Affiliated to the Stroke Association
Registered Charity No. 1129777
The Art Group provides, a get together for members in all stages of Art and using different mediums, each member has a disability problem, and Art encourages them to try and overcome these disabilities, and co-
Some of the main disabilities is when the normally used side of the body is paralysed, and members have to either use their other hand, or their brain argues with their eyes at what they are seeing, and if speech is effected it can be quite difficult. Because our Art Group is so informal there is a lot of chatting and laughter, which helps speech also self esteem and happiness kicks in. What more could a stroke survivor want from a group.
I always enjoyed the musical “Gigi” so I am starting my little tale with the opening lines of the song “I remember it well”.
My father had suffered a stroke and was back home with my mother who had the first signs of dementia. I could see he was both frustrated and despondent as recovery was slow. I suggested he join the Thornbury and District Stroke Support Group which produced the response – “I don't want to go with all those old people” he being 72. However a daughters persistence paid off and I took Dad to his first meeting. We were greeted with kindness, understanding and friendliness. When I picked him up to my delight he said he wouldn't mind giving the Group another go.
Fast forward a few months and Dad had become involved in all the activities, he swam, painted, played bowls, listen to speakers, went on the outings and went on holiday with them. Not only did my Dad benefit from the Group it allowed me not to have to worry so much about him and give more time to my Mum.
Sadly Dad has died but I shall always be eternally grateful to the Group as they restored by Dad’s zest for life. The never ending support and companionship the Volunteers provided not only to my Dad but to us as a family. I believe the Group gave me extra years with my Dad. I am now a Volunteer happy to give back to the Group.
I had my stroke on 20 December 2008. Initially I could not stand up or walk. However I considered myself lucky in that I had no speech problems and my brain was not affected as far as I was concerned though I was taking medicine for depression. I was in hospital until March 2009. When I came home I could walk unaided, I heard about the Thornbury Stroke Group and asked to join them, initially, they could only accept me for the swimming group they run every Monday mornings. When I was able to join the main group it was like a breath of fresh air. I had felt isolated, even though I was living in my own house with my son, daughter in law and four grandchildren. Belonging to the stroke group changed all
that, the fortnightly activities in the winter and the fortnightly trips in the summer, particularly the Swindon rail museum and the Welsh museum in Cardiff, provided me with the social interest that I needed. In June 2012 I was able to drive again but a further seizure in April 2013 meant that I would not be able to drive for a further year, though I do hope that I will be able to drive again when that year is up in April 2014. Since joining the Thornbury Stroke Support group I have been amazed at the dedication and support that the volunteers have provided both to me and all the other stroke victims that belong to the group.
Best wishes and thank you for all you have done for me.
Almost nine years ago my life changed dramatically with the loss of my husband and just prior to that the funding for my job ceased so I really needed to get myself sorted.
Having registered with the Volunteer Centre I was asked “ What do you do on Monday mornings because Thornbury Stroke Group are short of helpers for swimming”.
I thought – well I was never very athletic but I could always swim; perhaps I should offer my services but I may not be suitable.
I was duly interviewed and have been a helper ever since. What an inspiration the members of Thornbury Stroke Group have been to me and I have become more involved as the years have passed. People say “oh you are good, giving your time” but it’s not like that. I have made so many friends, I enjoy all the activities and it’s so rewarding to see the members improving, gaining confidence, support and striking up friendships. I have seen members paint who have never painted before (and with their non dominant hand) non swimmers swim and people who are wheel chair bound gain freedom in the water. The companionship, help and hope that is given at the group meetings should not be under estimated and of course we have fun!
Thornbury Stroke Support Group is a great organisation for members and volunteers alike, it is greatly appreciated by the Community and has been helping for the last thirty years.
I had my stroke on the 25th June 2011. That date is etched on my mind. After having a stroke there is so much to take in, not only physically but mentally as well.
For months after my stroke I only had me to think about and I became inward and lost all of my confidence.
I was introduced to Thornbury and District Stroke Group and was visited this time last year. I was not, however, ready to meet other people but having had a birthday card from the Stroke Group in April, I was touched and I phoned Anne Sheppard who stated that there was swimming on a Monday but because it was the summer there were outing and meals out. I went to my first swimming session and was horrified to find that I could no longer swim. My dedicated Volunteer, who was new herself, helped me to get back my co-
When I joined the group, it was nice to meet people who were in a similar situation to me in that I have had two strokes. On my first day at Stoke Group, I was welcomed there, and everyone was friendly, and that took my nerves away. Since then, I have tried to go to every meeting, and to the day trips in the summer, which are arranged for the members, and everyone has been so friendly and welcoming, and I am so glad I joined.
I look forward to going to the meetings on Thursdays, and at the meetings, it is good to see people of different ages, who, like me have all suffered a stroke.
My years with the stroke group as a volunteer, have been very rewarding, seeing stroke members gain their life after a stroke improve, and most when they join thinking why me. Then seeing other members and hearing most say “I was very lucky, much better than some members”. I have also been surprised that most say thank you.
At one Xmas lunch a member that I had helped dress after swimming insisted that I met his wife and said “This is the man who put my Y fronts back to front” He had not complained before. I learnt a lot since. Swimming and Art are a great help. We have members who do both with only one active hand or leg.
I was first made aware of the Stroke Group through work, after my father in-
Long may the Stroke Group continue and I would like to personally thank you for the help and encouragement you have given to my father-
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