Published date
Tuesday, 17 March, 2020

Updated: Tuesday 28 April, 2020

I hope you and your loved ones are keeping well. The coronavirus pandemic continues to present a challenge for us, as it does the rest of the world. 

But we are still here if you need us. 

During this time, stroke continues to strike every five minutes. We know that stroke changes life instantly and recovery is tough. But we also know that with the right specialist support and a ton of courage and determination, the brain can adapt. Our support services are needed now, more than ever before. 

You might have seen us in the news recently, continuing to reinforce one of our key messages: stroke is still a medical emergency.  If you are experiencing any stroke symptoms, you must Act FAST and call 999. The sooner you get to hospital, the better your chances of survival and recovery.  You can find out more about the FAST test for identifying symptoms of a stroke here. Please continue to share this message with your friends and loved ones. 

We know the NHS is currently under pressure, so we’ve been looking at how we can support hospital stroke services. We’re launching a new Connector service to ensure that every stroke survivor when they’re discharged from hospital after a stroke gets the information and help they need. 

We’re continuing to update our website with the latest information for stroke survivors on stroke and coronavirus, including Easy-read versions for those with aphasia and tips on how to manage loneliness and isolation and keep physically active while at home. Our online community My Stroke Guide is there 24/7 to connect you with other stroke survivors. 

We have expanded capacity on our Helpline, 0303 3033 100, which continues to be busy taking calls from stroke survivors and their families who are understandably concerned about the effects of coronavirus. And our local Stroke Coordinators and stroke clubs and groups, although they can no longer provide face-to-face support, are continuing to find innovative ways by phone and digital to help people rebuild their lives after stroke. 

We know that stroke can be a very lonely experience, but speaking to someone about how you feel can make a big difference to your wellbeing. Our Helpline is also referring people to our new Here for You phone service, which connects stroke survivors and carers with volunteers who have lived experience to provide peer support and a listening ear. We’re also recruiting general volunteers to connect and chat. I’ve just finished my training and am looking forward to getting on the phone to support people from next week. 

Unfortunately, our income streams have declined dramatically because of coronavirus. We’ve had to cancel fundraising events and our legacy income has slowed considerably. Whilst our fundraising teams are working hard to find ways to close the gap, it’s vital that we do everything we can to reduce our costs, while still providing the information, advice and support that we know stroke survivors and their families need.

Thank you. Take care everyone.

Best wishes. 

Juliet 

Please make a donation if you can.

 

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