STROKE Association North West invited the people of Manchester for a Christmas celebration to prove that there is a life after suffering from a Stroke.

Survivors from the life-threatening medical condition joined together to give a number of inspiring choir performances before sharing their own personal experiences.

Joyce Booth is the Groups and Volunteer Co-ordinator for Stockport and has been involved in mental health throughout her whole career. The 61-year-old, who is originally from Tameside, took on the job of leading the choir full of stroke survivors and it struck a very personal cord.

Stroke InfographicJoyce said: “My dad had a stroke when I was a child and died when I was young. I’ve also cared for both of my in-laws when they had a stroke so I have had a lot of family history with strokes.

“I applied for this job and it’s been the best job in the world, I absolutely love it. I love working with such courageous people who are battling to have a life after a stroke and that’s what they succeed in doing.”

The Stroke Association North West have worked together with the non-profit organisation ‘Writing On The Wall’. They have created a book containing poems and stories from the people whose lives have been torn apart by Strokes. Survivors who contributed to the book took time to read out extracts and poems they had created reflecting their own life experiences.

The project was led by Chris Mellor, the musical director for Writing On The Wall. It brought together a group of individuals with nothing in common other than the shared understanding of how strokes can devastate someone’s life.

Chris has worked in the theatre industry for 35 years but this project had a very personal connection.

He said: “I’m 50 now but as a kid I came home from school aged seven and my mum met me in the street and said we’ve lost your dad. I never went to the funeral, his ashes were then taken by my uncle who was emigrating so they were just thrown in the pacific. So my dad was there one day and erased the next. But I’ve lived with that all my life and it’s never really affected me, I’ve never really cried from that day to this project.”

Stoke Association North West are continuing to prove that there is a life after stroke and their new book is just the latest project on their journey to inspiring others affected by the condition.

By: Ben Senior

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