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1. Welcome to The Parky Challenge

The European Parkinson's Disease Association (EPDA) is looking for people around the world who are ready to make a difference – to join our FUNdraising challenge that will help improve the lives of people with Parkinson's and their families. 

Whether you get a team of colleagues together, persuade your family and friends to join in or simply want to tick something off from your own bucket list, joining The Parky Challenge is easy. Simply choose a challenge that excites you – and complete it anywhere and at any time! 

Watch our video and find out more!

2. Why support

Parkinson's is a complex, progressive and chronic disease that has no cure. There are more than six million people living with Parkinson’s worldwide, and the average age of onset is just 58 years old. It can affect anyone, and everyone's disease journey is different.

But we think that Tommy's son from Norway can explain the disease's impact on his dad's life much better than we can:

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Dad has a chemical missing inside his head. Some people think it hurts, but he says it only hurts on the inside when he isn't able to do what he wants to do, like go to the park and play football with us. Sometimes he can do anything at all, and other times he cannot even eat or walk or talk. It’s like he’s two people, Clark Kent and Superman.

Tommy (centre)
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By joining The Parky Challenge, you will:

1. Advocate for people with Parkinson’s and their families to get the right information at the right time throughout their Parkinson’s journey.

2. Strive for healthcare systems where people with Parkinson’s receive early and appropriate treatment and individualised care.

3. Raise awareness of the complexities of Parkinson’s and the impact it has on people’s quality of life.

4. Support the global Parkinson’s community in the search for a cure.

For more specific information about how your funding will help people with Parkinson's, please download the EPDA brochure.

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There are times when I feel like I can do anything, like hike to a Buddhist temple in the mountains of Tibet, or run a marathon in Los Angeles, but then there are times when I can't get up out of a chair. Parkinson's is like that.

John Ball (right), USA
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3. How to sign up

Simply fill in the sign up and become part of The Parky Challenge!

Remember to let us know which challenge you are doing and when it is so we can support you all the way through. If you haven’t yet decided what to do, then just enter ‘not decided yet’ and we’ll send you some ideas to help you find the right one for you. If you are entering as part of a team, please ensure each team member signs up separately, together with the team name.

Any other questions? Look at our frequently asked questions below or email and we'll be happy to help.

We look forward to welcoming you to our team – #TheParkyChallenge

4. Fundraising

So, you've chosen your challenge – or are here to support your favourite challenger(s). Now to the fundraising…

If every Parky Challenger could raise either €500, £500 or $500 we could do so much to help people with Parkinson’s (download the EPDA brochure to see how your donations will help).

To help with your fundraising, we’ve created a toolkit that is full of ideas – along with posters that you can display in the office. We will email you the toolkit once you’ve signed up.

Many companies now support their employees’ fundraising efforts by matching donations like-for-like. It is a great way to pledge your support to good causes as an employer and, for the challengers, it could double your grand total raised.

But don’t worry! Whatever amount you raise will be most gratefully received, and every penny or cent will be used to improve the lives of people with Parkinson’s and their families.

To help make it as easy as possible for you to receive donations, we have set up a page on Virgin Money Giving. If you live outside the UK, you can use our BetterNow page instead. (BetterNow works in the same way as Virgin Money Giving or Just Giving sites, and is the European version that enables supporters from across Europe to be part of the team.)

Remember: there’s no such thing as over-sharing when you're fundraising! Use social media and the office intranet to tell everyone what you are doing, using the #TheParkyChallenge hashtag! And don't forget to email us your fun training/event photos and videos so we can share with the rest of the #TheParkyChallenge team to help inspire everyone.

5. The Parky Challenge corporate sponsors

The EPDA would like to say a huge THANK YOU to all these companies who have sponsored and/or are taking part in The Parky Challenge. Their support is very much appreciated and a huge inspiration to everybody's efforts!

6. #TheParkyChallenge team news

Hello team! Thank you for being one of our very special #TheParkyChallenge team – we think you're the best!

Here is your own dedicated space where you can share your news with the rest of the team… our virtual clubroom, just for our gang! Email us news on your training, fundraising and, of course, on your actual challenge itself. We'd like lots of photos please!

Dominic

Duathlon for Parkinson's disease

"I woke up the next day barely able to walk – but every ounce of discomfort and pain was worth it.

Francesco

Push Parkinson's away

"Helping people with Parkinson's live a full, dignified life is the ultimate goal of my Challenge and the only thing that spurred me not to give up!"

Jennifer & Jonathan

100 sit-ups a day

"There is still a long way to go to reach our 100th day, but the stretch ahead of us isn’t feeling too daunting!"

Natalie and Megan

Sponsored silence

"I learnt that it is very difficult and very frustrating not to be able to do something that you can normally do. This is something that people with Parkinson’s are faced with every day of their lives."

The Whartons

Family challenge

"We were both aching a bit the next morning but raising money for such a cause made it all worthwhile!"

Danny & Jo

Coffee and cake morning

"A great way to have fun and social gathering and support the EPDA"

San Raffaele

T-shirts challenge

"We think we will be able to sell some more t-shirts before Christmas!"

Book Republic

Reading marathon

"Everybody was so happy to be there reading and willing to do something good for people with Parkinson’s"

Šmid & Pustoslemsek Family

10km walk

"A 10km walk to help raise awareness and improve the lives of people with Parkinson’s"

Clint

24 hour walk challenge

"We are already looking at next year’s edition and trying to make it now even bigger"

Cvetka

Cleaning stables

"My motto is "Learn to be a partner, not a servant"

Lizzie & Terry

Ice skating challenge

"Terry is the perfect example of how fitness can delay the progression of Parkinson’s and he has run the London Marathon several times, raising many thousands of pounds for charity"

Grayling

Diving and rugby

"The whole Grayling team got very enthusiastic about the match"

Thomas

Half marathon

"Having the support of friends through donations really stimulated me to run even better!"

Stefan

Salsa for PD

"Every time I hear deep African drums of Cuban salsa or Brazilian samba I get a “fish skin” and I get a burst of energy and joy. My legs begin to move automatically. This is the joy that I feel when I am able to express myself, when I am dancing"

Tony

Cycling challenge

"And who knows, maybe a new project is waiting for me and my journey will continue"

Ideagen

Euro 2016 fundraising

"And while stars of England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland battled it out on the pitch, Ideagen’s heroes were doing their bit away from the field by raising almost £155 during the group stages of the competition."

Claire

Prague marathon

"It had always been part of the plan to use the marathon as a way to fundraise and I knew I wanted to raise money for Parkinson’s. This cause is very close to my heart, having seen my Grandfather suffering with Parkinson's as I grew up."

7. FAQs

Q. How does BetterNow work?

  1. BetterNow is an online social fundraising platform for charities all over Europe. The EPDA is both a UK- and Europe-based charity, so it is the perfect site for people living in Europe as it works in the same way as Virgin Money Giving or Just Giving sites.

Q. Do I have to use BetterNow or Virgin Money Giving?

  1. No, you can transfer your fundraising money to the EPDA in other ways. Visit our donate section on the EPDA's website. Here you can donate by PayPal, bank transfer or even make monthly payments.

Q. What if I change my mind about doing the The Parky Challenge?

  1. It would be a shame but we understand that circumstances can change! There is no obligation to carry out the The Parky Challenge, but we hope you are able to join in the fun and help us improve the lives of people with Parkinson's and their families.

Q. What will my fundraising money go towards?

  1. The EPDA works tirelessly to enable all people with Parkinson's to live a full life, and it is our mission to provide information and resources to all Parkinson’s stakeholders, raise awareness of the disease’s complexities and impact, and advocate for concrete policy change that benefits the Parkinson’s community. For more specific information about how your funding will help people with Parkinson's, please download the EPDA brochure.

Q. What if I don't raise 500 (€/$/£)?

  1. Don't worry! The 500 (€/$/£) was just a guidance figure. We will gratefully accept any funds you are able to raise.

Q. How do I send you my photos and/or my training and event stories?

  1. Easy! Just email us and we will do the rest!

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