Larne volunteer recognised by stroke charity for ‘empathy with new members’

Larne Stroke survivor and volunteer George Stewart, receiving his nomination certificate from Stroke Association committee member Peter Deazley.
Larne Stroke survivor and volunteer George Stewart, receiving his nomination certificate from Stroke Association committee member Peter Deazley.

A Larne man has been recognised for his enthusiastic voluntary work with new members of a national stroke charity.

George Stewart was among award winners at the Northern Ireland Life After Stroke Awards securing the accolade in the volunteering category.

The event was held at the Belfast Harbour Office recently to celebrate the achievements and contributions of local stroke survivors, carers, volunteers and fundraisers.

Following his stroke in January 2017, George received support from the Stroke Association charity and attended its “Communication Plus” programme to improve his speech and language before he was motivated to become a volunteer himself.

Now speech and language therapists often call on George to support at the group sessions.

The charity says that George is “only too willing to step up to the mark and assist with each group” adding that he has “great empathetic way with new members and is always there to help, encourage and inspire in any way he can”.

Barry Macaulay, director of the Stroke Association in Northern Ireland said: “Congratulations to George and all the remarkable people who have been nominated for a UK Life after Stroke Award.

“We were thrilled that so many people across Northern Ireland were nominated to receive a UK Life After Stroke Award. Our Northern Ireland event is our way of highlighting the tremendous courage people have shown in rebuilding their lives after a stroke, or in helping and supporting others to do just that.

“We know that a stroke happens in an instant but the affects can be devastating and last a life time. There are over 4,000 strokes in Northern Ireland each year with almost 37,000 people living with the effects of stroke.

“The Stroke Association provides a range of services to support stroke survivors and their carers across Northern Ireland.

This includes stroke recovery and speech and language therapy services commissioned by the five local health and social care trusts and I would like to encourage anyone affected by stroke to contact us if you need information or support”.