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Norfolk stroke survivors express themselves with help of charity workshops

Press Release   •   Feb 18, 2016 16:11 GMT

A group of stroke survivors and their carers from Kings Lynn are learning to express themselves in new ways at a weekly art and craft group organised by the Stroke Association.

The group takes place every Wednesday at Gaywood Church Rooms in Kings Lynn.

During the workshops, stroke survivors and carers learn different art techniques such as watercolour, pencil, ink, and mosaic.

Rik Thornton, 41, from Kings Lynn, volunteers his time to run the local group, and attends with his wife Victoria. Victoria had a devastating stroke at the age of 38 caused by an unknown congenital heart defect which left her with dysarthria (difficulty speaking caused by problems controlling the muscles used in speech). She is currently a wheelchair user.

Rik said: “I’ve always believed that art therapy can have a great healing power and helps stroke survivors build their confidence. This group gives local stroke survivors and their loved ones the chance to demonstrate the powerful ways art enables people to express themselves.”

“I’d dabbled with painting before, but the techniques we learn at the group are all new to me. Vik has really enjoyed it, and has got a real feeling of satisfaction from producing her own art. It’s very relaxing and distracts us from everything else that’s going on. The group has helped us to become more creative; we’ve all become artists through being involved.”

Neil Chapman, Assistant Regional Manager at the Stroke Association, said: “Painting, sketching and drawing all are forms of art therapy which can improve our physical and emotional wellbeing. Not only does the group bring out everyone’s creative side, it’s a great way to get together to try something new and have fun.We see such overwhelming courage in many stroke survivors as they cope with the loss of many things we take for granted, such as being able to say what we are feeling, and the group has enabled them to find their voice again .”

The art and craft group will take place every Wednesday until 23 March 2016 at Gaywood Church Rooms from 12:30 – 3:30. There is a £3 entry fee, and includes lunch and hot drinks.

The Stroke Association is the UK’s leading stroke charity which campaigns to improve stroke care; supports people to make the best recovery they can; and funds ground-breaking research to change the lives of people affected by stroke. For more information about stroke, ring the Helpline on 0303 30 33 100 or visit www.stroke.org.uk.

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For more information, please contact: Daisy Hythe-Clayton on 0207 940 1358 or email daisy.hythe-clayton@stroke.org.uk

A stroke is a brain attack which happens when the blood supply to the brain is cut off, caused by a clot or bleeding in the brain. There are around 152,000 strokes in the UK every year and it is the leading cause of severe adult disability. There are over 1.2 million people in the UK living with the effects of stroke.  

Stroke Association is a charity. We believe in life after stroke and together we can conquer stroke. We work directly with stroke survivors and their families and carers, with health and social care professionals and with scientists and researchers. We campaign to improve stroke care and support people to make the best recovery they can. We fund research to develop new treatments and ways of preventing stroke. The Stroke Helpline (0303 303 3100) provides information and support on stroke. More information can be found at www.stroke.org.uk