I'm from Middlesbrough and studied English and History at Queen's University, Belfast. I also did an MA in English Language and I hoped to become a speech and language therapist.
How and why I got involved with the Stroke Association
I did some work experience in speech and language therapy in Middlesbrough one summer and I really wanted to carry that on when I went back to university. I found the Stroke Association on the Volunteer NI website and it seemed perfect. I got in touch and joined the Lisburn group that supports stroke survivors with communication difficulties. I've loved it ever since.
What I enjoy about volunteering
The people in the Lisburn group are all really interesting and I love talking to them and hearing all their stories. I've really enjoyed getting to know everyone and it's very fulfilling to be able to feel like you're making a difference and helping people out.
How I make a difference
I think I make a difference because I've got to know everyone so well. That means I know how to make sure worksheets cater to everyone. When I create activities with my friend, Ellyn we include questions that everyone can answer. Everyone has different interests, from rugby to gardening, and different ways that they prefer to communicate, so it's important to make sure everyone can feel involved.
How and why I would encourage other people to get involved
Get in touch with your local Stroke Association office and see if you can join a communication support service like the one in Lisburn. It's really fulfilling work and you will meet some really interesting characters with lots to tell.