A lifeline for residents caring for relatives who have suffered a stroke is under threat – unless their treasured club gets more volunteers.
Spalding Stroke Association meets fortnightly at the Johnson Community Hospital. For the past year it has been run almost single-handedly by Geraldine Cox – but now area organisers have told her if she cannot find help the group will have to close.
Mrs Cox said: “They are such a great bunch of people who come to meetings. We have a terrific laugh and getting a break from routine is so important for not only those who have had a stroke, but also for the carers.
“I would hate to see the club fold through lack of volunteers. The volunteers get just as much out of it as members. Volunteering is a great way to meet new people.”
Wendy Farman, of Pinchbeck, is a full-time carer for her mum, who has suffered two strokes and a seizure that have left her bed-ridden.
She said: “That club is a godsend. You meet a lot of nice people in the same situation.
“You can have a good laugh – play quizzes and it’s brilliant. The meetings are on my calendar and it’s a lifeline for us.
“You lose the person you love when they have a stroke. My mum and I used to go everywhere together and loved going out shopping. We moved up here from Essex to have a nice life and then this happened.
“At the moment we are waiting for a new wheelchair so we can get out again. I don’t know what we’d do if the club wasn’t there.”
Barbara Plant is carer for her husband, Roy, at their home in Spalding.
Mrs Plant says the club gives the 72-year-old former financial accountant courage and encourages him to go on.
She said: “Roy can still drive and the club gets him out and doing things.
“He always knows when it is club day and is up and ready.
“People comment that he is always smiling when he is there. He doesn’t feel different there and he loves it.
“It gets us both out – otherwise we might not see a lot of people.”
The next meeting is in the Seminar Room at Johnson Hospital on Friday, March 13, from noon to 2pm.
Anyone interested in volunteering can call the regional organiser Maria DeGiorgio at the Stroke Association on 07814056338.