Peer support for stroke survivors

Connecting to other people who’ve had a stroke is an invaluable source of support. We explore online support groups, and how to find a group near you.

Shows a mobile phone on a desk. You can see the word 'chats' at the top of the screen. A keyboard is also visibleThe Stroke Association helps people rebuild their lives after a stroke, but it also recognises that some of the most invaluable support comes from others who’ve experienced a stroke.

“Quality peer support is a powerful intervention for individuals affected by stroke, and the Stroke Association wants to ensure that 1.2 million stroke survivors can access local peer support where and when they need it, for as long as they need it,” says a statement by innovation fund Nesta, which has worked with the Stroke Association.

Together, they are working to scale up and evaluate local, peer support.

In this article, you’ll discover how to find support from:

The Stroke Association aims to increase the number of voluntary stroke groups from 127 (2015) to 240 by March 2021. It also hopes to deliver the online tool My Stroke Guide to 40 groups.

The Stroke Association will also work to evaluate the impact of its local groups.

Find out how AbilityNet has been helping the Stroke Association deliver my stroke guide to a local Stroke Association Group

Stroke Association local support groups

There is a large network of local Stroke Association Groups and Clubs. Finding one near you is simple. Go to the Stroke Association link (below) and enter your postcode. You can search by Support Services or Clubs and Groups. Each one has a short description that tells you what the focus is for the group. The local group in Milford on Sea, for example, “Welcomes people affected by a stroke from anywhere within the New Forest, South West Hampshire/Dorset border areas. It is run by trained Stroke Association volunteers, some of whom have direct experience of stroke.”

Stroke Association support group: https://www.stroke.org.uk/finding-support

Stroke Association Online Forums

Online support is available via My Stroke Guide. You’ll need to register for an account, which is a simple process. Once registered you can access online forums by clicking on ‘My Social’. There are online forums relating specifically to local groups but also to topics such as aphasia support, for example.

My Stroke Guide: https://mystrokeguide.com/

Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland

You’ll find information and support on the CHSS website. You can also download the new aphasia app, Talk with Me! The app uses symbols, images and photographs to help with conversation and basic communication and is free to download.

Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland: https://www.chss.org.uk/

Different Strokes

Different Strokes is an organisation run by people who have personal experience of stroke. “Most of our staff, volunteers and trustees are stroke survivors, family members, or have a close personal connection to stroke,” says its website. Enter your postcode or town into the search tool on its site to find a group meeting near you.

Different strokes: https://differentstrokes.co.uk/what-we-do/find-a-support-group

Headway

A screen shot of the Headway landing page on HealthUnlocked. At the top are icons of cogsHeadway is the brain injury association and helps people who have damage to the brain including from a stroke. The association offers online support via the social media platform HealthUnlocked. The forums have almost 7,000 members.  Once registered, you can post questions, reply to someone else’s question, simply search for information or take part in online polls.

Headway: https://healthunlocked.com/headway

The Stroke Network

The Stroke Network is a registered non-profit organization that offers online support 24/7, worldwide. The website acts as a landing page for a number of smaller stroke organisations. Click on Stroke Support to access the online message board, which will, in turn, take you to a chat room or a Facebook page. You’ll need to register to be able to view and post messages.

The Stroke Network: https://www.strokenetwork.org/

Sign up for a FREE webinar for stroke survivors and their carers

A stroke can impact in a number of ways. It is the commonest form of aphasia. People who are affected by aphasia, and can cause issues of cognitive and physical impairment and is a common cause of anxiety and depression.

Technology can be part of the solution. Our free webinar will showcase the Stroke Association's online tool My Stroke Guide, which offers information as well as access to peer support from other stroke survivors.

AbilityNet volunteer Lawrence King will be on hand to share his experiences of helping stroke survivors find solutions that can help them to adapt.

The webinar will take place on March 31 2020. 

Sign up to our free webinar for stroke survivors and their carers

How AbilityNet can help stroke survivors

AbilityNet has a range of products and services that can help you make tech more accessible, including consultancy, design reviews, auditing and user testing.

AbilityNet provides a range of free services to help disabled people and older people.

Call our free Helpline. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff will discuss any computer problem and do their best to come up with a solution. We’re open Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm on 0800 269 545.

Arrange a home visit. We have a network of AbilityNet ITCanHelp volunteers who can help if you have technical issues with your computer systems. They can come to your home, or help you over the phone.

We have a range of factsheets which talk in detail about technology that might help you, which can be downloaded for free. You may find our factsheets talking about voice recognition and keyboard alternatives useful.

My Computer My Way. A free interactive guide to all the accessibility features built into current desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones.

Related Factsheets from AbilityNet

Support for stroke survivors

Call the Stroke Association Helpline: 0303 3033 100

Connect to other stroke survivors and carers via My Stroke Guide

Search the stroke association for local support by postcode

Think Ahead Stroke: 01942 824888

Factsheets from the Stroke Association