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National news

You may recognise John from our ‘Change the story ’campaign. The campaign featured stroke survivors who volunteer with our charity, and it was one of our most successful campaigns.

John had a stroke just over six years ago that affected his right side and left him with severe communication difficulties.

Since his stroke, John has become involved in stroke research and has participated in several research projects for City University London and the universities of Oxford and Birmingham, and his confidence and communication have improved greatly.

We caught up with John just as he was about to enjoy the day in Cambridge with his wife, Paula, drinking coffee before heading to a festival.

What does a day of volunteering look like for you?

That depends. Once a month I visit the Stroke Unit at Lincoln County Hospital. I speak to stroke survivors and their families about life after stroke. I see people with the full spectrum of strokes and difficulties.

Our Singing and Sound group meets once a fortnight. My job is making teas and coffees. I also chat with group members and sing.

I am also a befriender. This involves visiting stroke survivors in their homes for about six visits. I share experiences and advice and help them to find their own life after a stroke.

Lastly, I attend ad hoc events, such as Know Your Blood Pressure and Step Out for Stroke, as required.

What's the best thing about volunteering?

Seeing joy on the faces of people I'm helping.

How did you find yourself volunteering with us?

Our family and carers support coordinator suggested that my wife and I might benefit from volunteering.

What does volunteering mean to you?

I don't work after the stroke so it's something productive to do with my time.

And finally, is there one word that you could use to describe what volunteering means to you?