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Swale Stroke Group honoured with national award

Press release   •   Nov 18, 2016 11:51 GMT

The Kent based Swale Stroke Group has been recognised for the support they offer local stroke survivors at the Stroke Association’s Life After Stroke Awards.

Swale Stroke Group received the award, sponsored by Gloup, from Rudolph Walker,in recognition for the outstanding help, advice and encouragement they offer local stroke survivors.

The charity’s star-studded ceremony, sponsored by the TONI&GUY Charitable Foundation, NEXT plc and Irwin Mitchell, was held at the London’s Dorchester Hotel on 16 November.

Stewart Kitching, 60, Chairman of theSwaleStroke Group, who had a stroke eight years ago, collected the award on behalf of the group’s members. Stewart said: “In its own small way, the Swale Stroke Group has worked tirelessly to help improve the lives of stroke survivors and their families. Every member of the group has benefitted immensely by sharing personal experiences about their condition, I’m proud to say that our individual experiences prove that there definitely is life after stroke.

“I am delighted that the efforts of the group to reach out to stroke survivors and their families is being recognised and awarded by the Stroke Association.”

The Swale Support Group has 50 members and meets on a weekly basis. The group, which is as popular with carers and family members as it is with stroke survivors, organises raffles to supplement its funds.

The group has partnered with the University of Greenwich and many members share their experiences with students studying speech and language therapy. Group members also have regular visits from health professionals and speakers who can advise on relevant issues such as council support for home maintenance.

After a stroke around one in three survivors have difficulty speaking and understanding, which can be terrifying and isolating. But with the Stroke Association’s support, stroke survivors can find new ways to communicate.

The group sustains the meetings and workshops through fundraising, and its calendar of activities also includes baking, knitting, gardening and photography events, as well as trips to locations such as Leeds Castle and Sheerness beach.

Andrea Hall, Communication Support Coordinator at the Stroke Association, who nominated the group, said, “The Swale Support Group plays an integral part in the recovery of its members. Group members meet for a cup of tea, exchange stories and reassure each other they are not alone. The group is special to its members in more ways than I can possibly describe. .

“Stewart does a smashing job of leading the group and I am over the moon that the Swale Support Group is being honoured with this prestigious award.”

To find out more about the Life after Stroke Awards please 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.
  • The 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
  • Christmas is the loneliest time to be lost for words. After a stroke, around one in three survivors have difficulty speaking and understanding, which can be terrifying and isolating. But with the Stroke Association’s support, people can find new ways to communicate. Find out how you can help at or search for #lostforwords
  • The 2016 Life After Stroke Awards are sponsored by TONI &GUY Charitable Foundation. More information can be found at:
  • Irwin Mitchell is over 100 years old and is one of the largest law firms in the UK. There are offices in Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Leeds, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough (Consulting Office), Newcastle, Sheffield and Southampton. Irwin Mitchell has also completed the acquisitions of Specialist Personal Injury firm MPH Solicitors and private wealth firm Berkeley Law in the past two years. For more information visit
  • Onecom is the UK’s leading business to business mobile phone provider and manages more than 335,000 connections throughout the UK. Onecom specialises in tailored fixed line and mobile solutions for businesses ranging from SMEs to large corporates. Onecom is headquartered in Whiteley, Hampshire, and also has offices in London, Cambridge, Shoeburyness, Cardiff, Southampton, Plymouth, Leeds, Telford, Norwich and Brighton. Find out more at
  • Gloup, owned by Batherton Express, helps with administering and swallowing solid medication for people who find it difficult - a common challenge for those affected by stroke. Batherton Express offers a growing range of products that are used regularly in the medical care industry and associated care facilities. Find out more at