Dave was in his 50’s when he suffered a life changing stroke, resulting in permanent vision loss, poor balance, mobility issues, severe fatigue and short term memory problems.
Prior to his stroke Dave worked full-time; was extremely active; frequently attended his local gym, competed in marathons, and was a dedicated Manchester City season ticket holder. Suddenly Dave found himself unable to do many of the things he enjoyed.
Due to the considerable change to his lifestyle, Dave’s wellbeing deteriorated, resulting in a lack of confidence and becoming isolated. Dave would avoid leaving the house and stopped attending social events.
Dave received support from the Stroke Association and was signposted to a Stroke Café, where he was referred into buzz to take part in a Boost course. This is a seven week course is designed to help improve an individual’s resilience; decrease stress, improve confidence along with supporting people to make plans for doing more things that make them feel good.
As this Boost course was drawing to a close, Dave and the other participants decided that they would like to continue to meet up every week, and so the North Neighbourhood Health Team met with the group and facilitated a conversation to investigate what they would like this group to do. From this conversation the group decided they would like to take part in light indoor exercise sessions, to provide physical activity, along with the opportunity to socialise. From this the “buzz Walk and Talk” group was developed, with Dave as one of the founding walkers.
Dave has continued to attend the walks on a regular basis for fifteen months, and has noticed improvements in his physical and mental health – he can walk further and he describes having a much more positive outlook on life. He credits the walking group for making him feel less lonely and isolated, and for helping him to feel more confident. He states:
“I have improved in confidence and have now began to work as a volunteer in a charity shop, where I am meeting new people”
In 2017 Dave travelled to South East Asia, a part of the World he is particularly fond of, but thought that he’d never be able to travel to again following his Stroke. Dave attributes this significant achievement to his direct involvement with the buzz Walk and Talk group.