Funding is music to ears of Newtownabbey stroke peer support group

From left, Burton Allen, stroke survivor, Ian McMaster, Singing for Stroke trainer and Ruth Adair, stroke survivor.
From left, Burton Allen, stroke survivor, Ian McMaster, Singing for Stroke trainer and Ruth Adair, stroke survivor.

Musical performance is to aid the recovery of Newtownabbey stroke survivors thanks to National Lottery funding secured by the Stroke Association.

The ‘Singing for Stroke’ project , which received an ‘Awards for All’ grant of £7,990, launches in September 2018 and will provide activity to four of the charity’s stroke peer support groups, including the one in Newtownabbey.

Following this initial pilot stage, which will include more than 50 stroke survivors, it is hoped that similar activities will be made available to all 13 groups across the province and, in time, this might lead to the formation of an aphasia choir.

Welcoming the funding, Mark Dyer, Volunteering and Community manager with Stroke Association NI, said: “I’ve witnessed people who were unable to speak or express themselves clearly, now able to sing along with the group. Many people have told me that it’s the confidence boost they needed and made such a difference.

“The project funding will make it possible to train volunteer singing group leaders who will bring a sense of energy, fun and an ease around people of differing abilities. They don’t need to be able to read music or play a musical instrument. They just need to have a keen interest in the subject and bring plenty of energy and imagination.

“Volunteers will receive training and equipment needed to make music and singing a sustainable part of the group’s programme of activities.”

The charity is keen to hear from willing volunteers. If interested, visit its website www.stroke.org.uk/singvolunteerni and apply or contact 028 9050 8020 for more information.