Social service cuts make the MND Association vital

PUBLISHED: 11:55 31 October 2019

Guest columnist, Exmouth Community College teacher John Panton.

Guest columnist, Exmouth Community College teacher John Panton.

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Guest columnist John Panton highlights the vital role the Motor Neurone Disease Assocation plays in supporting people with this cruel disease.

For over a year now, I've been interviewing residents of Exmouth for this column and I must unfortunately announce that this will be my final article.

My focus has been local creative people, making a living from their diverse talents whilst residing in the town.

Along the way I've met writers, artists, jewellery makers and designers; all of whom clearly relish the opportunities that Exmouth offers.

They overwhelmingly cite the beautiful coast and countryside as an inspiration for their work, alongside the friendly and supportive populace of the area.

They all share hopes for the future of Exmouth too, often envisioning greater support for start-up businesses, creative spaces and finding ways to draw attention to all the wonderful endeavours that already take place in the town.

It's been an honour to shine a spotlight on such a talented group of people, emblematic of the talent and potential of Exmouth.

Sadly, my dad was diagnosed with motor neurone disease earlier this year, so my time and attentions have had to shift.

It's a horribly cruel disease and, for my dad, it has been unstoppably rapid in its progression.

At the time of writing, he is now bed-bound and is no longer able to speak.

He remains as fiercely bright as always and the gift of technology means that he's starting to adapt to using software, via his iPad, to communicate with my mum, family and friends.

What is apparent is the ongoing cuts to social services - without the incredible support of the MND Association, my dad and family would have been left stranded.

If you have any spare pennies, I would be hugely grateful if you could send some to the charity, not only for the vital day-to-day support they offer sufferers, but also for their scientific research: www.mndassociation.org/get-involved

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