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Farming Farming Monmouthshire

Chepstow Vintage Club tractor run raises over £1,000 for Parkinson’s UK Cymru

The Chepstow Vintage Club tractor run proved to be a resounding success as it raised over £1,000 in support of Parkinson’s UK Cymru. The annual event, organized by dedicated members of the Chepstow and District Parkinson’s Support Group, aimed to raise awareness about Parkinson’s disease within the local agricultural community and generate funds for the charity.

The decision to choose Parkinson’s UK Cymru as the beneficiary of the event was driven by the significant number of individuals within the local farming community who have been affected by the neurological disorder. Parkinson’s disease, characterized by symptoms such as tremors, slowness of movement, and muscle stiffness, has impacted the lives of nearly 8,000 people in Wales.

The tractor run, which took place in April, commenced at Howick Farm, the home of the late farmer Colin Jenkins. Mr. Jenkins bravely battled Parkinson’s until his passing last year, making the event particularly meaningful for participants and organizers alike.

The convoy, consisting of 40 tractors and four Land Rovers, embarked on a picturesque journey through the lanes of Chepstow, passing by Itton, Kilgwrrwg, Wolvesnewton, Devauden, and St Arvans. The participants paused for a midday break at Devauden Village Hall, where a bucket collection was held to raise additional funds for the cause. After enjoying a well-deserved lunch, the convoy made its way back to Howick Farm, completing the circular route by 3pm.

Justin Cooke, Director of the Chepstow Vintage Club and one of the key organizers of the event, was deeply motivated by the personal experience of his late father, Graham Cooke. Graham, a local farmer, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s seven years prior to his passing at the age of 80. Justin, who also works as an engineer and still assists on the family farm, highlighted the importance of supporting charitable causes and raising awareness about Parkinson’s disease.

“We try to raise money for different charities. My father passed away in 2017, and he had Parkinson’s. So we picked Parkinson’s UK as our charity for this year,” Justin shared. “Parkinson’s is something that’s impacted many people in the local agricultural community. My father was a very quiet man and not a complainer, so he possibly had it a long time before he was diagnosed.”

Justin went on to describe the challenges his father faced as the disease progressed, stating, “His driving license was taken off him towards the end of his life. He had continuous shaking and he lost weight. I think it reduced his general quality of life, which was tough for him. But he was a fighter. He continued to do things like mow the lawn and so on, so he did work hard to keep going.”

The success of the Chepstow Vintage Club tractor run in raising funds and awareness for Parkinson’s UK Cymru serves as a testament to the unwavering support and compassion within the local community