The UK Stroke Assembly South was held on 3-4 July at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Stansted Airport. It was another great success, with over 160 people attending over the two days.
Once again there were some amazing speakers including Dr Fergus Doubal (Consultant Physician and Lecturer, University of Edinburgh) and Professor Jane Marshall (Professor at City, University of London) talking about ‘what’s hot’ in stroke and aphasia research.
Kaili Stanley from the Royal College of Physicians, and stroke survivor and volunteer Robert Norbury, gave a talk explaining what the National Clinical Guideline for Stroke means for stroke survivors.
Dr Shirley Thomas from the University of Nottingham talked about the relationship between mental health, anxiety and depression. Professor Gillian Mead from the University of Edinburgh, together with stroke survivor Julie Monk, ran a popular session about fatigue after stroke.
Both workshops focused on research updates and sharing practical tips to support living with these hidden effects of stroke.
The event is a great opportunity for those living with stroke and aphasia to meet researchers, stroke physicians and decision makers who work to improve support in life after stroke.
In reverse, professionals gain a lot from hearing first-hand about the things that matter to those living with stroke and what is important to them, helping inform their future research and work.
This was the first time the event had been run in the South East of England, and many of the attendees had never been to a UK Stroke Assembly, or any similar event, before. There was a positive and uplifting atmosphere throughout the two days, with a great balance of individuals sharing their own powerful stroke experiences, whilst finding out about taking action and supporting each other.
The welcoming and friendly atmosphere offers a place of safety, comfort and understanding for the attendees. With so many new and nervous people, this warm and relaxed atmosphere really makes all the difference. Staff at the hotel also received training prior to the event, to enable them to better understand the needs of those living with stroke.
So far, over 300 people have attended a UK Stroke Assembly event in 2017, and of the 235 attendees directly affected by stroke, almost 60% had never attended a UK Stroke Assembly event before.