New stroke group to launch in Thurrock

A NEW support group for stroke survivors in Thurrock will launch on Friday 11 November at Woody’s café in Thurrock garden centre, and will meet on a fortnightly basis at 10:30am.The Working Age Stroke Group has been created by the Stroke Association and will provide a place for people to meet fellow stroke survivors who have had similar experiences.One stroke survivor who will be attending the group is mum of four, Chris Bennett, 54, from Brentwood. Chris, a special needs teacher, had a stroke last June when she was on her way to work. The stroke affected the left side of her body, her speech and memory.Chris said: “I couldn’t believe I had had a stroke at such a young age. In hospital, there was only one other young stroke patient and I felt so alone. Until you have a stroke you think it’s something that happens to older people.”Coming home from the hospital, I thought the easiest thing for me and my family would be for me to stay indoors. I ended feeling completely isolated; it was such a sad time of my life.”Thankfully I found out about the Stroke Association and travelled to one of their other young stroke groups to see if it could help. I soon realised just how many young stroke survivors there are, and how helpful it is to speak to others of a similar age.”To attend the Working Age Stroke Group in Thurrock will really helped me to understand more about my stroke, and to also have the confidence to talk to others who have gone through a similar experience.”I’m so grateful to have the Stroke Association in my life. I’m now keen to do as much as I can to raise awareness about stroke and the early warning signs to look out for. Michelle Turner, Stroke Support Co-ordinator at the Stroke Association in South West Essex, said: “Thurrock stroke survivors will be able to have their say in the development of this new group, which is really exciting. The Working Age Stroke Group will be a much-needed place for local stroke survivors and their families to come together and support each other. Around one in four strokes occur in people under 65. Stroke is life-changing, but Stroke Association services, such as this new social group, can really make a difference to people’s lives and recoveries. It’s hugely important that stroke survivors feel supported in their local community throughout their road to recovery. The group will meet every other Friday and will be a place for young stroke survivors and their partners to share experiences, and offer each other support and advice. The first meeting will be held on Friday 11 November.For more information about the Working Age Stroke Group, please contact Michelle Turner on 07940 107844/01702 543602 or

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