‘History man’ John backs stroke group

STROKE SUPPORT ... John Grundy at The Life After Stroke Support Club.
STROKE SUPPORT ... John Grundy at The Life After Stroke Support Club.

A NEW support group for South Tyneside stroke sufferers is looking to the future after a “history man” paid it a visit.

The Life After Stroke Support Club was officially launched recently after months of planning.

It was set up by stroke sufferers who wanted to create a new voluntary group of their own, after coming out of a three-year recovery programme.

Former South Tyneside College lecturer, television presenter and author, John Grundy, has been a supporter of the Stroke Association for many years.

He popped along to the official launch of the new group at Hadrian Lodge, in Wenlock Road, South Shields, where members are to meet on alternative Tuesdays, from 1pm until 3pm.

The meetings are friendly social events and new members are always welcome to pop along.

Among the activities are bingo and quizzes, and trips are planned for a fish and chip supper at Colmans restaurant in South Shields, to Washington Wetland Centre and on the Shields Ferry.

Mr Grundy has already treated members to a guided walk around the historic Bede’s World museum complex in Jarrow.

Jan Jolliffe, 54, club secretary and treasurer, suffered a stroke on New Year’s Eve 1999.

She went from being a person with an IQ of 134 and a photographic memory, to being unable to remember names and having to learn to walk all over again.

The situation was made worse as she was the main carer for her mum, and her daughter was only seven at the time.

Fourteen years on her life is not completely back to normal, but she has learned to adapt.

She said: “It’s now more about tiredness issues, aches and pains, and you learn to adapt to the way you do things and pace yourself better.”

The Life After Stroke Support Group is self-funded, but still affiliated to the Stroke Association.

Jane Evans, co-ordinator for the Communication Support Service of the Stroke Association, which provides support for stroke sufferers who have experienced communication problems, said: “These people have had life-changing illnesses and have come through everything.

“The group gives them the confidence to rebuild their lives with the support of others.”

The club is planning some fundraising events, such as coffee mornings, in the near future. It has already received a donation of £300 from Siemens Protection Devices Limited.

For more information about the club, contact Stephen Dunn on 0751 6833249.