Muscular Dystrophy, Colchester
Newsletter number 12
November 2002

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Chairman's Corner

Some of you will already know, some wont, that Geoff Wiseman has resigned as chairman. In his last newsletter in July he wrote "Summer at last," an ironic statement as I am sitting here at my computer typing this newsletter with rain pelting down outside. At least that is better than this morning, which I spent getting absolutely soaking wet in a downpour and I then had to drive home via Southway, which was flooded out.

Geoff will still be responsible for the West Bergholt Concert Band production on 23rd November and I hope as many of you as possible will come along to the concert - it will be a hugely enjoyable evening. I have asked Geoff to attend the AGM on 15th March 2003 so that we can all say thank you and farewell to him. I would like to pay tribute to him for all the hard work he has put in to the Muscular Dystrophy Group and the success he has made of raising so much money for the cause. He will be sorely missed, not only for his hard work but also for his humour and enthusiasm. We also have to say goodbye to Geoff Ball, who has also resigned from the committee, as he has too much work, rendering him unable to make even regular committee meetings. Thank you Geoff for your work for us.

At the present time we do not have a Chairman so I am acting Chair as well as Treasurer. I cannot, however, spend the time on Muscular Dystrophy that Geoff spent as I was already extremely busy before Geoff resigned. This will inevitably mean that there will be a reduction in activity not only because of the resignation of the 2 Geoffs but also because your committee is getting smaller and smaller. If there is anyone who reads this newsletter who could spare us some time, either as a committee member or just helping out at fund raising events, will they please let me know - we need all the help that we can get to keep the branch going. May I here also pay tribute to Janet Saunders who, despite suffering from Muscular Dystrophy herself, is an active committee member and also attends most, if not all, the functions that raise the funds that will one day help to free sufferers from the effects of MD. She is having more and more difficulty in getting around and her efforts are especially appreciated.

Branch Activities

The latest fund raising activities were:
August West Mersea lions 132.50
September Collection at North Station 446.97
October Tesco Collection 426.69

We also had further contributions from Maria's Kefir and from Tony and Bridget Farley with their lovely organ. Finally, we had further funds from collecting boxes placed in a number of pubs, dentists etc. Thank you again Maria, Tony & Bridget.

Geoff listed all the people that help us all the time in the last issue of his newsletter so I won't repeat them, although we are indebted to them for their continuing help.

The West Bergholt Concert Band

We still need to have help in making this event a success. Tickets are available and are only 5 each. We need you to buy tickets for this event, for you to sell tickets to your friends and relatives and, if you are able to help us on the night, please let me know. This is the last event that Geoff Wiseman will be involved in and I would love to be able to give him a grand send off by making the evening very, very successful. We shall be holding a raffle and if anyone has a prize to donate, we shall be delighted to relieve you of that article.

Your Committee

Your committee is now down to 5 and we really do need help in order to be able to keep the branch going. Can you or a member of your family help us by becoming a committee member or by volunteering to assist with fund raising activities? Do you know of someone who may be interested in helping us? You do not need to be an Einstein to be able to make an impression on our committee, we are very ordinary people who are making every effort to make the lives of sufferers of Muscular Dystrophy better and, eventually, to find a cure for the disease.

Currently, we are in the second week of "Cards for Good Causes" and Stan Angier is once more taking the lead role in this fund-raising activity. We provide 2 people at the Colchester Library on a Thursday afternoon between 1 pm and 4 pm. If you are able to help, please let me know. Next year will see us with a much larger problem as Stan Angier does not think that he will be able to do this work at that stage. Thank you Stan for your hard work, your continuing support and good humour at so many of our fund raising activities.

AGM

Please make every effort to attend on 15th March 2003.

Profile on Karen & Kevin Turner

Karen suffers from Micronica Dystrophy and she and husband/carer Kevin were unaware of the Colchester Branch of Muscular Dystrophy Campaign until they were introduced to Janet Saunders and Geoff Wiseman. Karen's flat was unsuitable for her condition and they had been fighting with the council for 2 years to be re-housed and to have a walk-in bath or shower. Janet introduced them to Terri Robinson from MD who visited them, assessed Karen and proclaimed that the accommodation was both unsuitable and potentially dangerous for Karen's needs. Following her strongly worded report to the council Karen & Kevin have now been re-housed and Karen has her walk-in shower. The council then tried, incorrectly, to charge them for 2 weeks rent. So Chris Jenkinson stepped in to draft a letter to the council and this had the desired effect - the rent claim was withdrawn. Finally, your committee gave a grant of 100 to Karen & Kevin to help them with the move; Karen & Kevin have expressed their gratitude to everyone for this assistance.

Karen & Kevin would like to thank everyone for welcoming them to the group earlier this year and for all the assistance given to them. They state "in what may seem a short time to many our lives have been dramatically changed." They wish everyone a Happy Christmas and a Prosperous New Year.

Karen & Kevin have shown their gratitude for the assistance provided to them by becoming staunch supporters of the branch, turning out for all the fund raising activities that they were able to. This all shows that we can make a difference. My thanks go to Karen & Kevin for their letter and for their request that their comments be recorded in the newsletter. We look forward to receiving articles from other members of the Group, meanwhile a we wish you all A Very Happy Christmas and a bright 2003.

Chris Jenkinson, Branch Acting Chairman, Treasurer and Editor
60, Marlowe Way, Lexden, Colchester CO3 4JP.
Tel: 01206 520986 - Mobile 07973 121073
E-Mail: christopher.jenkinson@ntlworld.com
Website address: http://peter.fremlin.de/mdgroup

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