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An Update From Think Ahead Stroke

Welcome to our first update created specifically for health and social care professionals working across the Wigan Borough.

Although we’re now in our 20th year of supporting local stroke survivors and their carers, we’ve made a lot of changes in recent years, particularly in the type of services we deliver.

In light of the Covid-19 crisis, in recent months this has included adapting the delivery of our services to ensure the safety of our staff, volunteers, stroke survivors, carers and loved ones.

As well as our long running social activity groups, most of which are currently on hold, we now deliver a range of formal courses and programmes, which we are able to deliver safely, that can assist stroke survivors at any stage of their recovery.

These programmes are created, run, and evaluated by trained health and social care professionals and are free for everyone.

We’ve Included a breakdown of what’s available in this update. We hope you find it useful.

Available Programmes & Support

From the day that a stroke survivor leaves hospital, through to them getting back on their feet, Think Ahead Stroke has established support and programmes that are tailored to aid recovery. These may be very small, gentle steps at first.

Please note that all of our available services have been adapted to adhere to current government guidelines, which means they are safe and social distancing compliant.

To refer a stroke survivor or carer under your care, please email us at or call 01942 824 888.

Mentoring Programme

Our Mentoring Programme is most effective in the early stages of recovery, as stroke survivors and carers begin to orientate themselves after leaving hospital.

We pair stroke survivors and carers with a peer mentor – a trained volunteer, with the aim that they build a relationship based on the unique circumstances and individual needs. The objective is to accelerate mental and physical recovery through empathy, shared experience and helpful advice.

Currently, stroke survivors, their carers and families are 'meeting' their peer mentors using a range of methods, such as Zoom, Skype or Facetime, or over the phone. 

Well-Being Courses

For those individuals more in need of mental psychological support, please consider referring stroke survivors to our Well-Being Course. These group therapy sessions are available to all stroke survivors and carers, and are delivered by qualified psychotherapists using highly effective Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy (CBT).

Once again, this course is currently available online.

Younger male stroke survivors

Working age men can face their own set of challenges when recovering from stroke, particularly isolation, loneliness and a mourning for what can feel like a lost life and better times. In response to this, Think Ahead established The Tavern, a weekly pub themed social and support group.

This group is now meeting every Tuesday afternoon over Zoom, and are finding it a fantastic way to keep in touch and support each other, while also having a great laugh, which is what this group is all about.

Help for Carers

Our popular weekly Help for Carers support group is now also held online, via video link on Wednesdays at 1.30pm. Topics are member generated, and during the peak of social distancing, included tips on how to cope during lock-down, and how to access essential local services remotely. If you are aware of carers that could benefit from empathy, support and a few new friendly faces, then please get in touch.

Once again, to refer a stroke survivor or carer under your care, please email us at or call 01942 824 888.

One step at a time with Angela Eatock

Angela Eatock is a Reablement Support Worker for the People Directorate Children Adults and Families, Wigan Council. Angela is also a big contributor to Think Ahead Stroke’s step-by-step stroke information and recovery programme, Stepping Stones for Stroke.

"My role involves going into recent stroke survivors’ homes to help build their confidence to carry out every-day activities and skills, such as making meals, personal care like bathing, taking medication and mobility. I also demonstrate how to use equipment safely, for example showing people how to use sock aids, and I also help them to re-learn lost life skills.

After leaving hospital stroke survivors start six weeks of rehabilitation, where they work with occupational therapists, physiotherapists and the stroke team.

I see the stroke survivors on the first day after they’ve finished their rehabilitation.

So often these people’s lives have been changed forever by stroke, but they’re determined to get on with life. Time and time again I am blown away by their bravery.

I have really enjoyed getting involved with the Stepping Stones for Stroke programme at Think Ahead Stroke, it’s such a worthwhile course for stroke survivors as it helps them with practical advice and also assists them in getting back out into the community.

I show people on the course what we can do to help them. So I take down things like long handled brushes and other bits of equipment which can really help them in their day to day lives.

It’s the seemingly little things that help people to feel normal and independent again, and that makes a huge difference to their mental health.

Helping people to find outdoor mobility equipment is a way of getting them back out into the community, which plays a big part in helping them to enjoy their lives again.

If we can get them out and about safely then we will. One gentleman on the Stepping Stones programme used to love golf, and we were able to help him to get back to playing again which meant a huge amount to him.

Practical advice and solutions are a way to help people feel more normal and like their old selves again, and that’s what a lot of stroke survivors need - a sense of normality.

The Stepping Stones programme provides such a comfortable environment for people to share information and concerns, it really is a brilliant thing for stroke survivors and carers in Wigan."

To refer a stroke survivor to the Stepping Stones for Stroke Programme email us at or call 01942 824 888.

Think Ahead Stroke

Ashland House, Dobson Park Way, Ince-in-Makerfield,, Wigan
United Kingdom

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