Campbeltown Courier

MS group bids fond farewell to founder

- By Hannah O’Hanlon editor@campbeltow­

More than 20 years after founding a multiple sclerosis (MS) support group, Joan Grady is retiring knowing its future is safe in the hands of Shopper-Aide.

The Campbeltow­n MS Social Group was set up in 1999 as the Campbeltow­n Young Disabled Group, primarily aimed at supporting people with MS, a lifelong condition affecting the brain and nerves, causing a range of symptoms including tiredness, vision problems and issues with walking and balance.

Fast forward to 2022, as well as the group’s new name, some of the faces changed, both through health and age, and a few people sadly dying due to complicati­ons associated with MS.

However, throughout all these years, there was one constant and that was Joan.

During lockdown, she phoned the group’s members regularly, making sure everything was OK and checking if there was anything they needed.

After lockdown, transport once again became an issue, which is where Shopper-Aide, a charity supporting Kintyre’s older residents, stepped in to help out.

After a few weeks of getting the group settled at its new meeting place in The Teapot Room within Shopper-Aide’s premises at Snipefield Industrial Estate, Joan announced her intention to retire.

Shopper-Aide has agreed to take over responsibi­lity for the group’s transport and organisati­on, allowing it to continue.

Joan joined the group for a final get-together at Machrihani­sh Golf Club where they enjoyed lunch and stunning views at the clubhouse.

She was presented with an arrangemen­t of flowers to thank her for her years of support.

Fiona Rowland, the group’s secretary, said: ‘All the members of the group know they are going to miss her, but thank Joan for everything she has done for them, not just with disability issues, but as a friend and a confidante, and for this, we thank her.’

Gayle Barrett, Kelly Brown, Sam Clements and all the staff at Shopper-Aide also wish Joan a long and happy retirement, knowing that she can now put her feet up with a cup of tea and a biscuit on Tuesday afternoons.

Joan added: ‘I would like to thank all those who supported the group by giving of their time and talents and also individual­s and organisati­ons who made donations, helping make Tuesday afternoons a special time for the members.

‘It enabled the group to have monthly days out during the summer and a pre-Christmas shopping trip for many years.

‘I wish everyone a happy time together for the future.’

‘All the members are going to miss a friend and confidante and for this we thank her.’

 ?? ?? Joan Grady has retired from the Campbeltow­n MS Social Group.
Joan Grady has retired from the Campbeltow­n MS Social Group.

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