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​Surbiton stroke survivor encourages budding bakers to Give a Hand and Bake

Press Release   •   Oct 04, 2016 11:17 BST

Stroke survivor and star baker from Surbiton, Barry Mcillroy, is encouraging people across the South East to Give a Hand and Bake for the Stroke Association.

The charity’s latest fundraising initiative asks people to roll up their sleeves, grab a mixing bowl and bake to help make a difference for people affected by stroke. Give a Hand and Bake takes place this autumn from 24 – 30 October, when budding bakers will bake a difference all over the UK.

Grandfather of three, Barry, 61, was a Quantity Survivor and ran his own sub-contracting business for 30 years, before a stroke changed his life in 2011. His stroke affected his speech and left him with weakness in his right side.

Barry said: “After my stroke I suddenly realised how much I would need to adapt to the changes in my life. Having led such a busy life with my business and playing golf, I knew I needed to fill the gap with something else.

“After I convinced my wife to let me into the kitchen, I baked my first loaf which the family really enjoyed. I find it so rewarding when someone enjoys something I’ve baked, and the whole process really helps me to relax.

“After my stroke, I joined a local communication support group called Dyscover. I now give tips to members on cooking one-handed, and offer advice on making recipes easy to read for people who have communication difficulties like I do.”

Becky Beard, Community and Events Fundraising Manager at the Stroke Association, said: “Barry’s recovery is truly inspiring. There are over 100,000 stroke survivors living in the South East who need support to rebuild their lives.

“This October, we’re looking for bakers to help raise some serious dough for people recovering from stroke. It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned chef or a first time baker, all you’ll need is a generous dollop of enthusiasm and a hungry group of friends and you’ll have the perfect recipe for fundraising success.

“Whether you prefer to host an afternoon tea for your colleagues or create a fancy showstopper to wow your friends, a simple donation in return for a slice of cake will help to make a real difference. With your support during Give a Hand Week we can create a new era for stroke where every stroke survivor gets the treatment they need and the lifelong care they deserve.”

For more information on how you can bake a difference and to get a free pack,

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 one of the largest causes of 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