MND Association. Norfolk, Norwich and Waveney Branch

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News archive - 2015


27th December 2015 charity football match in memory of Mitch Block.

On 15th March Malcolm Chubbock was invited to receive a cheque for £2020 from Mr and Mrs Ablett. The presentation took place at Chinny's Sports Club, Halesworth. They arranged the charity football match to raise funds for the Norwich and Waveney branch in memory of Mitch Block who died of MND earlier in 2015. A visiting team from Lowestoft played the Halesworth team in a match where all the players were aged over 50, and one of the goal keepers - John Oakley was aged 73! There were around 250 spectators who contributed generously to a bucket collection and bought raffle tickets for a chance to win one of the 100 prizes. Thank you to everyone involved.


All the players signed a shirt, now framed, which will hang at the club. A shield has been made and they plan to make the match an annual event, so far it has one name engraved - Gaz's team, the winning team for 2015 with a score of 1-0.


Mitch Block Presentation
Mitch Block signed shirt

From left to right the photo of the cheque presentation shows Joe Block (son of Mitch Block), Malcolm, Karley Block (daughter of Mitch Block), Sharon Farrow, Sonia Ablett, John Oakley (73 year old goalkeeper), Gary Bennett (Captain of Gaz Team from Lowestoft), Paul Ablett (Captain of Coffin Dodger Team), and Mac Watson. Again, from left to right the photo showing the signed shirt shows Karley, John, Joe, Paul, Malcolm, Mac, and Gary.



7th December 2015. Copperfield Freemasons Lodge Cheque Presentation

Cheque Presentation


Malcolm was invited to the Neonatal Unit of the James Paget hospital to receive a cheque for £1020. Copperfield Freemasons Lodge had raised money on their ladies night for our branch of the MND Association. They had also raised money for the JPUH NHS Foundation Trust - hence the location of the presentation! We are very grateful to the Lodge for their generosity.


From left to right the photo shows Des Millward, Malcolm Chubbock, Bridget Tooley, Simon Tooley and Paul Rackham. Des Millward, Simon Tooley and Paul Rackham are members of Copperfield Lodge. Paul recently lost his father to MND, and had also lost an aunt to the disease.



Thursday 19 November 2015, Pulham St Mary Horticultural Society.


Malcolm gave a presentation to the Pulham St Mary Horticultural Society, who chose to raise money for the MND Association at their 2015 Charity Evening. Malcolm received a cheque for £200 for use by the branch. Thank you to all who attended and gave their support.



16 November 2015 at the Beccles Indoor Bowls Club


Tony Gaze, from Thurlton, was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in March 2015 and died in August of the same year aged 79 surrounded by his close family.


Kym, his daughter-in-law, had always wanted to do a skydive so the family decided to take part in a tandem skydive and raise money at the same time. Wayne (Tony's son), Kym and their son Ryan paid for the dive themselves so that all the money raised would go straight to the MND Association. They jumped on 15th August with their friends and family there to support them. Sadly Tony passed away the week before. In total five members of the family took part in the skydive.


Tony and his wife, Dinah, were both members of the Beccles Indoor Bowls Club where they played. Tony was President of the Beccles Indoors Bowls Club and Chairman of the Thurlton Outdoor Bowls club. The Beccles Indoor Bowls club held a raffle and collection to help raise money for the MND Association, and over the summer the Thurlton Outdoor Bowls Club also held fundraising events. A collection tin was present at Tony's funeral and at the funeral directors where people could donate. Kym also sold her home grown fruit and vegetables, and set up a JustGiving page. The family placed an article in the August 14 edition of the local paper, the Beccles & Bungay Journal, to talk about their fundraising and to raise awareness of Motor Neurone Disease.


Malcolm was invited to a cheque presentation at the Beccles Indoor Bowls Club on 16 November where he received a cheque for £1441. There was a follow up article on 16th October in the Beccles & Bungay journal with a photo showing the family presenting the cheque for the final amount. Wayne commented, “Dad would have been very proud” - and rightly so! Thank you to the whole family for their generosity and to everyone who became involved.

The first photo shows (from left to right) Tracey Bloomfield (Tony's daughter), Kym Gaze, Wayne Gaze and Dinah Gaze presenting the cheque to Malcolm Chubbock.



Sunday 8 November 2015 - Diana Buckingham 80th Birthday Celebration


Diana Buckingham

Diana Buckingham held a party at Sprowston Sports and Social Club to celebrate her 80th birthday. She decided to have a collection, games and competitions in aid of the MND Association in memory of her husband Geoff who died from MND in 2012. Diana gave Malcolm a cheque for £920 for the Norwich and Waveney Branch, and has raised a further £60 since the event. We are very grateful to Diana and her friends for their generosity.


From left to right the photo shows Richard Gurney (owner of the White House Farm Sprowston where Geoff was farm manager), Diana Buckingham, Malcolm Chubbock and Mark Buckingham (Diana's son). Some of you may remember that Mark completed the London Marathon in 2013 raising £3800 in aid of the MND Association.



Sunday 1st November 2015 - Christmas Charities Fair


Greenacres Woodland Burials, Colney. Sue Kitson and Cilla organised a competition, sale of Christmas goods and awareness stall at the fair. Although the weather was good attendance was low, but happily the stall raised £193, with a further £100 to be added as the parent company will 'match fund' up to £100 of the funds raised.



25 October 2015 - Mucky Races at Blackwater Farm


Jodi Welch, family and friends organised a cake sale at WR Events' Steeplechase race at Blackwater Farm, Great Witchingham. The Steeplechase course involved running, jumping, scrambling and hurdling over and under 30 different horse jumps and negotiating a series of water obstacles! It also included a timed Pumpkin Run. Competitors were encouraged to wear halloween costumes; there were certainly plenty of people in costume including one who looked more like Spider Man! A great many people took part on the day, and more were there to watch and offer support. Everyone we met seemed to have enjoyed themselves. The wet weather of the preceding week ensured the races were suitably mucky – the car park at least was decidedly muddy in places – yet, on the day, the weather was gloriously sunny and dry.


A lot of hard work had gone on behind the scenes preparing for, and publicising the event. It seems as if a team of bakers had been called upon as there were a wide range of delicious cakes available to buy. Jodi and her mother Rosie worked with a team of helpers serving refreshments throughout. Judy, Penny and Sue H were invited to help with collecting buckets – and were very happy to be invited to stay for coffee and cakes whilst the money raised was counted! The grand total was £1,350, which included money taken on the day from the sale of drinks and cakes, donations and the proceeds from the sale of some of the surplus pumpkins after the event.


The cake sale was held in memory of Jodi's dad, George Richardson, who sadly died of MND in August 2014.



27th September 2015. Max Burgess and dad, Barrie, completed a 50 mile bike ride round Norwich for the MNDA

Bike Ride


They had a perfect September day for it, sunny but not too hot and no breeze. In the end it was 57 miles!! Poor Max had a bit of a wobbly about 42 miles so he was counting down to 50 and when he reached it there was no end in sight! He continued and was very relieved to see the finish line up ahead!


Max wrote on his JustGiving page “I’m cycling to support the amazing work that Motor Neurone Disease Association do. Mum has MND, it is hard for her and us as a family because every day she gets a little bit worse and there is nothing anyone can do about it. It took 3 years to diagnose because there isn't one test and as it's rare GPs don't know much about it. Mum is 'lucky' as she has a rare type that is slower burning.” Ann spoke very movingly at the Lowestoft Study day in November 2015 about living with MND, and the support of her family.


Max raised £232 on his JustGiving page (including gift aid), and has already presented the Norwich and Waveney Branch with a cheque for £494 raised offline. In due course this total will rise as the gift aid is recovered from HMRC – something that can take a while!



Sunday 27th September 2015 - Coffee Morning.


This was very successful with £260.18 raised on the day. Thank you to Carol and Arthur Bloomfield for organising and hosting the event.



Sunday 30 August 2015 - Sprowston Family Fun Day and Charity Football Match


Amie Godfrey (pictured with friend Lauren, who was also a massive help) and family organised the second Family Fun Day and Charity Football Match in memory of her father in law, Noel Godfrey, and to raise awareness and money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.


The event began at 12 noon at the Sprowston Sports and Social Club. Despite the forecast for rain we were relieved that it stayed dry all afternoon, though it might have been nice to have seen the sun and felt a little warmer. There were a number of stalls and activities to entertain. These included Little Jumpers with a bouncy castle, slide, candy floss, popcorn and pocket money toys. The fairground rides looked to be a lot of fun and were a big hit with all the children. Neil Reeve Presentz provided walkabout magic and balloon modelling for all the boys and girls. PappleArt facepainting did a good trade painting the faces of young and young at heart – Malcolm's face reflected his support for Norwich City as well as Amie being a big kid for the day and having her face painted too! Big Pete's burger van was there keeping us all in tea and coffee – and burgers. Despite the chill of the day Mr Frosty's Ice Cream saw a steady stream of customers. The local police attended, with car, and seemed happy enough to let people try out their sirens. Sprowston Fire Department made an appearance later in the afternoon after a busy morning on call outs. Then after a couple of hours they needed to depart in haste on a yet another call out with their lights flashing and sirens blaring! It was an eventful day for them that’s for sure! Peppa Pig and Minion Dave must have featured in many family photos by the end of the day. Amie and friends ran a stall with a tombola and a raffle as well as an environmentally friendly version of the wine and water dip. Avon and Unique products were also on sale.


The raffle prizes were announced at the end of the afternoon with many happy faces going home with some of the amazing prizes that were generously donated. 1st Prize was a signed NCFC shirt followed by over 30 other prizes and vouchers that were up for grabs in the raffle.


Cilla, Malcolm, Sue and Jo manned the Norwich and Waveney Branch stall to raise awareness of MND, and were pleased by the number of people who came to talk, guess the name of the Bear – and to buy their Christmas cards early! Sadly no one guessed the bear's correct name so it will re-appear at the Christmas Fair at Colney on 1st November.


The football match began at 2pm and seemed to be enjoyed despite the casualties! Good job the local first responders were on hand to assist those in need.


Thank you to everyone who took part, and to David Willis who took the photographs mentioned. Next year’s event is already in the diary at the same venue on Sunday 21st August 2016.


Note the new polo shirts and fleece in the photo of Cilla, Amie, Jo and Sue H – these are available to order. Let Sue Kitson know if you are interested in purchasing one.


The event raised £1098.92 - an increase of £50 on the amount mentioned in Fightback.

Saturday and Sunday 15th and 16th August - Charity Classic Car Show


Prior to the day Sue K, Cilla and others filled wine bottles with water. They wrapped them and bottles of wine with newspaper – with around 400 bottles this was a huge weight to move around as the stall was set up! Cilla, Malcolm, Trish and Jill set up the gazebo on Friday evening and moved the water into place. The wine and water dip proved popular and, though Saturday was the quieter of the two days, £85 was raised as people tried to win bottles of wine. Sue H was kept busy in the afternoon re-wrapping the discarded bottles of water so that we could maintain the correct ratio between wine and water!


The branch was happy to be donated a number of large cuddly toys, which are featuring in a series of “Guess the name” competitions. Jo could be heard calling people in with, “every home needs a puppy, this one doesn't bark, doesn't need walking, no vets bills..." It worked! Charlotte, pictured with her parents, guessed the name of the dog. Her father asked her to choose, then held her close to the board displaying the possible names. With little pause for thought she placed her hand very firmly on the winning name!


Sunday was much busier. Fortunately this year it was not too hot and not too cold – it was 'just right' and it didn't rain whilst the gazebo was being dismantled! Thank you to all who helped with set up and during the two days – and especially those who supported us by coming over to talk and increase their awareness of Motor Neurone Disease.


Thank you to the happy winners who gave permission for their photos to appear on our website. Thank you also to the Star Wars characters who came to be photographed at our stall.

Malcolm's Ice Bucket Challenge

Click the image below to see the video on a new page....




Charity Motor Neurone cricket match

The annual cricket match in memory of former cricketer, Richard O'Flaherty, took place on Sunday 9th August at the meadow in Ashby St. Mary, near Thurton and raised £390 towards the Motor Neurone Disease Association. Friends and family of Richard attended the 40 over match which saw Ashby win by 5 wickets. At the end of the match Richard's brother Chris (pictured) presented the shield to Ashby's winning captain, Rob Beaumont.


          Charity Cricket Match



5th Brian Fretter Golf Charity Day for the MND Association

Golf Charity Day...was held on August 7th at Costessey Golf Course. The sun was shining once again as it has for each of the previous golf days held in memory of Brian. Many people travelled from Leicester to support Sue Fretter and her son Darren Fretter-Hall on this special day. With their kindness £1805 was raised for the Norwich Branch.


Brian was an active golf player, but within a few months of being diagnosed with MND he became wheelchair bound, and died 18 months later. It was Brian's experience of the cruel disease that led Sue and Darren to raise funds in support of the research that they hope might one day deliver a cure.


Paul Heath, Scott Lambert, Darren Fretter-Hall, Sue Fretter, Paul Loomes, Gerry Fowler are pictured above.



16 June, 2015: Downing Street Charter Presentation & Parliamentary Reception


We smashed our target with 33,630 signatures in support of our MND Charter. Thank you to everyone who signed and promoted it! We have been collecting signatures since the Charter was launched 3 years ago, calling for the right care, in the right place, at the right time for all people with MND and their carers. We have now stopped collecting signatures having handed the MND Charter to 10 Downing Street. It was presented by a group of committed campaigners, Association Patron and ITV presenter Charlotte Hawkins, and the MND Association's Chief Executive Sally Light. Cilla Godfrey, our Campaigns Representative, and Sue Kitson, our Secretary, were there to represent the branch.


Following the Charter presentation, there was a reception for volunteers and MPs in Westminster. Over 300 supporters travelled to Westminster from across England, Wales and Northern Ireland and were joined by 78 parliamentarians. This is a record number for an MND event; sadly, although we are grateful to everyone who took our e-action encouraging their MP to attend, there were no MPs from Norfolk in attendance. We shall have to invite them to our open meetings instead!! It is really important that we continue to engage with newly elected MPs so that they understand MND, and how they can support local people affected by MND in their constituency.


The MND Association has a created 'Motor Neurone Disease: a guide for MPs' to help us talk to our MPs about MND, and the issues affecting people living with the disease. You can download this guide, and learn other tips to help you engage with your MP at


The Association will be building on the success of the event, and continuing to raise awareness of MND amongst parliamentarians so that the vision outlined in the MND Charter can be realised.


You can read more about the event at


Speeches by Sally Light and David Setter can also be downloaded.



3rd June 2015: Volunteering Fund Showcase:


On Wednesday 3 June, our Royal Patron, Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal attended our Volunteering Fund project showcase at the Royal College of Nursing in London. The event celebrated the Volunteering Fund project achievements since 2013. The Volunteering Fund project, funded by the Department of Health, aims to support work on improvements in services for people living with MND in the East of England region.


Volunteers, supporters and staff of the MND Association were in attendance alongside national partners. Judy Burns-Thomson, Shirley Basey-Fisher and Sue Heal attended to represent the branch. Also in attendance were Care Service Navigators Isobel McCarthy and Jo-Ann Dawson, who work directly with people affected by MND in our area, and support them to navigate services to ensure their specialist and complex needs are met. Regional Care Development Advisers, Liz Cooper and Lindsay Goward were also there together with several of the neurological nurse specialists from Norfolk. Most importantly it was good to see some branch members with MND together with their carers. We were all particularly impressed that HRH The Princess Royal took time to speak with everyone present and, from her replies, was clearly well aware of the work that we are doing and still need to do!


By using technology more effectively, the Volunteering Fund project has created new ways of providing accessible information to people affected by MND, as we have heard when Pauline Matheson has spoken at our open meetings about the Support Portal.


HRH The Princess Royal also unveiled a plaque for our Investing in Volunteers Quality Standard, recognising the excellent work that the association does with volunteers.



May 30th 2015: Copacabana cast present Malcolm with a large cheque!


Cromer and Sheringham Operatic and Dramatic Society put on a production of the musical Copacabana at the Cromer Pier Pavilion Theatre. Throughout the week of 23-30 May 2015 between evening shows and matinées there were nine performances. Andrew Payne, Chairman of CSODS wrote, 'one of the main purposes of the Society is to raise funds for charity'. This year they choose to support the Norwich and Waveney Branch of the MNDA as their 2015 charity; one of their member's family has been affected by the condition and had spoken highly of the work of the Association. Malcolm represented the branch at the final performance on Saturday 30 May, where he was invited to say a few words about the work of the charity, and was presented with a cheque for £1825.50.


      Copacabana     Copacabana


Bucket collections were held in the foyer as the audience left the theatre. Some friends and committee members were able to enjoy the show and hold buckets after a few of the performances. We were stunned by the range of musical and acting talent; the energy needed must have been immense, yet no matter how tired the cast may have been after a long week it was good to see they were all still smiling at the end! We were very grateful for the support of the front of house staff who were happy to help with the collections. They were also kind enough to count the money. This was no small task as they raised the magnificent total of £2288.16 once the final collection was included. Thank you to everyone who took part, supported or attended.



 13 May, 2015: 30th Norfolk Palliative Care Conference


Judy Burns-Thomson and Sue Kitson held an information table at the conference held at the John Innes Centre, Norwich. It was attended by 150 hospital and community based health and social care delegates. The programme included topics such as Dementia, Mindfulness and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards. There was considerable interest in the MND Association stand and the information literature on display. Judy and Sue spoke to numerous delegates, including GPs, palliative care nurses and nursing home staff.



9th May 2015: Alex goes for a walk.

Alex Georgescu

Alex Georgescu and support crew


On 9 May, Alex Georgescu (shown on the final straight with 'support crew') completed a 40km sponsored walk in support of the MND Association – Norwich and Waveney branch. Alex and her walking buddy made it all the way round the course in approximately 10 hours. They had been hoping to be a bit quicker, but unanticipated stops for fixing a camelpack (water bag) and changing socks/treating blisters, plus the impact of the blisters themselves, meant it took them a little longer to hobble home than they'd intended. They were really pleased to have made it and to have raised £460.03 - £553.79 including gift aid.


We echo Alex's thanks to all who supported, encouraged and sponsored her. Alex's Virgin Money Page is being held open for a little longer in case anyone would still like to donate.



April 26, 2015: AGM at Eaton


It was good to see so many people at the branch Annual General Meeting on Sunday 26 April. We were delighted that 43 members and friends were able to attend, including Dr David Dick, Senior Consultant Neurologist at NNUH, who became the Branch Patron.


We have long felt the need for more people to join the committee, so it was particularly pleasing that Shirley expressed her willingness to get involved. She has written a short piece to introduce herself, which I have reproduced in full.


"My name is Shirley Basey-Fisher and I have been elected onto our Norwich and Waveney branch committee at the AGM in April this year having been approached by Malcolm Chubbock.


My interest in MND has come about when my husband Ian developed symptoms of the disease in 2003 and sadly passed away 10 years later. Because I am aware of the difficulties around managing the symptoms of this condition on a day to day basis and the lack of treatments available, having been the main carer for my husband, I feel very passionate about raising the awareness of MND and help to improve the lives of those living with the disease, as well raising funds towards research into treatments towards a cure.


I have 2 children; a daughter Holly who is 30 and was to married to Carl last year and a son James who is 26 and is currently working in New Zealand. Motor neurone disease has had a major impact on our lives and together, with the help of lots of friends, we were able to host 2 successful fundraising events at our home. We were also overwhelmed by the response of friends and family with last year’s ice bucket challenge.


I work as a community nurse supporting people with long term conditions, including those with neurological conditions such as MND and helping them to manage their symptoms, making choices about their care. However, I know, from experience that those who have lived with MND have a greater understanding of its effects on patient’s and their families and I feel passionate about improving lives for those with MND and continuing to fund raise towards finding a cure.


I look forward to being part of the Norfolk and Waveney MNDA branch committee in continuing to raise funds and awareness.”


Victoria Edwards, Advanced Speech and Language Therapist at the MND Care Centre at Addenbrookes Hospital, gave an informative and interesting presentation on alternative and augmentative communication in MND. Her PowerPoint presentation can be viewed here.


Wednesday 21st January 2015

Lions of Norwich Scooter Club


The Lions of Norwich nominated the local branch of the MNDA as their charity of the year for 2014 having lost one of their founder members, Noel Godfrey, last year to Motor Neurone Disease. They raised money when they organised a Norfolk Coastal Rally in Noel's memory on 28 September 2014 - those who rode were invited to make a donation of £10 or more, which covered a ride out patch for the first 50 featuring the MNDA logo and a scooter! They departed from The Wig & Pen at 9:30am and headed for the coast at Yarmouth, followed by Cromer, Sheringham and Wells Next the Sea coming back via Fakenham - their Facebook page suggests that they had a good weather and a great day. More funds were raised at a Christmas Party on 20 December 2014.


Malcolm, our branch Chairman (wearing the MNDA t-shirt), was invited to join them at the Wig and Pen Public House on 21st January to receive a cheque for £1000. June, Noel's wife, is pictured in the grey jumper (over an MNDA t-shirt) - it was a cold night!


We would like to express our appreciation and thanks to them all for the funds, and awareness, raised by the group last year.