First Steps Programme

First Steps is an online programme recently developed by Parkinson’s UK.

It is for people who have had a recent diagnosis of Parkinson’s. The aim is to help you to take the first steps in making sense of your diagnosis. The programme will empower you to start living well with Parkinson’s by providing you with the information and support you need.

Further, it is also aimed at  their family, carers or friends. Details of what the programme entails are further down this page.

Edinburgh Branch were hugely impressed with the concept and wanted to be involved, and to run programmes for people in Edinburgh, and we hope further afield in Scotland.  After our inaugural delivery, we are taking a back seat for now, and the team at Parkinson’s UK are delivering the next group of programmes.

Dates of Forthcoming First Steps Online Sessions

The spring 2024 online courses still have some places.  Use this link for dates: First Steps Spring 2024

  • Latest News: Across Oxfordshire, Parkinson’s UK are piloting a return to face-to-face delivery of First Steps, hosted by volunteers who have Parkinson’s. This involves two sessions, six weeks apart.  If this proves to be successful, you can be sure Edinburgh Branch will be first in the queue to request to participate in rolling this out for Edinburgh and the Lothians.


If you have any questions, please contact the First Steps team on 020 7963 9381 or email

General Information

The aim of the programme is to help people to take the first steps in making sense of their diagnosis. An aspiration is that once you complete the programme you can start to ‘live well’ with Parkinson’s because you have greater insight into information available and the range of support available to meet your own specific needs.

What it Entails

The programme runs for 3 online sessions using Zoom platform.
Each session lasts for 2.5 hours. There will be regular breaks throughout each session.
Sessions 1 and 2 take place over 1 week or weekend, and session 3 takes place 4 weeks later.
There will typically be 8-10 other recently diagnosed people with Parkinson’s (PwPs).
The sessions are hosted by volunteers who have Parkinson’s, there are two hosts per session.

Programme Overview

Session 1

  • Helping you to make sense of your diagnosis
  • Key facts about Parkinson’s Disease
  • Information on healthcare professionals that can help you in the management of your Parkinson’s.

Session 2

  • Guidance of the range of information and support that’s available to you
  • Some of the practical things you might need to know, such as employment, driving and prescriptions
  • Recognising the importance of physical activity in managing your Parkinson’s.

Session 3

  • A check-in and opportunity to catch up
  • There are two separate group discussions. The first is for people living with Parkinson’s. The other one is for family, friends and carers
  • We provide tips for coping on difficult days, and the support options available to you and your family, friends and carers.
Key Benefits from Participation

From the pilot that was run, people reported that after taking part the felt less isolated, due to meeting other people in a similar situation. They felt more positive and confident in moving forward to live well with Parkinson’s. And they felt better informed on information and support that is available.


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