Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Stroke survivors to undertake charity cycle

STROKE survivors and carers from The Stroke Club are undertaking a charity cycle challenge.

To be held on ‘fixed’ bikes at Blackshots Leisure Centre in Grays on Saturday 22nd February, the participants aim to cycle an ambitious 100km between them – no mean feat as most have varying degrees of disability following their stroke.

Held in conjunction with Impulse Leisure, the main goal of the event is to raise money for water aerobics sessions for the stroke survivors, as well as funding additional Kinesis exercise sessions at the Leisure Centre.

Graham Tidman, stroke survivor and one of the driving forces behind The Stroke Club, explains: “Both activities help us to increase mobility and enhance our independence. Prior to our strokes we could all swim, but afterwards we found that we couldn’t but we didn’t understand why. We want to use the water aerobics sessions to help us get back to swimming again.”

Set up in February 2012 by the survivors, alongside Christine Hamilton from the Thurrock Stroke Network, The Stroke Club was created to raise money so that other survivors could benefit from a variety of activities and social events to enhance their future quality of life. Graham comments: “Having a stroke has changed our lives forever. The Stroke Club helps us to help ourselves integrate back into the community; to do things that we took for granted prior to our strokes, such as eating out, bowling or going to the theatre. “I had a stroke in July 2011. The stroke affected by right arm, speech, memory and balance. At the time I was a cricket coach and also a keen gardener.

“I knew there was no way that I would be able to return to work or to many of the activities and pastimes I had previously enjoyed.”

Graham, now 58 years old, started at The Thurrock Stroke Network in November 2011. “It was the best thing I have ever done,” he said. “By meeting other stroke survivors, I realised that I wasn’t as badly off as I thought. They also really understood how I felt and offered great support to both me and my wife, as my carer.”

The Stroke Club has weekly meetings at the Civic Hall, as well as three Kinesis sessions in the gym at Impulse Leisure’s Blackshots Leisure Centre per week, all of which are held under the watchful eye of Christine Hamilton from Thurrock Stroke Project.

Impulse Leisure, a registered charity, prides itself in promoting sport and active leisure participation to the widest possible community and engaging positively and inclusively with those who do not normally take part in active leisure.

The charity cycle ride will run from 12 noon until approximately 4.30pm, with participants using eight static bikes to complete their cycle marathon.

Donations can be sent directly to The Stroke Club at 14 Bromley, Grays, Essex RM17 6LE.

After the event, there will be a social gathering for the Stroke club, their carers, family and friends, held at the RAF club in Southend Road, Grays.

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