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Winchester student organises "Walking Gig" to conquer stroke

Press Release   •   Sep 05, 2014 15:00 BST

On 14 Sep 2014, 21 year old stroke survivor Simon Batsman will lead a music tour through Winchester city from 11am followed by a BBQ on St Giles Hill at 2pm.

The Winchester Archaeology undergraduate has organised the busking event called "The Walking Gig" to raise money for people affected by stroke because it is a cause close to his heart. In Feb 2013 Simon had an unexpected stroke at 19 while he was making a cup of coffee. He collapsed in the kitchen and, after realising he was in desperate need of help, his housemates called an ambulance which took Simon to hospital.

Simon explained: “I didn’t know what was happening. I lost all sense in my right limbs and was unable to speak or think coherently. I was fortunate enough, however, to make a full recovery within the following 24 hours and I’m now taking medication to help prevent another stroke. At first I didn’t talk about it much but now I realise that I can use my experience positively. Music has always been very important to me and it was one of the things I jumped straight back into when I returned to university a week and a half later.

“We’ll start from the University outside Queens Road Student Village and do a tour of the city. I’ll be playing my guitar and others will join in with some songs from artists such as Coldplay and Oasis. I hope people in Hampshire will come along, enjoy the music and give generously to the Stroke Association. It’s a charity which provides vital support to people who have had a stroke, like me. I’m expecting friends and family but I hope to see many more of your readers turn up and help us make a noise for stroke.”

The Stroke Association estimates that over 4,000 people in Hampshire have a stroke each year and around 36,000 people living with the effects of stroke.

Rachel Davies from the Stroke Association added: “We’re really looking forward to the event and delighted that Simon has decided to use his experience to help others conquer stroke. A stroke happens in an instant and its effects can last a lifetime. Far too many people don’t understand it or think it will happen to them. We believe everyone affected by stroke should get the support they need to make the best possible recovery. That’s why we’ll be providing information on stroke and how to prevent it as well as local support available to people on the day.”

For interviews, photographs or more information, please contact Josie Gray, Regional Media and PR Officer at the Stroke Association on 02380 720 43802380 720 438.

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 www.stroke.org.uk