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I joined my voluntary group a year after I had an ischemic stroke in May 2015. I found out the group's contact details thanks to a volunteer who visited me prior to my discharge from the hospital. She supplied me with a very detailed folder that was full of information that you need after a stroke because there are a thousand questions that you want answers to.

I enjoyed attending the group and was asked if I would consider becoming a volunteer too. I agreed, and I was already helping a couple of members with little but important things, such as hand and eye coordination when colouring in books. Holding a pencil may seem simple but post-stroke it can be very difficult. This gave me immense pleasure and satisfaction as a volunteer to see not only physical but mental improvements in these members.

On 14 May, the volunteers with our group arranged a visit to our local Donkey Sanctuary. The weather was superb with bright sunshine, and we learned a lot about their welfare and upkeep. One of the donkeys had come all the way from America. But that's another tale. Everyone really enjoyed the day and on our return to the group, most people were asking where we were planning to go next time.

The best part about being a volunteer is seeing and hearing members enjoying themselves, communicating and interacting with others and sharing common problems, as this shows them that they are not alone. This would describe a typical day in our group, with the added pleasure of tea, coffee and biscuits.

I am about to extend my capacity as a volunteer by completing the Befriending course available. This will support people that the Stroke Association think would benefit from a volunteer such as myself visiting. I am told that I am a good listener.

Recently, my family and I did a sponsored Step out for Stroke that we all enjoyed immensely and were pleased that we raised quite a bit of money for the charity. I also belong to a singing group and, occasionally, when at my stroke group, I get members involved with a sing-along that brings everyone together and creates a wonderful atmosphere of friendship and harmony. So, I suppose you could say I'm also a singing volunteer!

Doing my voluntary work makes me feel that I can give back, which in turn helps me.