A new stroke prevention service in Calderdale is working to provide advice and support for the South Asian community.
People from a South Asian background are more likely to be affected by stroke and potentially at a younger age – this service aims to raise awareness of modifiable risk factors and support those who wish to make lifestyle changes. In Calderdale, it’s estimated that there are around 1,500 people over 50 (those most at risk of stroke) living within the South Asian community – that’s 7.5% of the local population.
Our co-ordinator, Shamsul Arafen, is currently working with community leaders to establish a programme of activities that will include information on issues such as nutrition, medication compliance, the FAST test, diabetes management and smoking cessation, as well as providing opportunities for exercise. People using the service will be able to contribute to decision making around the activities.
Shamsul says that the community has “really taken on board what we’re doing. It’s been really positive since day one. I’m even organising a festival in August where local stroke survivors will help out (and “get back to life” in the process) by selling homemade cakes and crafts, and where we can provide stroke education for visitors”.
Shamsul is also in the process of recruiting “stroke champions” like Nagheena to support this project. “Nagheena’s father had a stroke but never had any support. She’s now really keen to get involved and help educate people in her area about the risk factors, and has already started running a monthly stroke information session in partnership with another local organisation called Neighbourhood Services.”
To ensure this service works effectively within the local area, Shamsul also signposts people to other relevant services where necessary and works closely with the multidisciplinary teams both in hospital and the community, including liaison with GPs and practice nurses as appropriate.
If you’d like to know more about how this service works in practice, please contact Louise Haigh at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0113 201 9788.