MND Association. Norfolk, Norwich and Waveney Branch

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News archive - 2014



Sunday 2nd November 2014

Christmas Charities Fair


The Norwich and Waveney Branch of the MNDA is grateful to Greenacres Woodlands Burials Park - Colney for inviting us to host a stall at their Christmas Charities Fair, and to the management for agreeing to match fund £100.


Sue K., Cilla and Sue H. sold Christmas cards and other MNDA merchandise, and had a 'water and wine' lucky dip. Business was brisk in the morning, but slowed after lunch perhaps the heavy rain deterred people from venturing out. We were pleased to raise £191.35, giving us a total of £291.35 for use by the branch in support of people living with motor neurone disease.


As in previous years it was a good opportunity to raise awareness of MND and to collect signatures for the MND Association Charter. Thank you to those who attended and supported us.



Sunday 19 October, 2014

Open Meeting Wortwell Village Hall


The open meeting was attended by 48 people – most of whom appear in the photo!




It was a lively meeting with lots of chat, everyone appeared to enjoy the hot lunch prepared and served by John Groom catering which included a choice from three main courses and a variety of desserts. Once again it was good to see people from Norfolk and Suffolk, and particularly to welcome Janet Oliver who together with Janine Vince does so much for the Suffolk fundraising group. Phillip Laurier presented our treasurer Trish Bates with a cheque for £30 raised when he ran the 2014 Baxters Loch Ness marathon in aid of the MNDA.

Phillip Laurier

Phillip Laurier with Trish Bates

Tennis for Life

Liz Cooper (one of our Regional Care Development Advisers) receives a cheque from Donna Andrews

Donna Andrews from Tennis for Life came with three young people to present us with a cheque for £220. Donna agreed that if the young people raised £100 she would take the Ice Bucket Challenge; they did and the result was another £120 raised from her Ice Bucket Challenge.


Our guest speakers were Suzanne Godfrey, Clinical Director and Francesca Ray, beauty therapist from the Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre Norfolk (MSTCN). Francesca gave massages after the talk to those who wanted to try the service. Suzanne and Francesca made it clear that despite the name their aim is to meet the needs of people affected by all neurological conditions by offering the appropriate services to support, sustain, and actively encourage independence. The community based multi-disciplinary team (MDT) includes physiotherapists and assistants, a continence advisor, a neurological specialist nurse, occupational therapist, counsellor and benefits advisors. In addition they offer a full range of holistic therapies that include podiatry, yoga, pilates, Indian head massage, reflexology and a range of beauty therapies. Referrals are accepted from NHS Norfolk, Norfolk Adult Social Services, Consultants and GPs. In addition, people may self-refer to the MDT. The team is also able to refer patients to other services including the wheelchair service and other relevant departments. The comprehensive community based services provided at the centre offer assessment, treatment, practical advice and on-going support and equipment. Ongoing support is also offered to family members and carers.


MSTCN is a membership organisation. The charge to each individual ranges from £8 to £60 which enables members to access all the facilities and services that they provide – and facilitates a discount when using their complementary therapies. To join the organisation contact MSTCN Unit 1 Iceni Court, Delft Way, Norwich NR6 6BB Telephone 01603 485933 or email More information can be found on their website


Pauline Matheson, with support from Liz Cooper, gave a presentation to update us on the work of the Volunteering Fund Project during its pilot stage. See the presentation here.



North Elmham Young Farmers 1st October 2014

invited Cilla and Sue H. to join them at one of their weekly meetings to give a talk on the work of the Norwich and Waveney Branch of the MND Association and to receive a presentation cheque for £4,588.96. Much of the money had already been received by the branch, the rest came later as a cheque for £3,546.56.


Rebecca Vick, their Charity Fundraising Officer for 2014, lost her father to MND when she was 10. The Young Farmers spent a year raising as much money as they could for the Motor Neurone Disease Association to help all the people living with MND have the best life they can and hopefully attain the ultimate goal of finding a cure for this cruel disease. Over 2014 we have featured some of their events in Fightback, now we have some photos of some truly brave fundraisers. Rebecca (on the left of the photo showing the four skydivers) and three friends took part in a sponsored skydive.


Sunday 7th September, 2014

Charity Family fun day at Sprowston Sports and Social Club

We would like to record a huge thank you to Amie Godfrey (centre on the first photo below showing both teams) and family, especially Ben (Amie's husband and the late Noel Godfrey's son) and June (Noel's widow), and friends who put on a wonderful family fun day. One of the highlights was a football match in memory of Noel Godfrey who was a keen footballer and referee. The game raised £320 as participants paid to play! Ben is the last one on the right hand side of the back row in the orange kit. T. Gill & Son Ltd. builders and Anglian Home Improvements kindly sponsored each kit. This helped them pay for them to be made, and they can use them for all future events and charity matches they plan to organise. The sponsorship was a great achievement as Noel worked for Anglian Home Improvements for many years and retired from T Gills when his MND got progressively worse. 4Sports in Dereham made the kits and even personalised the kit bags! They were brilliant!


The weather was perfect for the event that began at midday and continued on until 7pm. The car park was soon full with an overflow along the road as we were joined by a crowd of hundreds including people of all ages. We were also joined by Roger Widdecombe, Regional Fundraiser, East of England, who said he was proud to support the event. He took a great many photos, including those with Peppa Pig, George and Ben assisting with the Ice Bucket Challenge when June, Jane and June's niece Hannah Taylor sat for a soaking!


Music was provided by The Tickets. Neil Reeve Presentz made lots of children very happy when he painted their faces. In another area they were entertained by Jake Ace a magician doing tricks and modelling balloons. Anarchy tattoos did spray on temporary tattoos. Sprowston Fire Department made an appearance, happily they were not responding to a fire. Big Pete's mobile catering and Mr. Frosty's ice-cream van kept everyone fed, whilst the bar was provided by the Sprowston Sports and Social Club.


The MNDA stall manned by Cilla, and Sue H. assisted by Malcolm was pleasingly busy with people willing to buy their Christmas cards and puddings early. Nearly 70 people showed their support by signing the MND Charter.


The photos below include a young supporter, Freddie, (Amie and Ben's son) giving the thumbs up with his granddad Graham McMillan. Other photos show Sue and Cilla with visitors to the stall - and of course, the all important charter. If you have not already made time to sign the charter please do so! The cake stall made £140 – the figures are still coming in – a grand total will be announced in the next issue of Fightback. It was a great event for raising awareness of Motor Neurone Disease.

"Bake-it” event September 6

Ann Franklin and her friend Wendy Brown held a ‘Bake It’ Event on 6th September in The Barn Room in Hemsby. You can see from the photo that there were a lot of cakes donated for the afternoon!

Click to enlarge


£320 was raised and 33 signatures were collected for the MND Charter! There was a queue at 2.30 when it started and it was a real success as all the tables and chairs were full.


Thanks to Thelma Pointer and her 3 friends who had been out to dinner and saved their dessert and coffee until they got to the Barn Room! Extra special thanks go to Ann’s friend Wendy who does all the organising and her family for helping out in the kitchen and selling raffle tickets. It was extra special as Wendy’s dad had passed away nearly 3 weeks beforehand and the funeral was only the day before but the family were adamant that John would have wanted it to go ahead.


August 2014 Family raise funds for the Association

See the Eastern Daily Press article


Norwich Motor Show at the Norfolk Showground 19-20 July 2014

Early on Saturday 19 July Cilla and Malcolm arrived the Norfolk Showground to set up the new branch gazebo. It was not quite as described in the shop – it did not just 'pop-up' – and ideally needed four people to put it up. With a little ingenuity and brute force the final score was Gazebo nil, Cilla and Malcolm one! However, given the heat and intensity of the sunshine it was good to have the shade both for us, the helpers, and for the cakes and quiches that we were trying to keep cool and edible!!


The attendance that day was low – it was very hot, and our position towards the back of the showground away from the craft stalls and beyond the motors meant that our cakes did not sell as quickly as we had hoped – though once again cheese straws proved popular.


On Sunday, the weather was promising early in the day and attendance was good. However, towards the end of the show the skies darkened and there was a cracking thunderstorm with plenty of rain. Fortunately Cilla and Malcolm managed to dismantle the gazebo and get things packed away before everything became too wet, except maybe themselves?


Our attendance at an event like this always has two aims, firstly to raise awareness and secondly to raise funds for the branch. Sunday provided more opportunities for the former though on both days we were successful in gathering lots of signatures for the MNDA Charter. The stall raised £109.50 through the sale of cakes, plants and Christmas cards.


Thank you to all those who helped on one or both of the days, especially to Cilla who masterminded the event and to Hilary (a friend of Sue H) who was roped in to help on Saturday whilst she was on a 'relaxing' weekend away in Norfolk! Again thank you to all who baked to stock the stall – we were well provided for on both days and appreciated the support.


Cilla is already planning for next year – watch out for the date in August 2015!!

MND Awareness day at Marks & Spencer Norwich

The staff organisation at the Norwich Branch of M&S have chosen to support the MNDA Norwich and Waveney Branch as their charity of the year. On 21 June the branch was invited to have a display with information about the disease, and made Sue K. Cilla and myself (Sue. H) very welcome. We were pleased that during our time in the store many people came to talk with us, some sharing their experiences with friends or relatives living with the disease. We held a collection bucket, which was pleasingly heavy towards the end of the afternoon. Meanwhile there were collection buckets on the food tills and collection tins at tills elsewhere in the store.


The schedule of staff events has already begun. Included was a session of leg waxing, it seems the male members of staff with hairy legs were happy to take the to take the pain to support a good cause!


Early in August the sum raised by the Norwich branch of M&S in memory of Noel Godfrey was reported to be around £2880.

Richard Cattermole Cycle Ride Completed

Richard Cattermole, who received a mention in the June edition of Fightback completed his 75km circular cycle ride through Suffolk on 22nd June with an average speed of 21mph; this made him third fastest in his group. So far his efforts have raised around £500 for the Suffolk Fundraising Group with whom our branch maintains friendly links.


Trevor Burlingham shares his story with the Eastern Daily Press


The Three Peaks Challenge

On Friday 13 June 2014 Anthony Blakemore together with his brother Craig and friend Chris Cooper began the challenge which involved climbing the three highest peaks in England, Wales and Scotland! After a long drive north they began with Ben Nevis in Scotland (1344m), then headed south to follow up with Scafell Pike in England (978m) and finished with Snowdon in Wales (1085m) – all within 23 hours 45 minutes. The weather was not looking good at the start - yet they managed to finish smiling - a splendid achievement!!


Whilst Chris was raising money for the British Heart Foundation, Anthony was raising money for the MNDA in memory of Jim Heal. However, you can see from the t-shirts they were all raising awareness of Motor Neurone Disease! We really appreciate their efforts on our behalf.


Thank you to those who have already supported Anthony, you can still sponsor him via his webpage at


The photo shows Anthony and Craig Blakemore and their friend Chris Cooper.


North Elmham Young Farmers - Charity Bike Ride 26th May 2014

Rebecca Vick, of the North Elmham Young Farmers, sent an update on their fundraising efforts for the MNDA. They organised and completed a charity bike ride on Bank Holiday Monday 26 May 2014. The event raised £160.87! It looks like they had the right weather for cycling. We are grateful for their continued support and are pleased to see so many MNDA t-shirts being worn to help raise awareness of Motor Neurone Disease.

The Young Farmers had a stall at a fete during the weekend of 31 May – 1 June at which they raised £80 for the MNDA.


The Puree Challenge 5th - 9th May 2014

The Puree Challenge: Helen Wilson and Amy Shaw are final year student speech and language therapists at the University of East Anglia. They were aware that people think speech and language therapy is all about communication, but chose to highlight the importance of their work for people with progressive neurological conditions who may develop swallowing difficulties (dysphagia). We are very grateful that in doing so they chose to raise money for the MNDA by taking on the Puree Challenge. From 5th to 9th May they ate a pureed diet and drank thickened fluids. This meant all their food was lump free and their drinks thickened using a specialist starch based powder to give it a honey like consistency. They hoped to gain insight into what life is like for people living on modified diets and how it affects daily living.


It was interesting to follow their twitter feed to see which issues were highlighted. Both Amy and Helen found the challenge more difficult than expected; their energy levels dropped, and whilst food tasted the same they found the texture and appearance tended to put them off even before they started eating. The photo posted on 7 May with the comment “Pureed sausage, beans & cheesy mash, the most normal(ish) dinner so far!” was enjoyable as it was closest to the texture they were expecting.

Amy and Helen noted more planning was needed for shopping. The time taken to prepare food was greater and there were difficulties keeping each part of the meal at the same temperature – a microwave was a must, as if that wasn't enough more washing up was generated! These factors add to the difficulties faced by people living independently with a progressive neurological condition. It was also more difficult to socialise – it is not so easy to have a drink or to eat out – you can't just pop out for a sandwich, salad or bottle of water for lunch.


One of the serious problems encountered was managing to drink enough and remain properly hydrated. When asked towards the end what they were most looking forward to eating – the reply was, “Actually all I want is a glass of water”.


If you would like to read more about Amy and Helen's insights click here.


Amy and Helen's JustGiving page showed that £522.11 had been raised by 24 May. If you would like to support The Puree Challenge you can still donate £1 by texting “PURE59 £1” to 70070 or you can visit to support the Puree Challenge and the MNDA. The JustGiving page is open for donations for 3 months after the event (so it will close on 09/08/14); there is still time for people to donate.



Inner Wheel of Watton - Concert 4th May 2014

Inner Wheel Club of Watton held their 100th Concert on 4th May, 2014 featuring the West End Waiters. The event raised £930 on the day, but with donations trickling in afterwards Pam Challand, their president, was able to send us a cheque for £1000. The West End Waiters have raised over £10000 for the MNDA, £2875 of this has been raised in the year from February 2013 to January 2014. We would like to thank them for their tireless support. In the first photo below, June, who is responsible for the music and Brenda, the narrator, are pictured in the centre with Lesley on the right. Malcolm Chubbock attended the event and took the photos.


Annual General Meeting 2014

The 19th Annual General Meeting of the Norwich and Waveney Branch of the MNDA was held on Sunday 27 April at St. Andrew's Church Hall, Eaton, Norwich. Full report and photos here