817. James Morgan
818. Juliette Pochin
James Morgan and Juliette Pochin, from London, have raised over £274,000 by staging two star-studded concerts for ‘Parkinson’s UK.’
World-renowned conductor James Morgan was diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson’s in 2012 when he was just 42 years old. Determined to use his musical connections to highlight the impact of the condition, he and his partner, mezzo-soprano Juliette Pochin, created ‘Symfunny’ in 2014. They brought together some of Britain’s most popular musicians and comedians at the Royal Albert Hall to raise money for Parkinson’s research and following its success put on another celebrity fundraiser in April this year. James has spoken movingly about his initial desire to keep his diagnosis secret for fear of being treated differently and how ‘Symfunny’ has given him the opportunity to show how much he can still achieve, whilst also helping others.
In a personal letter to James and Juliette, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“Through ‘Symfunny’, you have created innovative and ambitious events in response to the extremely challenging experience of James’ young-onset Parkinson’s. You should both be enormously proud of using your personal experience of the condition as well as your wealth of connections in the music and entertainment industry to fundraise for the invaluable work of ‘Parkinson’s UK’.”
“It was such a surprise and honour to receive a Point of Light award and to be presented with it by the Prime Minister herself. It had particular emotional resonance for us as we were at the reception at Downing Street with Parkinson’s UK to mark the 200th anniversary of Dr James Parkinson’s Essay on the Shaking Palsy and our Symfunny concerts have been specifically to raise funds to find a cure for this condition, if not in time for James, then for our children.”