Health charity’s new Support Services

Pictured: front row: Hunter Kane, Bertie McWhirter, Kerry Marsh, Ivan Moffett, Claire Clarke. Back row: Yvonne Monteith (NICHS), Angela Campbell (volunteer), Soracha Cosgrove (volunteer).
Pictured: front row: Hunter Kane, Bertie McWhirter, Kerry Marsh, Ivan Moffett, Claire Clarke. Back row: Yvonne Monteith (NICHS), Angela Campbell (volunteer), Soracha Cosgrove (volunteer).

A Post Rehab Exercise Programme for stroke survivors, which was launched by Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke (NICHS) in Coleraine in August, is making a difference to stroke survivors across the Triangle area and beyond.

The programme, known as PREP, aims to help people regain their confidence and independence after a stroke. It was originally developed as it was recognised that when a stroke survivor has finished their 12 weeks of rehab provided by the Trust they often feel isolated. In response, the Post Rehab Exercise Programme (PREP) was developed to meet the longer term needs of stroke survivors and help them return to the lives they were living before they had the stroke.

PREP is a physiotherapy led course based in the community. In Coleraine, Kerry Marsh, from the Coleraine Physiotherapy Clinic, leads the exercises and NICHS’s Carol Henderson delivers the educational part of the programme. Participants are shown how to safely incorporate exercises into their everyday routines and they also have the opportunity to learn more about living with a stroke and how to reduce the chance of it happening again. It is also a great opportunity to meet other survivors.

Four of the programme’s participants spoke about how they have benefited.

Claire Clarke from Ringsend: “I have really liked it all, both the exercises and the talks. My walking is much better than when I started.”

Hunter Kane near Ballintoy: “It’s very good, especially the friendships. This has helped me with me stroke. The programme teaches you what you can do to help yourself.”

Ivan Moffett from Ballymoney: “You can’t let stroke get you down. I have enjoyed the company here and meeting other people who have had a stroke.”

PREP is held weekly at the Sandal Centre on Knocklynn Road, Coleraine. Each programme is in a block of six weeks on a Tuesday morning. For more information about PREP please contact Carol Henderson on chenderson@nichs.org.uk or 07841 102 520, or contact the charity’s Head Office on 028 9032 0184.