COLUMN: Stroke club in urgent plea for new volunteers

NBENBE110920c3, Belper strutts centre, The Chevin singers. Chairman Viv Wilson
NBENBE110920c3, Belper strutts centre, The Chevin singers. Chairman Viv Wilson

By Viv Scott

My father lived throughout his life in the Heanor and Ripley areas and worked as a sales clerk for Butterley Company and then Hansons Engineering in his later years. He simply loved bricks! Whenever we went out for a walk he would always stop to admire a brick building and often he could tell what type of bricks they were and where they were made. He was looking forward to a well-earned retirement, planned to fill his time as a lay-reader in the local church, tinkering with old motorbikes and cars and listening to trad jazz, when he had a stroke which left him disabled for the next fifteen years until his death. 
It was a blow to my mother, who found caring responsibilities very hard and she became very anxious about him. 
When they started going to the local Stroke Club she found enormous relief and respite during the afternoon meetings they spent in the company and care of other people. She also felt that she was not alone as a carer.That’s why I wanted to write this when I heard that Belper Stroke Club is in serious need of some new volunteers. A stroke, even a minor one, can leave its victims and carers feeling vulnerable and isolated. 
The local meetings at Belper Leisure Centre offer people a friendly afternoon out of the house, a cup of tea and an opportunity to talk about their problems and get some help in sorting them out. The fortnightly meetings are attended by around 30 people who are entertained with a programme of speakers and activities and what is more, a community bus will give people a lift to the meetings. It’s a relaxed and friendly atmosphere where members enjoy outings, music, quizzes, talks and social afternoons, but it all needs support from others to make them successful. 
Belper Stroke Club has a band of around a dozen volunteers and a small management committee. 
Unfortunately, through personal circumstances, a number of long-standing volunteers are unable to continue and the Club has put out an urgent plea for new helpers. 
There is a variety of jobs to do, so is anyone able to volunteer? It’s worth thinking about and you can always contact the secretary, Martin Drake on 01773 820378 to have a chat and see if there is something that might interest you.