A SUPPORT group has been formed to help those affected by strokes.
Carers and Stroke Survivors Supporting Aphasia has been set up following the Stroke Association’s decision to change its care guidelines.
It means only people who have suffered a stroke in the last 10 years are eligible for care, leaving many on Wearside with nowhere to go.
Ivy Greenwell, whose husband Harry, 71, had a stroke 15 years ago, launched the independent group to provide support to victims and partners, regardless of when they had their stroke.
“I decided we couldn’t let this group go because there is nowhere else that does speech and language therapy on a voluntary level,” said Ivy.
“Some of them could have stayed with the Stroke Association, but none of them felt secure.
“They all decided that if there was going to be a new group, they were going to be part of it.”
Only one member has stayed with the association, due to travel costs, while all volunteers have left to join the new group.
Ivy, 71, added: “Some of the volunteers have been doing this for 18 years.
“They have worked with our partners for such a long time that they know their levels and how they are progressing.”
Russell Robinson, 70, from Washington, who attends with wife Yvonne, 68, said: “She could have stayed for another seven years, but she wanted to be in this group with the friends she knows and loves.”
Head of operations for the association in the North East, Peter Moore, said the charity needs to focus its limited resources and added: “The demand for our service outstrips our capacity to help everyone and people who have recently had their stroke are at risk of being unable to access this service.
“We continue to be very supportive and understand that they want to continue to meet up as a more social group.”
The new group gathers fortnightly at Anchor House, Hendon, with the next meeting from 1.30pm to 3.30pm on Wednesday, October 31.