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Stroke Association launches new project to improve mental wellbeing in North Derbyshire

Press Release   •   Jan 18, 2016 10:54 GMT

The Stroke Association is inviting people affected by stroke in North Derbyshire to attend a series of new Mindfulness sessions, to help improve their mental wellbeing.

Learning and practising mindfulness has become a popular way to manage a number of physical, emotional and social challenges, which can be caused by a stroke. Research suggests that practising the technique can help people to better understand their emotions, boost attention and concentration and improve post-stroke fatigue, anxiety, depression and relationships.

After holding a series of 10 sessions in Chesterfield from October to December, the Stroke Association is now opening the sessions out to all stroke survivors and carers in North Derbyshire. The charity is planning to run the sessions in February or March this year based on interest from people in the area.

Jane Pawley, 62, from Dronfield, had a severe stroke in 2013 which affected the movement in her left side, as well as her speech. She attended the first series of Mindfulness sessions organised by the Stroke Association. She said::: “I found the sessions to be really useful and I now use the techniques on a day to day basis.

“Practising mindfulness has made me more aware of my surroundings. It’s made me more relaxed and confident in dealing with my communication difficulties after my stroke. I would definitely recommend the project to other people affected by stroke.”

Sophie Dawson, Information Advice and Support Coordinatorat the Stroke Association, said: “Stroke can have all sorts of different effects. Many are physical effects that you can see and recognise easily, but there can also be hidden effects, like emotional changes such as anxiety and anger. Around a third of stroke survivors experience some emotional problems after their stroke. Practising mindfulness can help people to become more aware of their thoughts, feelings and body sensations so that instead of being overwhelmed by them, they are better able to manage them.

“These new sessions can help people to better understand the effects of their condition and improve their mental wellbeing. The first block of sessions was a real success and as a result, we are now calling out to stroke survivors and carers in North Derbyshire to join us for our new project.”

Attendees may be asked to make a £4 contribution. For more information or to book a place, please contact Sophie Dawson at the Stroke Association on 01246864024 or email

The course is run by the Stroke Association and led by Heartmind, a not-for-profit social enterprise.The Stroke Association provides an Information Advice and Support Service in North Derbyshire, in partnership with North Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group.

For more information about stroke, ring the Helpline on 0303 30 33 100 or visit For more information about Heartmind, 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 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