Birmingham Get-together

Kendrick Centre

Saturday April 13th 2024

Meeting report by Penny Cohen & June Masding

A bright sunny day brought 25 lovely folks to the Birmingham get-together. We had 14 regulars.  3 couldn’t make it due to illness, and 11 newcomers!! – 6 of whom have HSP.  Incredibly 5 of them hadn’t yet met anyone else with HSP and were really delighted to be able to join a face-to-face gathering. One of our newcomers came with a beautiful Assistance Dog called ‘Annie’, who absolutely loved the attention of everyone and was very relaxed and calm throughout the afternoon. She was and always will be very welcome – not something that can be experienced/achieved on any zoom meeting!!

Straight away folks were engaging in conversation and we didn’t really want to break the party to have to do all the ‘admin’ bits.  We gave everyone a lovely warm welcome and asked if people would be happy to join an HSP Birmingham WhatsApp group. A piece of paper was offered for anyone to write down their email addresses and mobile numbers if they wanted to be included. Absolutely everyone was very happy to do this, Penny kindly set the WhatsApp group up over the weekend, and they have been communicating already!!

We asked the group if there was anything specific that they would like us to try to arrange for our Autumn gathering and we hope they will be using the WhatsApp to let us know.

So many of our newcomers told us how little information/help was given to them by their medical professionals and were desperate to see and talk to others to find out how we were all affected by HSP. They wanted to see how we walked, what devices were used, to be able to ask questions, and to chat and compare their own journey. Some hadn’t seen Flexyfoot sticks/feet and asked to try ours out – all of which can only happen at a ‘physical’ get-together.

Many asked about the next AGM, and whether it would be a face-to-face this year, but were very disappointed to find out it was by Zoom again.

We shared a buffet lunch together and the general feedback of the whole day was extremely positive. Two newcomers have already arranged to meet.

We are looking to have our Autumn get-together in mid – October. Please look for details on the website, facebook or in the next members’ Newslink.

From Penny Cohen & June Masding (Co-ordinators for the Birmingham Group)

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