Parkinson’s Golf Days Proving a Real Hit at Rudding Park

A caregiver from Home Instead in North Yorkshire has decided to use his passion for golf to help improve the lives of elderly people in the region.

Anthony Blackburn, 50, from Thirsk, has combined his work as a caregiver with his work developing a new primary care service. The service is called “golf therapy” and is aimed at improving the health & well being of people living with Parkinson’s disease and dementia.

Anthony started piloting the service in 2015 and the results have been very encouraging. Last April, Anthony hosted the UK’s first ever Parkinson’s Golf Day at Rudding Park in Harrogate. Ten months on and the golf days are now attended by in excess of 20 people every time.

Anthony, Founder of Golf in Society & Social Entrepreneur said, “To witness the positive impact we’ve had on people’s lives has been the most rewarding part of the venture.

“It happened by chance in Harrogate. During one of my care visits I began chatting about my project. I was asked “Have you ever thought about doing something similar in Harrogate? I hadn’t – but following a series of conversations with the local Parkinson’s group, England Golf and Rudding Park, we decided to give it a go. The rest as they is history!

“Initially there was a healthy scepticism as health experts had cited that golf is one of the first things people give up when diagnosed with Parkinson’s”.

Anthony continued: “I just wish everybody could witness the minor miracles each golf session delivers. The beauty of the golf sessions is that they provide physical, mental & social stimulation – as well as priceless respite care simultaneously.

“I’m convinced that my caregiving training and experience with Home Instead has allowed me to develop an intimate and valuable understanding of the challenges facing elderly people”

 Sheena Van Parys, owner of Home Instead, commented on Anthony’s endeavour. She said, “We are so proud of Anthony for the amazing work he is doing. His mission to bring communities together through golf and to show people that life is better when you are golfing is commendable, and we fully support Anthony with his vision.”

For more information, please contact Anthony at [email protected] or call 07491 694 938.