Different Strokes is a charity run by young stroke survivors for young stroke survivors. They provide advice and information, as well as offering over 30 support groups which cover areas from Glasgow to the Isle of Wight, and everywhere else in between. Their main aim is to empower these younger survivors so that they can reclaim their lives following a brain injury.
SameYou and Different Strokes are both aware that brain injuries can happen to people of working age and younger. They are still at risk. That is why raising awareness of this issue is so significant, and why the work done by Different Strokes is so important. By raising awareness and signposting people to the necessary services, not only are people able to get the support they need, but they are also able to spread the word. By doing so this creates a community of people who are all working for the same goal – to help people reclaim their lives after brain injuries.
Greg suffered a stroke in 2004, and he is now a major force at Different Strokes running some of their social media pages. Social media and the internet in general are such powerful tools in this modern age because of their ability to spread information to a much wider audience than was traditionally possible. Their most useful facet is their ability to put people in touch with one another who would never have previously been able to. As Greg explained “almost every stroke survivor remembers the first time they spoke to someone who had experienced life changing events like they have, and that’s priceless.” These conversations and discussions with people who can really empathise with one another goes a long way to developing a community of brain injury survivors, as well as raising awareness about brain injuries amongst younger people.
This online interconnectivity has also been crucial during the pandemic and lockdown period. Different Strokes were forced to review the services which they offered and had to turn to these online services so that people could continue to get the required support. They were able to run daily online weekday exercise classes and weekly videos of stroke survivors’ experiences in lockdown. Greg explained that this was to “decrease the isolation we so often feel. This is all there to combat isolation in already difficult circumstances.” By using platforms like Youtube these videos are free and simple to access, so signposting people to them is really easy.
There was some concern that Different Strokes would face financial difficulties due to the cancellation of many of their fundraising events because of the pandemic. But thanks to some very generous one-off donations, some grants received, the creation of some new innovate fundraising initiatives and government support via the furlough scheme they remain in a very healthy financial position. This highlights the community and support which they have, which is testament to their ability to raise awareness for such an important cause.
By being part of this Neuro Directory Different Strokes are able to spread the word about themselves on another online platform which is crucial, because as Greg said, “if people are not aware of what we do, we can’t help them.”
Be part of this community and raise awareness for brain injuries amongst younger people by signing your services up to the UK Neuro Recovery Directory today; or see what support services Different Strokes offer in your local area now by entering your postcode in our Neuro Directory!