corbyn Head this year and I think everyone agreed that it was probably the best hotel that we have had on any of our trips. To suit our needs a hotel has to have obviously the right number of double bedded, twin bedded and single rooms and also either a lift or some ground floor rooms for the less able bodied. We also need to have a good lounge or lounges so that our members can enjoy a quiz evening or a card school, without troubling other guests and some hotels that I considered could not provide this.
Adequate parking for the mini-bus is essential and centrally located hotels cannot always provide this, whereas Corbyn Head had plenty of space. Then some of our party had special needs, as for example one person needed a walk-in shower, rather than a shower above a bath. It was interesting that one of our committee, Nancy Le Brun, was with a separate group of holiday makers in Torquay when we were there and this was as part of a package organised by a tour operator, rather than separately booked in the way that we do. Nancy was not happy with the food or the hotel and when we were there I passed this hotel and I noticed that it looked a little run down. In contrast I think the food at Corbyn Head was outstanding, as was the cleanliness and the service and attention and the committee have agreed that I should write to the hotel to thank them for all they did for us, including details such as the ramp provided for our wheelchairs. It is not every hotel where the manager and chef turn out to wave goodbye as you leave! The access to the snooker room in the adjoining sister hotel was another bonus, enabling Geoff, Graham, Jack and Clive to enjoy several games. Where else would you get five and a half hours free and uninterrupted use of a snooker room?
The excursions I had planned out before we left Jersey, by reading guide books and visiting the library. I think everyone enjoyed the variety and in one of the "Thank you" letters we received it was said that they all worked like clockwork, which was nice to hear. Peter told us, when we were already in Torquay, that he had to travel north for a funeral and we managed to work things so that we were able to include Peter in the Cockington excursion, which was only a five minute drive from the hotel and also the station and we then dropped Peter off at the station before lunch. It was good to see that Peter coped with the arduous trip on his own to Stockport and back.
In the first day or so Marian, Joyce and myself walked into Torquay and visited the Tourism Office and it was here that I picked up details of Buckfast Abbey, which was included in our tour of Dartmoor and well worth a visit, with the adjacent small shopping complex. At Tourism I also collected details of available theatre shows and realised that there was a potential problem with shopping in Torquay, because the main street is on a fairly steep hill. Neither Tourism nor the hotel reception were much use in suggesting a parking place at the top of the hill, so that our group could walk down rather than up. Fortunately however I found a telephone number for a disabled organisation, who told me where we could leave the mini-bus. If we had left this to chance and parked around the harbour it would have been impossible for our group to walk very far up the main street and certainly not with Alan in a wheelchair.
It was good on the holiday to see the camaraderie within the group and for example Peter and Jack helping one another and at the zoo we had members helping to push the extra wheelchairs. Thanks are especially due to Valma and Gladys for looking after Ivy, who would never have been able to cope alone on the Torquay shopping trip.
Two things that were unplanned and left to chance were the two pub lunches and in both cases we were given excellent food, service and attention. The plates of moules are still being spoken about! Another important element in the holiday, over which we have no control, was the weather and this could hardly have been better for the time of year. The trip to the theatre this year however was not as good as others we have had, albeit that some of our party did enjoy it.
Another of the most important elements in any holiday is the choice of resort and certainly Torquay was popular with our group and it offered us a great deal of variety. It was also within less than an hours drive from the airport and in fact only on the Dartmoor trip did we spend any appreciable time in the mini-bus. Eileen was told by the hire car firm that we only covered 113 miles in the week, which was good for all of us and made for a more relaxing holiday, especially for Eileen as our driver. The trips that we have away are designed so that sufferers and carers have no worries or hassles with making arrangements and have only to pack a suitcase and provide us with a list of their medication. Luckily so far we have never had any serious medical problems when we have been away and long may that continue.
Finally I would like to thank Eileen for again acting as our driver and also for booking the taxis to Jersey airport and holding a cash float. This year incidentally, unlike previous trips, I was able to use a credit card almost everywhere, including pubs, restaurants and for the railway and theatre tickets etc. I would also wish to thank everyone who contributed to the book voucher I received after the holiday and I know that Eileen appreciated the set of glasses.
Next meeting
Our next meeting will be on Tuesday 25th June, at Communicare as usual. We will be given a talk by Peter Le Rossignol, the well known local antique dealer. We had a talk some years ago, from Peter and we then found it to be very entertaining and Marian reports that she has thoroughly enjoyed at least two other talks which he has given, so why not come along and be entertained? If you would like to borrow a video or C.D. we are now bringing along our full selection of these to each meeting and there is no charge.
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