Partner with people and communities to help them take action on stroke

During my recovery, one important thing has stood out to me, and that is the power of sharing with other stroke survivors. I have found the warmth, support and understanding to be incredible and uplifting.
Danny, stroke survivor and volunteer

Why did we make this our goal?

  • Compassionate communities can offer a regular and reassuring presence, a helping hand and companionship. 

  • This support is particularly important to help people through loneliness, grief, lack of confidence, stigma, or caregiver fatigue.

We want to:

  • Inspire more people to give their time, money or voice to raising money and awareness. 

  • Encourage stroke survivors to share their lived experience to benefit others and themselves. 

  • Support organisations, groups and individuals to take action on stroke.

Achievements:

  • We launched a brand-new telephone support service, Here For You, to connect stroke survivors and carers to trained volunteers to offer support and combat feelings of isolation. Here for You has trained 530 volunteers and received over 1,500 referrals. Support is available in an additional 21 languages and video calls are also available using British Sign Language.

  • We helped stroke survivors stay connected through our network of stroke support groups. Our groups adapted through lockdown by sending out newsletters, setting up telephone trees, WhatsApp groups and running online sessions, with activities from social groups to arts, exercise, and singing groups.

  • We hosted and facilitated new online peer support groups for younger stroke survivors to connect and talk with people their own age, often for the first time since their stroke.

  • In October, our Black History Month online event explored a range of themes from black history. Two volunteers shared their personal stories, including a poem written for the event.

  • We hosted our first online UK Stroke Club Conference for stroke support groups across the UK. Over 550 group leaders, volunteer and staff joined us for the event. Running the event online enabled twice as many people to attend, 55% of whom had not attended before.. 

  • We took the UK Stroke Assembly online for the first time, with over 40 speakers and 24 webinars covering a wide range of topics. The success of the event was recognised with an award in the People’s Choice category at the Charity Event Awards.

  • We partnered with local groups and organisations. In Worcestershire, we forged new community connections by partnering with local organisations to run taster sessions for stroke survivors. We adapted our partnership with the Sunderland Bangladeshi International Centre in light of the pandemic, offering online training to community members, sending factsheets and taking part in webinars. 

  • In Wales, 19 partner organisations supported us with the delivery of online activities to support stroke survivors with their recovery and wellbeing as part of our Community Steps project. Sessions included a Welsh language support group and Movement to Music.

  • In Cornwall, our legacy-funded community project worked with stroke survivors and community partners to develop virtual activities including art workshops, talks and a needlework course led by a local craftsperson.. 

  • As a member of the Richmond Group of Charities, we made sure the UK Government and NHS understood the challenges facing the people we support during the pandemic, and continued to work with Sport England to encourage more people with long-term conditions to get physically active through our Movement for All programme. 

  • We kept the professional stroke community connected with a series of online events including our Amazing Brains event and our first virtual UK Stroke Forum, the UK’s largest multidisciplinary conference for stroke care professionals. The three-day virtual event was attended by over 1,800 delegates – 500 more than last year. 

  • Our volunteers played an essential part in our pandemic response, from offering support through online stroke support groups to our new Here For You service. Our Stroke Ambassadors delivered digital awareness sessions so they could continue to share their experiences to support and inspire others. We adapted our volunteer support to meet the challenges of new ways of working, for example by delivering remote training.

  • We amplified the voice and influence of people affected by stroke, for example by ensuring they had a key role in the development of our Priority Setting Partnership, our Stroke Recoveries at Risk report and our 'Getting online with aphasia' guide. We are continuing to develop our strategic plan for involvement.

  • We grew our network of campaigners, supporting them to make their voices heard and campaign for change. In 2020–21 our supporters engaged with our campaigns online over 9,000 times.

  • It was an incredibly tough year for fundraising, as events in the community and major events like the London Marathon were cancelled. But our amazing supporters still raised around £23 million to rebuild lives after stroke - thank you.

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