Health & Wellbeing after a Stroke – A Group for Stroke Survivors in Carlisle & Brampton

Health and wellbeing groups in north Cumbria are helping people living with the effects of stroke to become and stay independent.

The Early Supported Stroke Discharge teams (ESSD), from Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust, are working in partnership with the Stroke Association to provide a four week course which provides practical information and resources for stroke survivors, families and their carers.

The course covers topics such as; what a stroke is, how to help to reduce the risk of stroke and advice on how to cope with the difficulties experienced by many people following a stroke.

Facilitated and funded by the Stoke Association the course is already changing lives of people who have had a stroke, such as 65 year old Norman Dodd from Carlisle. Norman had a stroke earlier this year and took part in the most recent wellbeing group he said:

 “With the right treatment and determination to get well I was doing the exercises I had been shown. In a few days I made some progress. I was being positive; in my mind I was feeling that I can do it, not that I can’t. I lived on a hill and set goals to be able to drive again. The biggest drive for me was to be independent. Thanks to these people (NHS & Stroke Association) I was able to do it. These girls are fantastic. I would recommend the group to others; they helped give me the right mind set. My biggest achievement is being able to stand up here and communicate with the group today.” 

Sophie Turner, ESSD team Occupational Therapist explained how the group are able to help patients in a number of different ways thanks to the wide range of organisations who support the course. “Representatives from Age UK and MIND, the mental health charity, are among some of the organisations who have attended our sessions and answered questions from the group.

“Susie Tate from Healing Arts also come along and provided dance therapy activities, as well as ‘movement breaks’ led by team physiotherapist, Jo Goodfellow.

“There is a focus on the benefits of keeping as mobile as possible, getting back to normal routines, setting goals, healthy eating, and re-building life after stroke.

“There have been some informative discussions led by Lisa Pearce, a stroke specialist nurse from the Cumberland Infirmary on stroke risk factors and how to help reduce these risks.

“Perhaps one of the most important aspects of the group is being able to provide the opportunity for people to share their experiences with other stroke survivors. I have felt inspired by their stories and I know they are, in themselves, their best resource!”

The group is free to attend, it takes place at Botcherby Community Centre in Carlisle; further information on how to book a place is available from or

The Stroke Association have a wealth of information on driving, smoking, balance, bereavement, advice for carers and many others. Visit for more information.

 Link to the ESSD webpage & leaflets  -