Press release -
Máirtín Ó Muilleoir, MLA visits Stroke Association group
Aphasia is a communication disability which affects people’s ability to understand, speak, read and write but not their intelligence. The Stroke Association’s Speech and Language programme is a professionally led service designed to support people affected by aphasia in a group environment using a range of creative approaches to improve memory, enhance communication skills and build confidence post stroke.
The South Belfast group is led by Speech and Language Therapist Catherine Lowry. It is partially funded by the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust and aims to reduce the disability associated with stroke and build self-esteem as well as supporting carers living with the effects of stroke.
Mr O’Muilleoir took time to meet group members and carers and also had his blood pressure checked by Stroke Association volunteer Nora McCullough. The South Belfast MLA also met with two young stroke survivors – Niall Woods (25) and Matthew Thompson (23) – from his constituency. Both young men have survived strokes and have been supported by Belfast Stroke Recovery Coordinator Carmel Lavery.
Barry Mccauley, Stroke Association Director said: “Around a third of stroke survivors live with aphasia, a condition which can make seemingly ordinary activities like talking with family members and friends, extremely difficult. We’re delighted that Minister O’Muilleoir could join us today to celebrate the progress and achievements of the inspiring stroke survivors. With the support of the Stroke Association and our partners in healthcare, each and every one of them has taken great strides in their stroke recovery and we wish them continued success. They are all proof that with the right support, there is life after stroke”.
Finance Minister Máirtín Ó Muilleoir said: “The Stroke Association help hundreds of local families cope and adjust to the life changing consequences when a family member has a stroke. To mark Aphasia month I was delighted to visit the Stroke Association Speech and Language Therapy group in south Belfast.
“I want to thank participants for sharing with me their personal stories of the very valuable contribution the group makes to them and the stroke survivor community. I wish to thank the Stroke Association for inviting me to visit their south Belfast group and learn first-hand about this life changing service.”
The Stroke Association is a charity that is changing the world for people affected by stroke. They work with thousands of stroke survivors and their families and carers, with health and social care professionals, with scientists and researchers, and with supporters to conquer stroke. For more information visit www.stroke.org.uk
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 www.stroke.org.uk