A Huddersfield charity has joined a national campaign to speak out in support of stroke survivors suffering with communication disorders.
And it will be an all singing and dancing affair for the town’s Stroke Association, which has launched a six- week aphasia choir workshop to help alleviate the symptoms of those with the conditions and back the aim of the International Communication Project 2014.
Dozens of people have been finely tuning their vocals at the choir, which is currently taking place every Monday at the Huddersfield Methodist Mission to highlight the importance of human communication and urge more support to be made available for the millions of people affected around the world.
They are all affected by conditions such as aphasia, the number one communication disorder, which strikes one third of stroke patients and causes them difficulty in speaking and writing and understanding others.
One of the attendees is 74-year-old Almondbury resident, Cora Smithies, who has joined the choir after having a stroke 18 months ago, which affected the right hand side of her body and memory and left her unable to read or write.
She said: “The singing workshops have helped me meet other people in the same situation and it has given me a weekly outing to look forward to and we’re now all like old friends.
“It’s important other people with communication disorders are given the same opportunity to be part of their community and by signing up to the ICP pledge online we can help to support others with aphasia.”
The Mayor of Kirklees, Clr Ken Smith, has also shown his support after joining in at one of the sing a longs, after being invited by the organisation.
Communication Support Coordinator at the Stroke Association, Victoria Robinson, believes that the workshops could help alleviate some of the symptoms.
She said: “Aphasia has a massive impact on stroke survivors’ lives.
“It can limit people’s ability to participate fully in family life, their community, education and work but some stroke survivors with aphasia find singing helps give them a voice again.
“Our singing workshops have helped some people discover a new talent, while others have rediscovered an old one and I hope everyone in Huddersfield will sign up to the ICP 2014 pledge to show their support. By helping to raise awareness.”