Wigan charity waging new war on strokes

A Wigan charity has thrown its support behind a new campaign aimed at saving people from the devastating effects of stroke.

Wednesday, 31st March 2021, 2:50 pm
An image from the new Public Health England campaign

The crusade was re-launched amid concerns of a fall-off in people seeking medical treatment for such episodes during the pandemic lockdowns.

Public Health England (PHE) says it wants to raise further awareness on how to help someone suffering from a stroke.

Experts state that the symptoms of a stroke are someone’s face falling on one side, an inability to raise both arms and the slurring of speech.

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Alex Yoxall, from Wigan-based charity Think Ahead Stroke

PHE is urging anyone who sees someone suffering these symptoms to dial 999 immediately.

And the Wigan-based charity Think Ahead Stroke is doing its bit to help raise awareness of the campaign and its message.

Alex Yoxall, activities and engagement officer at Think Ahead Stroke explained its local role.

He said: “It’s a campaign we were made aware of directly from PHE themselves.

“As a local stroke advice, information and support charity, part of our core purpose is to spread stroke awareness in the borough.

“In response to this campaign we have used our social media handles to further distribute our specially-designed FAST animation video, FAST posters and other awareness resources.”

PHE figures show that during the first Covid-19 lockdown last year hospital admissions for stroke dropped by 12 per cent.

Think Ahead Stroke stresses that this does not mean that strokes have gone away due to Covid-19.

Mr Yoxall said: “We also frequently share our Stroke during Covid animation video which highlights the fact strokes are still happening despite the pandemic.

“People must be aware of the signs and treat them with the severity they demand by calling 999 when they occur.

“This was produced due to studies last summer highlighting the drop in stroke admission in hospital due to high anxiety around that environment.

“In our Virtual Support Groups we have also raised the FAST awareness campaign to our members, reinforcing the key message behind the scheme.”

More information on strokes can be found on the Think Ahead Stroke website at https://www.think-ahead.org.uk/download-health-information

To contact Think Ahead Stroke for more information or access its services can do so by calling 01942 824888.

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