I am a retired building contactor. I live with my partner, Nuala and have four children who have now all left home and are doing their own thing.
How and why I got involved with the Stroke Association
I got involved with the Stroke Association two years ago after I had a stroke in November 2008. I was paralysed down my left side and spent two months in hospital. I worked hard with the physiotherapists to get my movement back and still do my own fitness programme. I had to give up work and found it very hard to sit around because I was a very active person before my stroke. I found the Stroke Association and decided to volunteer. I wanted to share my stroke experience with other survivors. I wanted to give them some encouragement and give something back.
What I enjoy about volunteering
I started up a Stage Three group called the Fermanagh Stroke Support Group. I get great satisfaction in helping people with strokes. I feel I have made a difference in their lives in some way.
How I make a difference
I make a difference by explaining my experience of stroke and my recovery process. I know it is not possible for everyone, and everyone's experience is different, but with encouragement, even small changes can help.
How and why I would encourage other people to get involved
I would encourage people to get involved as it is a great experience and is very rewarding.