Simple everyday tasks, such as reading a text message, ordering a coffee or saying 'Merry Christmas', can suddenly become a huge challenge after a stroke.

  • More than 350,000 people in the UK have difficulty communicating after a stroke
  • Stroke can affect a person’s ability to speak, read, write and understand, but it does not affect their intelligence
  • With the right support, stroke survivors can recover their ability to communicate months and even years after their stroke

Our coordinators and volunteers work with stroke survivors to relearn new skills of communication and rebuild lost confidence. Find help and support near you

Learn more about the different ways a stroke can affect a person’s ability to speak, read, write and understand and test your knowledge with our quiz.

With your support, more stroke survivors can find their voice again.

Read and watch just some of the stories of stroke survivors who are lost for words. 


Sonia had a severe stroke which changed her life in an instant when she was 28 years old. She said: “Recovering from a stroke is a long journey and it can take a lifetime. I’m still recovering from mine. In 2013 I had my beautiful son, Sammy. As he’s been learning how to talk, so have I. I couldn’t imagine not being able to talk to him, or read him a story.”

Graeme, 42, a father of three children, had a severe stroke in 2015. Doctors told his family that there was no way of knowing whether he would walk or talk again. Graeme said: “I could handle walking with a limp, but I couldn’t face not being able to speak properly ever again. This was everything to me: my communication with my family and my job. Just chatting to family and friends was a struggle.”

Joannah's story

Grandmother of two, Joannah had a stroke in April 2016. She said: “I find it so sad to think about all the things I used to enjoy so much that have been taken away from me. I’m very passionate about making more people aware of the condition.”

Robert and Garry

In 2013, Robert had a stroke, leaving him with weakness down the right side of his body and aphasia. Sadly, just three years later, Robert’s husband Garry also had a stroke with devastating consequences. 

37-year-old Clodagh was left unable to move or speak after a stroke left her with locked-in syndrome in April 2015. As a result, she spent months trapped inside her body, and initially, she could only communicate by blinking.

Alisha had a stroke in 2016 which left her initially unable to read, write, speak or walk. Alisha, who was a primary school teacher when she had her stroke, spent five months in the hospital recovering. She said: “I’ve lost some of my independence since having a stroke, and even something as simple as texting a friend was the biggest hurdle of my day. I have to get buses and trains, and that can be so scary when you have aphasia.

“I’m so passionate to help raise awareness of stroke and aphasia now. I really want to help other people who are going through what I am, and to support the charity in raising awareness of this difficult condition.” Find out more at Alisha’s blog.

Donate now

With your help this Christmas, even more people can rebuild their lives. Donate now to help stroke survivors who have communication difficulties find their words again.