Its April, its spring, its new growth!

As I go on my daily bike ride it amazes me to see all the new growth. The momma robins are sporting fat bellies, the grass is growing greener, and lovely buds are breaking open in the trees around Victoria, not to mention the cherry tree blossoms.

My mind wanders back to PWP. It was 2014 when Diana Satok and I decided it was time to share and register ParkinGo as a charity. Now five years later our dream has come true. But how has this happened? Why 5 years?

Growth can be slow or fast. Usually somewhere in between. Good growth is about growing a healthy business; expanding capacity; engaging bigger sponsors; advancing people skills, and more. Bad growth is about growing unnecessary debt; expanding the wrong kind of behaviours; engaging with bigger problems; allowing issues to progress into a crisis, and more. I can assure you that we have never taken on any bad growth however yes, our growth has been slower than we had wished for.

From the chair of the board of Parkinson Wellness Project I can tell you we all have been working hard to get this project up and running. We have hit some road blocks during the building phase but they are behind us now and we have grown the dream we had started back in 2014.

We have now grown into an emerging community with the objective of barrier free participation. Victoria is at the

forefront of a select group of North American cities and is leading the way in putting research into practice at the new centre. PWP represents the new face of Canadian healthcare, empowering a community building model where people living with Parkinson come together in taking responsibility for their personal wellness in a central location. The centre will be a place to come together and receive support and understanding from others on the same journey, filling a void for the demand started in 2014 by a small group of people looking for better health by fighting Parkinson’s with rigorous, evidence -based exercise at its core.

As Bill Peterson (secretary of the board) says Parkinson’s is always a pain but family is always welcome. As we prepare for our opening, I would personally like to thank the board members who have put in hours of volunteer time to make this happen.

In 2018 we changed how we fundraise and ditched the pay per class model. We want more people in more classes. Anything that discourages growth is not a good thing. Fees discourage growth. The community building model is a growth model. It is a new system of getting cash to run PWP.

So come on in, no fees. Participate in as many classes per week as you can, the more the better to stay healthy. Bring your family.

Donate, volunteer and get your cheque book out! We need donations and volunteers from the community to grow. One last thing I have to say, I remember, so I know you remember! You wanted class fees to be tax deductible right? Our new model of growth allows for this.

April is Parkinson’s Awareness month worldwide. It’s a perfect time to start giving monthly to keep PWP sustainable over the years to come. More and more people are being diagnosed with Parkinson’s, wouldn’t it have been easier if we had this community when you were first diagnosed?!

See you all soon!