News from a fascinating AGM

Last week’s AGM gave a wonderful insight into the work that your donations support.

Vanessa Martin illustrating her presentation with some balloon therapy!

Vanessa Martin illustrating her presentation with some balloon therapy!

The first presentation was from Vanessa Martin, dance movement psychotherapist, who uses Expressive Movement Therapy to work with stroke patients to improve their mood and relieve their frustrations. Vanessa asked us to imagine what it must be like to suddenly be partially paralysed, unable to think straight or co-ordinate movement, or to have problems communicating, and to be dependent on others to eat, or get to the bathroom. We then had the opportunity to take out our frustrations on balloons, a technique Vanessa often uses in her weekly therapy sessions funded by the League.

Jo Moore, Specialist Physiotherapist for Stroke and Acquired Brain Injury, then took us through some of the insights she has gained from Masters level study of various aspects of stroke and rehabilitation. Again, the League has already funded one of Jo’s postgraduate modules and will shortly be supporting a second. Jo’s studies have enabled her to both add to her own expertise and share her new insights and understanding with other professionals both locally and nationally.

Helen Chaloner and Jo Moore receiving a cheque for £1898 on behalf of the League of Friends from Lee Riva and family.

Helen Chaloner and Jo Moore receiving a cheque for £1898 on behalf of the League of Friends from Lee Riva and family.

Jo was one of the hospital’s therapists who worked with Ashton, a young man who was severely injured in a motorbike crash. His step-father, Lee Riva, raised nearly £2,000 for the League by carrying Ashton’s mangled bike 49 miles from the scene of the accident to Southmead hospital. We were very fortunate to have Ashton, Lee and other family members at the AGM to provide living proof of the the hospital’s remarkable work in getting Ashton walking again. Lee presented a cheque to the League and it was a joy to hear them speak so positively about the hospital and Ashton’s recovery.

Paull Robathan takes over as Chair from Helen Chaloner.

Paull Robathan takes over as Chair from Helen Chaloner.

After approving the accounts, the members elected new Trustees Jo Morrison and Paull Robathan. After three years as Chair, Helen Chaloner stepped down but remains on the committee, and Paull Robathan was elected Chair. Paull has worked in the NHS and the private and public sectors, and was until recently the chair of South Petherton Parish Council. He brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the League and said

“South Petherton Hospital is a special place seeing around 100 outpatients each day as well as taking care of stroke and other inpatients. Its dedicated staff provide tremendous support to local people. I look forward working with the League and increasing its membership.”