Different Strokes is a registered charity providing a unique, free service to younger stroke survivors throughout the United Kingdom.
Our services and the number of stroke survivors benefiting from them have grown dramatically since we were formed in 1996. We are run by stroke survivors for stroke survivors, for active self help and mutual support.
SKY NEWS - 21st February 2014
The Impact of Stroke in Childhood
On Saturday 21st February, Sky News aired a feature about stroke in childhood. Our very own Lorraine Ayres was interviewed as part of the feature.
Thank you to the Sky News team for raising awareness of stroke in younger people. You can read the feature or watch the video here
IN WATERLOO ROAD (13/2/14 BBC1 8pm), POPULAR CHARACTER KEVIN CHALK SUFFERED A STROKE AT 17 –
THIS IS NOT AN ISOLATED INCIDENT!!!
Different Strokes has been working with Shed Productions, the makers of BBC ONE’s drama series, Waterloo Road, on a stroke storyline, ensuring accuracy and sensitivity.
In the episode, which aired on Wednesday 12th February, recurring character, Kevin Chalk (played by Tommy Lawrence Knight), suffered a stroke at the age of 17. The storyline is ongoing over the coming weeks, looking not only at the signs of a stroke and the immediate effects, but also at the longer-term rehabilitation of the character. The storyline will also feature actor Mark Benton (of Strictly Come Dancing fame) as Kevin’s adopted father, Daniel ‘Chalky’ Chalk.
As shocking as this storyline may appear, Kevin is by no means alone. Each year in the UK around 150,000 people have a stroke or a mini-stroke with 25% of these being under 65. Around five out of every 100,000 under 18’s have a stroke every year and stroke is one of the top ten ‘killers’ amongst children in the UK.
A stroke at such a young age brings with it unique challenges. Kevin is about to take exams, apply for University, has a girlfriend – he has his whole life ahead of him.
After a stroke, as well as the obvious physical symptoms, such as one-sided weakness, there are many ‘invisible’ difficulties:
- post-stroke chronic fatigue and memory loss
- difficulty with speech, reading, information processing (Aphasia)
- anxiety in certain situations (for example social situations)
As this story on Waterloo Road will highlight, recovery from strokes can be slow and difficult however many stroke survivors tell Different Strokes that with the correct support dramatic improvements can be made for them to go on with their everyday lives. Actor, Mark Benton says in Inside Soap magazine:
“The issue of strokes in young people is not a subject that’s really been covered before... I learned more about it via a brilliant charity called Different Strokes. It’s always great if awareness can be encouraged by a TV programme, isn’t it?”
Tommy Lawrence Knight, who plays Kevin, has given Different Strokes an interview about his character and this storyline. You can read the interview here
If you have had a stroke:
Different Strokes is a national charity providing support and information to stroke survivors aged from birth up to 65 years. Many of these young stroke survivors have young families to support, a promising career and bills to pay. Different Strokes helps support them in adapting to these new circumstances by providing information packs, the StrokeLine, website and newsletter, a regional network of both exercise and support groups, information on benefits and rights, advice on work after stroke and access to counselling services. You can find more information at: www.differentstrokes.co.uk or contact us on our StrokeLine at 0845 130 7172.
If you would like to donate securely to help younger stroke survivors, like Kevin:
Click on the 'Donate' button or:
· Donate online at: www.bmycharity.com/charities/diffstrokes
· Donate by text:
To donate £2: Text DIFF33 £2 to 70070
To donate £5: Text DIFF33 £5 to 70070
To donate £10: Text DIFF33 £10 to 70070
· Donate by post: Send a cheque, made payable to ‘Different Strokes’ to:
9 Canon Harnett Court
Milton Keynes MK12 5NF
We would like to take this opportunity to thank Shed Productions, Wire Media, Tommy Lawrence-Knight and Mark Benton for all their work with this storyline. And special thanks to Different Strokes members Becki Cobb, Simon Commins and Mark Tolley for their input into the story from a stroke survivor's perspective.
THE OAK, ASTON CLINTON DONATES £2000 IN MEMORY OF DIFFERENT STROKES VOLUNTEER, PETER SHAVE
In December 2012, our good friend and long-standing volunteer, Peter Shave, passed away. Peter was a vibrant, fun-loving man who had lots of friends - not least those in his local village pub, the Oak in Aston Clinton.
On the first anniversary of Peter's passing, the Oak held a Beer Festival in Peter's honour, with all proceeds going to Peter's favourite charity.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff and patrons of the Oak for all their hard work and continued dedication to Different Strokes in memory of our friend Peter. Pictured are the folks of the Oak handing a cheque for £2,000 to Different Strokes Volunteers (and friends of Peter), Greg Hollingworth and Dave Owen.
For just £1 a week, you can support Different Strokes by entering the new Different Strokes Lottery. Win up to £25,000 each week. So why not give it a try... it's half the price of Lotto!
For more information, or to sign up, go here
NEWSLETTER 53 NOW AVAILABLE!
The Christmas 2013 Newsletter is now available to download or read online here
RANJ PARMAR OF DIFFERENT STROKES SOUTHAMPTON ON BBC RADIO SOLENT
Different Strokes' very own Ranj Parmar,who had a stroke at 39, speaks about his experiences on the BBC Radio Solent series 'Living With It: Stroke'.
Ranj, along with his friend Andy, now runs the Different Strokes Southampton Exercise and Support Group for younger stroke survivors to help other survivors in their recovery. You can listen here
***WOULD YOU LIKE TO GIVE TO DIFFERENT STROKES WITHOUT IT COSTING YOU A PENNY?***
As it's coming up to Christmas we will probably all be shopping online for Christmas presents for our nearest and dearest.
Did you know that many of the UK's biggest retailers will donate a percentage of your payments to Different Strokes as long as you download 'Give as you Live'?? This is a little application that you switch on when you are shopping and it automatically lets the retailer know to donate. And best of all... IT WILL COST YOU NOTHING.
To sign up, please visit www.giveasyoulive.com/join/differentstrokes and click on 'Get Started'.
Peter Shave Volunteer of the Year 2013 - Steve George
Peter Shave, a longstanding and loyal volunteer at Different Strokes office, sadly died in December 2012. In memory of Peter and to celebrate his life, and in particular his post-stroke achievements and voluntary work with Different Strokes, we launched the Different Strokes Peter Shave Volunteer of the Year award in the last issue of our newsletter.
We are happy to report that Steve George is Peter Shave Volunteer of the Year 2013. Everyone at Different Strokes would like to take this opportunity to thank and congratulate Steve! For the full report, go here
Different Strokes Annual Conference
'Impact of Stroke on the Family'
On Saturday 19 October in Southampton, the 2013 Different Strokes Conference took place.
Read the conference report here
Different Strokes on the news!
A news item from BBC Spotlight featuring Different Strokes member Vernon sharing his story and our very own Lorraine. You can watch it here