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The First Steps programme is part of the information, support and advice  offered to people newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s, their family members and friends. It is a structured group programme hosted by people with Parkinson’s.

In 2021 Parkinson’s UK will run 15 online courses enabling people with Parkinson’s and their friends and families to benefit from the First Steps programme.

Read on to find out more about this programme and how you can spread the word…

During the course, people have the opportunity to ask questions, share their experiences, take part in group discussions and hear from other people in a similar situation.

Who is it for? First Steps is designed for people who are in the early stages of processing their diagnosis and don’t yet know how Parkinson’s UK and health professionals can support them to live well with Parkinson’s. People may also benefit from First Steps if they don’t know where to start with getting active, or are wondering how to get more physical activity into their daily routine and stay motivated. The programme provides people with the opportunity to meet other people who have been affected by a new diagnosis of Parkinson’s and is suitable for people who feel comfortable discussing experiences in a group setting.

Some people attend a First Steps course with a member of their family or a friend, other people attend on their own.

We know from participant feedback and research that the programme won’t be suitable for everyone who has been newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s and whether it is the right type of support for someone will depend on their preferred style of learning, whether they feel ready to meet other people who have been newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s and feel comfortable discussing experiences in a group setting.

How will it be delivered in 2021? In 2021 we will run 15 online courses enabling people with Parkinson’s and their friends and families to benefit from the First Steps programme.

The in-person courses were suspended in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to review the situation and will make a decision about when we can restart these courses by the end of June 2021.

How do people book a place? People with Parkinson’s and their family and friends can complete an online form to book a space/s on a course, via the website. This can be accessed from the newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s page on the website.

What can I do to promote the programme? Please promote First Steps as part of the newly diagnosed offer, to people newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s and their family and friends.

We have included an FAQ document in the document hub which may help answer any additional questions you may have.

If you have any questions, please contact Sophie Bament, First Steps coordinator firststeps@parkinsons.org.uk