Parkinson’s campaigner receives honorary degree
20 July 2022
A campaigner dedicated to raising awareness of Parkinson’s disease has received an honorary degree from the University of Reading.
Sally Bromley, Chair of the Oxford Branch of Parkinson’s UK and a national figure in the Parkinson’s community, received the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters at a ceremony on Wednesday 20 July.
The majority of Ms Bromley's career was spent teaching, first in West London and then in Oxfordshire, having completed her teacher training at the University’s old Bulmershe Court campus. At the age of 59, she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and has since dedicated herself to raising awareness and supporting other people with the chronic degenerative condition.
Shortly after her diagnosis and retirement in 2011, Ms Bromley joined the Oxford Branch of Parkinson’s UK and soon took on the position of Chair. She has been a volunteer for many research studies and also serves as an Expert Patient Tutor for final-year medical students.
Ms Bromley gives talks each year to Reading Pharmacy students about living with Parkinson’s. In 2017, she collaborated with academics at the Reading School of Pharmacy on a series of activities to mark the 200th anniversary of the first description of Parkinson’s disease in 1817. This included exhibitions and talks at the Bodleian Library and the Oxford Museum of Natural History, as well as a conference for people affected by Parkinson’s which was attended by more than 200 people.
These efforts have been recognised by the University with the award of a Research Engagement and Impact award.
Dr Darius Widera, Reading School of Pharmacy, said: “Over more than five years, Sally has worked with the Reading School of Pharmacy to help educate and inform Pharmacy students about the experience of living with Parkinson’s. Her talks at the University are consistently rated as outstanding by our Pharmacy students and members of staff.
“Given her direct links to the University as a graduate and someone who works closely with Reading both for teaching and research, I can think of no better recipient for this honour.”
In 2018, Ms Bromley was awarded an Honorary Master’s Degree from The Open University for Public Service. Earlier this year she was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science Degree from Oxford Brookes University for her contribution to both the field of education and to research into Parkinson’s.