I have been a Stroke Ambassador for over five years and given many Stroke Awareness presentations but my first one to over a hundred sixth formers was a little daunting to say the least. How best to present the topic was discussed at length. But we need not have worried; feedback was good and we have had requests to return.
We have now completed our initial project delivering Stroke Awareness events in schools. Since September 2018, we have contacted 25 schools in Oxfordshire and delivered five Stroke Awareness sessions. These were all to sixth forms and over 100 students attended each session. This was part of the school's PSHE offering (variously referred to as personal, social, health, educational, citizenship, enrichment, wellbeing, life skills general studies etc).
The sessions varied in length from 30-60 minutes and were based on the Stroke Association's standard presentation. A flexible approach was essential! Amber's video we felt was particularly powerful for this audience. Photos were taken of the events (although this was a sensitive issue in some schools) and forwarded to publicity for inclusion on twitter and other media outlets. In some cases, students volunteered to have their blood pressure checked and this helped to emphasise its importance.
We've made some useful contacts with other ambassadors so we'll be able to share our ideas and experience, and we plan to continue giving presentations in September.
We believe strongly that focusing on younger age groups has great long term benefits in increasing Stroke Awareness in the wider community.