Thousands of stroke survivors across the North East received vital help and support to overcome isolation during the recent lockdown, thanks to a grant of £57,000 from the Freemasons to the Stroke Association to help provide online links between local groups.
There are 8732 stroke survivors and their carers living in the Province of Northumberland, many of whom used new online connections after their local groups were forced to stop meeting in person as a result of the pandemic.
Recent research by the Stroke Association found that 45 per cent of stroke survivors feel abandoned after leaving hospital and one in four live alone. The much needed funds donated by Northumberland Freemasons, helped connect stroke group members and volunteers digitally, providing crucial long-term support to reduce loneliness and social isolation for stroke survivors and their carers.
During the pandemic, the Stroke Association supported volunteer led groups to meet digitally and the results were extremely positive, with demands for their continuation post-lockdown due to their popularity. The grant from the Freemasons helped to further develop online resources for those who were unable to connect with others face to face, even once restrictions were lifted, facilitating new social connections and inclusion in their local stroke community.
There are 1.29 million stroke survivors in the UK, with 100,000 people having a stroke each year, and one person having a stroke every five minutes.The grant from Northumberland Freemasons comes through the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which is funded by Freemasons, their families and friends, from across England and Wales.
Samantha Jones, Associate Director at the Stroke Association, said “We’re very grateful to Northumberland Freemasons for their generous grant. We know that many stroke survivors feel abandoned after leaving hospital and connecting with other people affected by stroke can provide a crucial lifeline. During lockdown our local groups inevitably had to suspend their face to face meetings. This much needed funding from the Freemasons helped to ensure that more people, isolated by the devastating effects of stroke, can access the support they need to rebuild their lives.”
Ian Craigs, the Head of Northumberland Freemasons, said “I was delighted to hear of the MCF donation of £59108 to the Stroke Association. Victims of stroke and quite often their carers are affected physically, mentally and financially. Sometimes they face an uncertain future .The Stroke Association eases this sudden transformation and I know from first-hand experience how important that is .I am sure the Stroke Association will be helped enormously by this grant”
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