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​Stroke Association celebrates ten years of vital support for stroke survivors in Wakefield

Press release   •   Apr 10, 2019 10:44 BST

The Stroke Association is celebrating ten years of supporting Wakefield stroke survivors on their road to recovery, on Saturday 13 April.

There are around 7,800 people living with the devastating effects of stroke in Wakefield. The charity’s Stroke Recovery Service provides practical advice, essential information and emotional support for people affected by stroke in the area. Local coordinators begin working with stroke survivors and their families after the stroke, and continue once back at home to support people to return to the community.

The Wakefield Stroke Support Service includes hospital and home visits, prevention advice, practical and emotional support or advice on how to get support from other organisations.

People can also come along to support groups run by the Stroke Association:

  • Stroke Support Group meets at Woodhouse Community Centre on the third Tuesday of every month from 1-3pm, when people can meet others affected by stroke and hear from guest speakers, as well as enjoying a game of Boccia.
  • Exercise Group meets every Thursday for chair based exercises at Salvation Army in Castleford, from 10:30am.
  • Aphasia Café, an aphasia friendly coffee morning, meets on the first Tuesday of the month from 10:30am-12pm at Create Café, Wakefield One Building.
  • Social Evening on last Tuesday of the month, at the Prince William Stone House in Castleford, from 6-8pm.

Basil Leeshue, 61 from Wakefield, had a devastating stroke three years ago. He said: “I was driving home and felt a bit dizzy, didn’t think much of it. When I got home, I managed to get in the house but collapsed. I woke up three months later.”

Basil had a severe stroke which left him unable to move his left side or see with his left eye. After five months in hospital and being discharged using a wheelchair, Basil’s sight has now returned and his movement has improved, although he still can’t walk properly or lift his arm.

Basil added: “My physiotherapist referred me to the Stroke Association, and Kayleigh came to visit me when I was home from hospital. It’s definitely helped me with my recovery, meeting people who have been through a similar experience has been invaluable. I thought I was on my own, but they’ve helped me realise I’m not.

“I go to the exercise group regularly as well as and the social evening. It not only keeps me active, but I’ve met people who I would have never otherwise met, and we’ve become very good friends.”

Kayleigh Ratcliffe, Stroke Association Support Coordinator in Wakefield, said: “Stroke can have devastating consequences. People’s lives are changed forever - not just for the stroke survivor, but for their family and friends too. Many people often say that when they are discharged from hospital, they feel isolated and don’t know who to turn to for specific support and advice. For the past ten years our Stroke Support Service in Wakefield has helped people affected by stroke to regain their confidence, reconnect with their community and hopefully achieve a better quality of life. The success of the service lies in providing consistency for stroke survivors with a long term service. For me it’s so rewarding to be able to work with someone and see their confidence increase.”

Working in partnership with Wakefield Council and Wakefield Clinical Commissioning Group, the Stroke Association provides a Stroke Recovery Service in Wakefield, to help support people in their recovery after stroke, with information, practical advice and emotional support. For more information about stroke, ring the Helpline on 0303 30 33 100 or visit

  • 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 more than 100,000 strokes in the UK each year; that is around one stroke every five minutes. 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