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John Sheepy - The Chair PUK Harrogate Branch

John Sheepy

"Chairman John"

"What makes you tick Sir ?"

Not really expecting a response but .....

After some soul searching, this is what he comes back with ......

I was once asked, ‘Does insanity run in your family ‘

To which I answered, ‘ No. It often calls, has a cup of tea, chats but never runs’

Whilst accepting my sense of humour (or mischief) is, shall we say different, it does help me face up to and cope with a diagnosis of Parkinson’s! 

Like many diagnosed I also have other conditions. The most serious being a heart condition for which I have a pace maker– this my daughter calling me the bionic sheep! I take in total some 29 medications a day, so I feel the least I should be allowed is fun with humour. 

In 1983 at the age of 60 my mother was diagnosed with the condition - in 2009 also at 60 I received the same diagnosis- but I had an advantage, I knew what to expect. Don’t get me wrong, coping is a struggle but I find laughing at both myself and the problems it causes helps

I am a founder member of the Yorkshire and Humberside Research Network and support when I can for one reason when my daughter reaches 60 how I would feel if she received the same diagnosis!

As chair I spend a lot of my time working for the Harrogate Branch – why because I feel strongly that people with the condition need to understand it first and come to terms with it themselves it helps. The best way is to talk to peers and I must admit I do talk a lot.

I am lucky having an amazing wife looking after me, but how she copes amazes me. It can’t be easy, yes my humour is predictable but also can be a trial, and I know my approach is difficult for you, as you freeze or can’t move but be assured it does help! I have wonderful medical support with coronary care at Leeds heart failure nurse Sally at Harrogate then Dr BUCCOLIERO and her 2 Angels sorry Angela’s at Harrogate– yes I am lucky. 

Carl at Rise mobility has a sign in his shop I feel should be a moral for life

“Helping one person might not change the world 

but it could change the world for one person”

So join us at Parkinson’s UK. Harrogate Branch and ensure that no one faces Parkinson’s alone 


People ask why do I not engage my brain before I speak? The answer is simply that way I can enjoy the surprise of what I say……. I rest my case"

Editorial (with disclaimer) Comments :

The Good

John is devoted in giving his time, energy and commitment to help others. The contribution he makes to the PUK Harrogate Branch is commendable and hugely appreciated. The Parkinson's community in the region is all the better for it.

The Bad

John is quite liberal and indiscriminate in subjecting the unsuspected to his brand of 'sharp wit'. A sense of humour which I'm sure you'll agree, chimes well with those jokes that you invariably get with Christmas crackers. His one-liners especially so, the saving grace however is when he delivers his punch line in a tell-tale deadpan straight face, rapport is instantly and knowingly established within the Parkinson's fraternity.

And The Ugly

Whilst the jury is still out about his sense of humour, he has also been known to proclaim and declare quite earnestly that Gorgeous George Clooney is his stunt double. One can only conclude, either he's rib-crackingly funny after all or he forgot to go to SpecSavers. Or unless, by Gorgeous George, he meant the irrepressible George Galloway The Aristo-Cat !

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John Sheepy

Tel: 07811 126534


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