On 12 - 13 November 2021, we hosted the annual Stroke Group Network Conference (formerly called the UK Stroke Club Conference), connecting 219 people from across the Stroke Group Network and Stroke Association staff. Hosting the event online again allowed more people to attend and enjoy the content in a way that suited them from the comfort of their own homes.
A big focus of this event is about bringing together those involved in leading and volunteering across the Stroke Group Network to share experiences and learn from each other. And this year, we were delighted to be joined by over 150 group leaders and volunteers, representing more than 120 stroke support groups from across the UK. Many of whom had never attended the event before.
The uplifting and informative programme included:
- Updates from the Stroke Association's Chief Executive Juliet Bouverie, about our charity and working together to support those affected by stroke.
- A chance to hear more about the new Stroke Group Network.
- Sharing experiences about getting back to face-to-face group activities and running online groups.
- Celebrating and sharing achievements from the last 12 months.
Throughout the two-day online event, we acknowledged the challenges that had been faced and overcome over the last year, giving a big thank you and celebrating the achievements made by all to stay connected and support those affected by stroke.
The event was planned and designed in partnership with the Conference Planning Group, ensuring the content was timely and relevant to the audience. Through the event, all sessions were delivered by group leaders, volunteers and Stroke Association staff. Hearing from other people who run groups and their experiences helped bring the event to life, and was of value for others to relate to and learn from shared practices.
See below for recordings from the live event.
Day one: Reflecting on the last 12 months and looking forward together
Welcome by Beth Scrimshaw – Group Network Manager
Talk one: Reflections and updates from the Stroke Association's Chief Executive Juliet Bouverie.
This is the welcome and opening talk from the annual Stroke Group Network Conference held online in Nov 2021. Allyson James, leader of Falmouth Stroke Club and the Stroke Association's Chief Executive Juliet Bouverie reflect on the challenges and achievements of the organisation and stroke support groups over the past 12 months and discuss their hopes for the future.
Talk two: Introducing the Stroke Group Network and what it means for you
This talk was an opportunity for those involved in leading and volunteering at stroke support groups across the UK to hear about the new Stroke Group Network. The Stroke Group Network team spoke about what the network provides, the focus of supporting more people affected by stroke, and building relationships with local and national organisations. The talk also includes hearing from other groups' leaders about their experiences of partnership working and their vision for the Stroke Group Network going forward, and the benefits of connecting with others to share knowledge and to work together on things that matter to them.
Day two: Reflecting and celebrating our achievements
Talk Three: Our ongoing journey to recovery – celebration and face-to-face support
This session acknowledges that the last 12 months have not been easy for those people affected by stroke, and those who run stroke support groups have had to adapt the ways that they have stayed connected and supported their members during this difficult time. Here we celebrate the imagination, creativity and camaraderie that group leaders and volunteers have achieved with their ongoing support. We hear from group leaders on their own experiences of their journey back to face-to-face group meetings and what is right for their own groups. This session includes an update on our organisational position at the time for resuming activities and keeping people safe.
Talk Four: Our ongoing journey to recovery – new opportunities
This session explores the new wider and varied support offers that are available from online groups that are open to those people affected by stroke. Our speakers are made up of group leaders, volunteers and Stroke Association staff from across the UK team, all sharing their experiences of online activities. It also includes top tips on how to welcome new members into online meetings, how to develop engaging content and their experiences of delivering blended support – that is running face-to-face and online meetings at the same time!
Here is some feedback from those who attended the Stroke Group Network Conference 2021:
That was a very interesting and informative conference with some excellent content, coupled with enthusiastic speakers. I enjoyed reading the articles and questions in the chat bar and taking part in the polls. Excellent!
I just wanted to say well done for delivering another fabulous conference. Great content, wonderful speakers and it was lovely connecting with the groups and volunteers in the breakout rooms this year, where some of the conversation was rich.
It was the first time that I have been involved in an online event and the time was right for me. We had enough time to talk about it with other groups that was very good. Really enjoyed it looking forward to the next one.
Find out more information
If you wish to make connections with any of our speakers or with those you met during the conference, contact the events team on 01527 903 930 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also find out more about last year's conference.
You can also find out more about stroke support groups.