Communications: Campaign of the week - Posters feature life withParkinson's

The Parkinson's Disease Society will use posters showing five people's perspectives on the disease to promote Parkinson's Awareness Week, which starts on 11 April.

The A4 posters reflect the range of age groups affected by the disease.

They feature two people who have continued to lead fulfilled lives after contracting Parkinson's and three who have helped to treat and publicise it.

Those featured include Trevor Mills, who became a DJ after getting the disease, and Sumit Bose, whose father died from Parkinson's and who has reported on the disease for the BBC's current affairs show Inside Out.

Helen Garner, the society's head of PR, says: "Our posters reflect the fact that although the majority of people with Parkinson's are over 65, the disease still affects a substantial number of people below that age."

She says the disease is often misdiagnosed, which means many people feel frustrated by their symptoms for long periods without knowing where to find support.

For this reason, the charity plans to publicise its website and helpline through the posters. "We are here for people who wish to gain help while remaining anonymous," says Garner. "People are affected by the disease in many different ways: some shake, while others tire very easily. We hope these posters will catch everyone's eye."

The society has also developed a more targeted distribution strategy ahead of its awareness week. Last year's posters focused on outlining other aspects of the society's work to a more general audience, and were mainly sent to the society's 300 local UK branches. That method contrasts with the specific mailout of 50,000 posters to GPs, specialist nurses and occupational therapists.

Garner hopes this strategy will mean that more people with Parkinson's will access help: "This campaign is primarily to ensure that our services are widely known."

Some 30,000 postcards, which also promote the helpline and website, will be sent to specialist nurses to hand to clients.

The helpline answers 12,000 calls each year from people with the disease, carers and health professionals.

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