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Connect in Northumbria

31 July 2007

Connect have been working with Stroke Northumbria to develop some long term, low cost events for people with aphasia. The aim is to develop local networks where people with stroke and aphasia and carers can come along to share experiences, ways of coping and to learn about services that can assist them. Connect worked with Annie Laverty and her team at Stroke Northumbria to help them present a range of information days for people with stroke and aphasia and their relatives.

On 23rd May, after lots of careful planning, the 'Living with Stroke' Group held their first event 'Ideas and Inspirations' at the new Conference Centre on Cobalt Park, North Tyneside.

Over forty people with stroke and aphasia and their relatives attended, the first of four events planned. Six stroke and aphasia 'experts' shared their experience of stroke and told of how they had moved forward after stroke to resume driving, work, holidays abroad and courses to help cope with stroke in the long term. They talked of the importance of remaining optimistic, realistic and to celebrate small achievements that they make.

The group learnt what a huge barrier sudden loss of confidence can be. Also, how confidence is a factor that makes a difference between whether someone is willing to even try to do something or not.

One of the delegates attending the event said that the best part of the day was that there were no 'suits' - that the speakers were 'real people, who really understood stroke, speaking about real life experiences'.

It was felt that the day helped a number of people to walk away with a new attitude, believing that they are capable of moving on and rebuilding a new and somewhat different life after stroke. Becki was one of the stroke 'experts' and was a first timer to a 'Connect for a Day' event. She said 'I felt so empowered by the whole experience of taking part in this day, yet I also felt deep satisfaction that by listening to the other speakers and their families that I was not alone in my experiences and that by discussing with others including those that had survived strokes and also the professionals whose jobs it was to look after and support them, I had been able to help in my own little way'.

 

Event for people with aphasia in Northumberland

People with aphasia and their relatives taking part in the 'Ideas and Inspirations' event.

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