Can you help the PSPA?

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A 72-year-old woman who single-handedly established a charity in Ballymoney which helps people affected by a little-known neurological condition has launched a new volunteering drive.

PSPA provides support and advice to people who are affected by the brain conditions PSP (Progressive Supranuclear Palsy) and CBD (Cortico Basal Degeneration) and was set up by Doris Mason after her husband died in 2008.

Doris got involved with PSPA after her husband Brian, was diagnosed with PSP. Doris started to attend her local meeting in Belfast for help and support while Brian was unwell.

After Brian passed away in 2008, and when the organiser left, Doris took over the running of Belfast group and has taken it upon herself to set up groups in Ballymoney, Dungannon and Londonderry. Doris is now urging other volunteers to come forward and help.

“It’s great to see that people now have access to information and support for PSP in Northern Ireland through the groups. A lot of people depend on the support groups to keep going. They offer a place to take yourself away, relax and talk to like-minded people,” said Doris.

“It can be tough to keep up, but I can’t help but get involved as much as possible. If I had extra help with organisation, I’d be able to plan ahead and provide the groups with structure and informative speakers. It would save me a lot of stress in travelling too,” she added.

You don’t need any specific qualifications or to have personal experience of PSP or CBD to become a volunteer.

“Working together, we can make a real difference to the lives of people affected by PSP and CBD. The charity needs good listeners, inspired leaders, exceptional organisers and admin experts to help us develop and extend the services we offer,” said Doris.

If you’re interested in becoming a PSPA volunteer and would like to help people like Doris provide a reliable service for people affected by the condition, go to www.pspassociation.org.uk or telephone the Volunteering Team on 01327 356 134.

If you are affected by PSP or CBD and would like information or support please call the PSPA helpline on 0300 0110 122.