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Stroke patients offered a friend to help with their recovery

PUBLISHED: 07:00 19 November 2009 | UPDATED: 15:16 05 October 2010

STROKE patients in the East End are being offered a helping hand with their recovery as part of a unique befriending project. In the first of its kind in the UK, health chiefs in Tower Hamlets have set up a scheme where victims who struggle to speak and

STROKE patients in the East End are being offered a helping hand with their recovery as part of a unique befriending project.

In the first of its kind in the UK, health chiefs in Tower Hamlets have set up a scheme where victims who struggle to speak and write following a stroke are being offered a 'friend' to give them support and advice.

Barts and the London Trust and NHS Tower Hamlets who are running the project are looking for English, Bengali speaking or bilingual volunteers from across north-east London who will offer their services.

They will be trained in reading facial expressions and visual cues as well as understanding non-verbal communication.

More than 350 people in Tower Hamlets are hit by a stroke every year and there are around 2,300 sufferers in the borough.

It is estimated that a third of stroke patients will experience some degree of aphasia when they have problems speaking and writing and also understanding the spoken and written word.

The project is being funded by a £20,000 grant from the North East London Stroke Network and is being run with aphasia charity Connect, the communication disability network.

Contact Caty Palin or Barbara Hegarty on 020 8223 8841.

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