We have an amazing team of volunteers, known as Community Connectors, who help us raise awareness of stroke and our charity. Many are stroke survivors or have a personal connection to stroke. They all share an enthusiasm for building relationships with people, places and organisations in their communities, to help improve the experiences of people affected by stroke.
Danny, 50, is a Community Connector who volunteers in south west England. The former draughtsman had his first stroke in 1995, caused by a blood clotting disorder he was unaware of. Danny’s second stroke in 2013 had a major impact on his balance, coordination and speech.
“I heard about the Stroke Association after getting involved with a disability rights group and decided to start volunteering just before the Covid-19 pandemic,” says Danny.
“My role mainly focuses on delivering awareness presentations and running my own brain injury peer support group.
“I enjoy the social aspect of being a Community Connector. The role empowers me to get involved with my local community. I can use my experience of stroke to bring others together.”
Danny feels that the interactions he has within the community have a real impact. “Sharing information about stroke and encouraging people to think about their own health and take better care of themselves is what I find most rewarding.
“I’ve led sessions for the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), GKN Aerospace and a group of teachers in Newport, as well as other local businesses. A lot of organisations are interested in our work to increase knowledge of stroke amongst their colleagues, raise funds for our charity and help to prevent future strokes.”
Danny is also involved in the Community Connector Voices group, where he and fellow volunteers discuss ideas for the role’s future.
“Being a Community Connector has given me more confidence,” says Danny. “I've spoken publicly a few times in the past but delivering our stroke awareness presentation and sharing my personal story means I have to be vulnerable. I found this challenging to begin with, but in doing this, I feel like I have better acceptance of my own experience of stroke.”
Interested in becoming a Community Connector?
Take a look at what volunteering opportunities are available in your area.
Stroke News magazine
This article is featured in the summer 2023 edition of our magazine, Stroke News. Subscribe to our future editions available in print, on audio CD, or via email.