We meet weekly to exercise in a cold hall in the centre of Aboyne. The NHS provides no ongoing rehabilitation for stroke survivors – you have to manage your own, and pay for it if necessary. This may or may not be a good thing, but it has forced us to act. We are lucky to have an enthusiastic exercise professional, Sue Leftwich, who started up the class some time ago and encourages us weekly to do more, and to do it better. There is a growing body of objective evidence that shows increasing physical activity is of real benefit to stroke survivors – and most of us, stroke survivors or not, benefit from a regular weekly routine of commitment to it. Having our own time and place to exercise with other stroke survivors not only has physical benefits, but builds confidence. We would love to have more and better equipment, but we make do with what is available and make creative use of the chairs, space and wall bars that come with the hall – and a rather old and rather basic exercise bike.
In January we were given a small start-up grant by the Stroke Association and we are now officially a Stroke Association Voluntary Group, benefiting from the Stroke Association’s charitable status. We are going to try and do some fund-raising over the next few months, and Sue has set us all an example by offering to do a sponsored run in the Balmoral 10k race on 28 April. Any funds she raises on the day will benefit the Deeside Stroke Group directly and you can sponsor her on her Just Giving page.
If you enjoy this blog, or would simply like to encourage Sue to complete the distance, I would ask you to donate any amount large or small via the link above. Your support will be much appreciated by all of us and the money put to good use.