Renee Dickinson - PR and Fundraising Lead
Renee on Renee
I was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 2002. This was a bit of a shock to me because I had already been diagnosed with MS in the late 80s. To have one neurological illness is enough but to have two is just plain greedy. But it did account for some of the things that were starting to happen to me. Such as tripping over my feet, or tripping over nothing, even tripping over the air around my feet. When I was diagnosed, I made the decision not to tell anyone about it, after all I never told anyone about the MS. I just didn’t want anyone telling me I couldn’t do something because I had Parkinson’s or MS
It took a while for people to get their heads around my having two neurological illnesses. Someone once said that made me special, I’d always wanted to be special but this wasn’t what I had in mind.
In 2001 I took voluntary redundancy from my career in the IT world because I felt it was becoming obvious there was something amiss. In that tranche of VR, a whole pile of my female colleagues also took the redundancy package, and we all started our own businesses. Later I was told that it just went to show that they let the wrong people go. So with the VR payment I was able to work on my own business Country Fabrics. An interior design company working on all aspects of interiors, from samples, to design, to installation.
My early career had been as a journalist, working with a freelancer, covering the Fashion & Beauty pages for both Jackie and Romeo magazines as well as their music columns. I went onto work for IPC Magazines working on Woman and Woman’s Own. My Features Editor recommend me for a role on an Arab woman’s magazine, were I became the London Editor with one of the wealthiest readerships in the world, quite an experience.
For a number of years, I was Chair of Parkinson's Harrogate as well as the Fundraiser. I organised concerts at the Royal Hall, a Ball at the Majestic, as well as Wine Tastings and Ladies Who Lunch. We even had a stand at the Yorkshire Show for many years. These events were arranged in the hope of getting people to help support us and spread the word about Parkinson’s. We raised funds and we got publicity. We Raise Money Locally, to help People locally with Parkinsons.
Parkinson's is a not a life threating illness, it just totally changes your way of life, living and how people interact with you. It is an illness that means you are more likely to need care and help with your day to day living for the rest of your life We fundraise to help provide people with care and respite in the home. These are things that will be needed as the illness progress.
I am determined not to let my medical condition totally affect me. I will fight and use my time and efforts to help as many people as I possibly can. Our sponsors tell us that it’s really important that the money we raise is used to support local people. That’s why it’s always been our ethos to provide all the help we can for local Parkinson’s people.
Renee is absolutely passionate about helping others and totally committed in serving the local Parkinson's community.
Her record in the office over the last 10 years, the contribution she has made to PUK Harrogate, both in her current role as PR and Fundraising Lead and previously as the Chair, is immense and much appreciated by the local community at large.
She is the most recognisable and recognised face of the local P world, for all the tireless work and achievement for the benefit of the local people with the P word.
Her mantra in her current role reflects a fiercely independent and determined lady, who devotes much of her time to give something to the local people, helping others who are less fortunate than her.
"We raise money locally and we spend locally for the benefit of local people*
A worthy winner of PUK Volunteer of the year 2019 too.
She is inspirational to many, me included.
Thank you Renee if we don't say it enough.
Tel: 07806 773040