A GROUP of Wearside stroke victims is focused on the future.
North East Still Life After Stroke (Neslas) is a photography club which meets twice a month.
Its work is on display this week at Seaham Masonic Hall as part of Action on Stroke Month.
The group was set up by Ken Routledge and Colin Lee as a way to help them rehabilitate after their illness.
Ken contacted the Stroke Association for help after his stroke five years ago.
“I started as a volunteer with the Association, then Colin came along and we realised we had a mutual interest in photography,” he said. “The aim of the group is to give people confidence, to get them out of the house and get them moving on.”
The group meets on the third and fourth Mondays of the month. The first meeting of each month involves a trip out while the second is in the wardens’ hut at Herrington Country park.
“We have about 20 members, of whom 12 or 15 are regularly active,” said Ken.
“We are open to anyone with any kind of brain injury. If people want to come along and find out about us, they are more than welcome.”
Stroke Association community integration co-ordinator Stephen Simpson said: “Using photography and art can help stroke survivors build confidence and express themselves in new ways.
“We see the overwhelming courage and determination many stroke survivors show in coping with the loss of many things we take for granted, such as being able to say what we are feeling or walk on our own.
“This exhibition gives us the chance to demonstrate the powerful ways photography enables people to express themselves.” The exhibition runs until Saturday and is open between 10am and 3pm each day. Entry is free.
For more information about stroke, ring the helpline on 0303 30 33 100 or visit www.stroke.org.uk.
To know more about NESLAS, ring Ken Routledge on 07941 824 872 or Colin Lee on 528 2933/07971 747 622.