A group of stroke survivors from Tameside are using creative arts to improve their ability to communicate.
The Stroke Association arranged for stroke survivors and carers to attend a series of workshops run by Manchester Camerata, one of the UK's leading chamber orchestras.
More than 100,000 people have a stroke every year in the UK, and one third of survivors will have aphasia. Aphasia affects people’s ability to communicate, causing them problems with their speech, reading, writing and understanding.
The sessions, held over six months, were organised to help people affected by stroke to express themselves in new ways. Manchester Camerata used percussion, creative writing, drama and music to explore new ways of communicating. The stroke survivors and carers wrote music and lyrics for a song, created a short story and used different instruments to discover different sounds.
They showcased their new skills last month at an event attended by the Civic Mayor Elect Councillor Joyce Bowerman, which also saw the Stroke Association’s North West Community Choir perform an original song created during the project.
Michelle McCabe, Stroke Association Support Coordinator, said: “Stroke can strike in an instant, but its effects can be devastating, often leaving people isolated and feeling alone. Creative activity can help stroke survivors build their confidence and express themselves in new ways, while also encouraging social interaction. There is an amazing amount of talent in the group and our participants have shown so much courage and determination throughout the sessions.
“We’d love to continue the project in the future and are exploring this opportunity with Manchester Camerata, to allow people recovering from stroke to access the arts to aid their recovery.”
The Stroke Association provides a Stroke Recovery Service and Communication Support in Tameside, in partnership with Tameside Clinical Commissioning Group. For more information about stroke, ring the Helpline on 0303 30 33 100 or visit www.stroke.org.uk.