Mrs Oldroyd said: “My particular challenges with Parkinson’s are in initiating movement – usually walking – and freezing, where my brain is saying go but my legs are saying no.
“This causes lack of balance, lack of co-ordination, and often falls. I am very aware the children see this when I am around the school and may be confused and worried.”
The awareness week was supported by the local branch of Parkinson’s UK and started with a Monday assembly led by Mrs Oldroyd and Parkinson’s UK volunteer speaker Witley resident Valerie Box.
Pupils attended interactive sessions designed to give them an understanding of the main symptoms – slowness, stiffness and tremor – to give them a glimpse into the lives of the 145,000 nationally who have the disease, of whom 1.2 per cent are diagnosed under the age of 50.
The week culminated with a ‘Use Your Head for Parkinson’s’ event, when children and teachers donated £2 and raised more than £500 by wearing something silly.
Phillip Oldroyd added: “The week was a great success. Our children learnt about Parkinson’s at a level suited to their age, understood the key symptoms and the best way to help, while also having a fantastic day of fundraising fun. ”
More events are planned, including talks on physical and mental wellbeing, for current parents and the community.