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​Bradford stroke group enjoys table tennis as they rebuild lives after stroke

Press release   •   Feb 10, 2020 10:04 GMT

Stroke survivors from Bradford have been getting active to help rebuild their lives, with the support of Table Tennis England.

Bradford Speakability Stroke Group were joined by Peter Thompson aka ‘Ping Pong Pete’, a local table tennis expert and activator for Table Tennis England. Pete works with community groups in West Yorkshire as part of project Ping!, with the aim of introducing the game to people from all walks of life.

On Monday 03 February, Peter visited the group to help them get active and have fun while playing table tennis. Bradford Speakability Stroke Group helps members to share their experience of stroke and provide support for each other, while making new friends and developing new skills. The group is run by and for people with aphasia; language-loss following stroke.

The group recently won a full size table, nets, bats and balls for their members donated by Table Tennis England, in a competition at the Stroke Association’s UK Stroke Club Conference.

John Barraclough, 69 from Bradford, played local league table tennis before his stroke in 2014, but since his stroke he didn’t want to do play anymore. After the group won the table, he decided to play. He said: “I felt good, it was super!”

His wife Linda added: “Since John’s stroke I have always wanted him to try to play again when we have been on holiday, but he has always refused because of the lack of feeling in his right hand. It was great that he played with Pete and I know he felt really good about himself. I think John surprised himself that he could still play and felt very proud! You could see his confidence grow and his competitive nature come back.”

Grace Feeney, Volunteering and Community Officer from the Stroke Association, said: “By the end of the session, every member had had a go playing on the group’s new table and there was definitely a feeling of pride amongst them all. The session has helped our group members to get moving, support their balance and coordination, boost their self-esteem and have lots of fun at the same time. We’re really grateful to Peter and Table Tennis England for the equipment and support.

“Table Tennis was completely new to the group and they’re now looking forward to the year ahead and getting more active. Everyone is welcome to come along and it’s a safe space to socialise with other stroke survivors and carers. We’d love to see more people from the local community come along and get involved.”

Bradford Speakability Stroke Group meets on the first Monday of each month at The Thornbury Centre, 79 Leeds Old Road, Bradford, BD3 8JX. Each session costs £2. For more information, contact Debra Fish, Group Secretary on or call 01535 656491.

For more information about stroke, ring the Helpline on 0303 30 33 100 or visit For more information about bringing table tennis to your community, visit or email

  • Stroke strikes every five minutes in the UK and it changes lives in an instant.
  • The Stroke Association is a charity working across the UK to support people to rebuild their lives after stroke. We believe that everyone deserves to live the best life they can after stroke. From local support services and groups, to online information and support, anyone affected by stroke can visit or call our dedicated Stroke Helpline on 0303 3033 100 to find out about support available locally.
  • Our specialist support, research and campaigning are only possible with the courage and determination of the stroke community and the generosity of our supporters. With more donations and support, we can help rebuild even more lives.
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