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“We were two healthy, fit and young(ish) people with a young family busy planning a new life abroad. We had rented out our house and packed up our things – looking forward to having a future with the children and raising them in Canada. Then, one night before Christmas, all our plans, our new life and our dreams were wiped out in one second – my husband had a Stroke.

We were put on waiting lists for NHS rehabilitation and physiotherapy and told that it could take 16-18 weeks. The wait was so long that we couldn’t help but despair.

However, the Stroke Association put us in touch with YMCA, which was running a stroke rehabilitation programme called GRASP close to where we live. Without the YMCA Health & Wellbeing team and the programme, I honestly, hand on my heart do not think that Lee would be where he is today.

My husband now walks unaided: through strength and balance training, he was taught how to get back up again if he fell. He learnt how to fall and not hurt himself and he can grasp things and drop them again, and although small at the moment, he can move his thumb and first finger up and down.

To have people at YMCA understand this when even the closest of friends don’t, means so very much to us both and has helped us more than I can say. Lee comes away from his sessions feeling like he can achieve more and is positive about his future.

We feel very, very lucky that we came into contact with YMCA and the GRASP programme because I can honestly say for us, that they have been exactly what we needed.”

“To have people at YMCA understand this when even the closest of friends don’t, means so very much to us both and has helped us more than I can say”. – Lindsey.