Aphasia affects around 350,000 people in the UK, yet not many people have heard of it. It is a communication disability which occurs when the communication centres of the brain are damaged. The fact that the condition is rarely heard of, contributes to the loneliness that those with aphasia experience.
Colin, the founder of charity SayAphasia, had a stroke nearly six years ago, and none of his friends and family had heard of the condition aphasia before his stroke. This made it a struggle for everyone around him to work out how best to help him.
Our society is made aware of what a stroke is, and how to identify the signs if someone is having a stroke, but we are not as educated about what happens after.
After Colin came out of hospital and was given physiotherapy and speech therapy, there was a period of time of ‘what now?’
Colin was 50 when he had his stroke, and could no longer continue his career as a director of a commercially designed building services solution company. An extremely positive and determined man, Colin took it upon himself to set up the charity to help others just like him. The charity has given him purpose, goals to achieve and a new sense of success. He hopes that this charity will become that life line for others too.
Colin’s experience is the first thing that drives the charity – to support people who have just been diagnosed with aphasia, to stop them feeling lonely, confused, and helpless; especially after the nurses and therapists have done their part. As soon as patients leave the hospital, the charity want them to be informed straight away about the support that SayAphasia can offer them, to avoid prolonged feelings of confusion and loneliness.
The second thing that drives the charity is to offer the best service, is to provide a continuous, supportive place for people with aphasia to socialise, make friends, and practise their communication skills with like-minded people.
The charity is looking for runners to take part in the 2021 event on Sunday 27th June. Could that be you, or someone you know? Find out more and contact the SayAphasia team.