In light of recent events, Think Ahead Stroke has addressed all areas of its operations. This has included support for new stroke survivors and those who care for them, along with the provision of activities and support groups for existing service users.

Due to the physical closure of the Stroke Information Centre in Ince, all new enquiries from stroke survivors, whether recently discharged from hospital, or further down the road in their recovery, must now be made via the phone or email.

These can either be self-referrals, or referrals from local health and social care professionals, colleagues and charities from across the Borough.

To get in touch with Think Ahead and find out how we can help, please call 01942 824 888 or email [email protected]

Once a member of Think Ahead Stroke team has had an opportunity to assess a stroke survivors’ individual needs over the phone, they will be able to suggest a range of possible further support.

Remote peer mentoring

If deemed appropriate, this may include matching stroke survivors (or those who care for them), with a trained, volunteer peer-mentor.

The well established peer Mentoring Programme can now be delivered remotely, with peer mentors able to meet regularly with stroke survivors and their carers via phone or video, listening and understanding personal challenges, before sharing their experiences and advice.

This can range from psychological support, such feelings of isolation and hopelessness, to practical advice on how to access health support or local services in the current crisis.

Virtual support groups and activities

For existing service users, Think Ahead Stroke is also gradually transferring a number of its activity groups online.

The Think Ahead Tavern, a pub themed support group for male stroke survivors, has now transferred to a weekly, Tuesday afternoon get-together on Zoom. The group covers everything from favourite TV shows, to the best lockdown baking recipes!

Our popular weekly Help for Carers support group is now also held online, via video link on Wednesdays at 1.30pm. Topics are member generated, and have so far included tips on how to cope during lock-down, and how to access essential local services remotely.

Our monthly coffee afternoon's have gone virtual, and are now held on zoom. Dates alter each month, so please contact Alex on 01942 824888 to put yourself on the list for our next meet!

We have now transitioned our Well-being Course to an online environment and have held our first virtual session. If you think the well-being course could help you, please call 01942 824888.

To find out more about other available activities and how to access them, please visit https://www.think-ahead.org.uk/activities-and-groups

Telephone support

We have also identified those existing service users that it deems to be most vulnerable, both physically and mentally, and will be regularly keeping in touch across the duration of the crisis.

To find out more about our regular telephone support, get in touch on 01942 824888 or email [email protected]

Buddy support service

Alongside our regular telephone support, we have also established a buddy support service. This service links our volunteer stroke experienced 'buddies' with stroke survivors or carers via telephone support calls. These calls allow stroke survivors and carers that have become more isolated due to the pandemic the opportunity to speak to a like-minded individual who has walked a similar path.

To find out more about our buddy support, get in touch on 01942 824888 or email [email protected] 

To keep up to date you can also follow us on Twitter or Facebook – and for full information visit www.think-ahead.org.uk