Different strokes appeal for new members

A Norwich group for younger stroke survivors is appealing for new members.

Different Strokes Norwich meets weekly at the Vauxhall Centre, off Vauxhall Street, so that members can share their experiences over a cup of tea or coffee, and then take part in an hour-long exercise session.

Wendy Dubbin started the group after her husband Alan, now 58, had a stroke in December 2009.

Mrs Dubbin, 58, of Dereham Road, Norwich, said: 'We saw there was a group in north Norfolk for younger stroke survivors, but nothing in this area. Younger people who have had a stroke have got different needs. They often still have dependents and often want to get back to work. They're not happy to sit around in a cirlce and play bingo – they want to be more constructive and rebuild their social life.'

The sessions, from 7pm to 9pm on Wednesdays, are for anyone aged 16 to 65 who has had a stroke, or a brain injury.

Each meeting includes an hour of circuit training, adapted to suit each individual's ability, to increase fitness and general well-being. The sessions are run by qualified fitness instructors.

Carina Moore, from Barclay Road, Heartsease, had a brain haemorrhage which caused a stroke when she was just 48. Now 53, the grandmother of two said: 'I like the exercises because you don't tend to do them at home. It's also good if you want to talk to somebody about your problems and speak to other people who have been through the same experience. Unless you have experienced it then you don't really know what it involves.'

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Mrs Dubbin said: 'The exercises help to relieve blood pressure and one of the main causes of stroke is high blood pressure. It's also social, because in the early stages it can be difficult to cope with the changes.'

Mrs Dubbin said the group is looking for new members, and hopes that with more attendees they will also be able to book guest speakers to come to the sessions, which cost �3.

To find out more about the Different Strokes Norwich group, contact Mrs Dubbin on 07758 153947, or email wendydubbin4@gmail.com.

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