Inclusion Matters is delighted to share the success of a service user known as A.W. 

A.W.  joined the Community Inclusion Programme back in May 2017 after a debilitating stroke several months earlier. The stroke had impacted greatly on A.W.’s speech and mobility.
Following a referral to Cedar, Michele Nutt-McIlvenny was assigned as A.W.’s Community Inclusion Officer and Michele took the first step in an onward referral to The Speech Matters team. 
A.W. worked extremely hard and made impressive progress on his overall ability to communicate.  This also increased A.W.’s confidence levels and he then went on to work tirelessly on his physio exercises, improving his mobility markedly.

Before his stroke A.W. had been employed as a coach driver and the impact of having his licence removed was a crushing blow. He felt he no longer had either a job, or a driving licence coupled with the effects of the stroke.  His poor memory skills reduced his ability to travel independently but Michele was then able to arrange travel training which after a period of several months gave A.W. the ability to use public transport again to attend his many activities.

As A.W.’s confidence built he also joined the Men’s Shed and the local bowling club. He not only learned new skills but also formed important new friendships too. 

Last year A.W. registered for the creative writing group run by the EastSide Partnership. He wholeheartedly enjoyed this class and the experience to express himself in so many new ways and to quote A.W. "an opportunity to think outside the box". 

Last December A.W. agreed to take part in a workshop led by Queens Pharmacy Department. This involved the students asking A.W. first-hand about his post stroke experiences and how he learned to cope. The feedback from the Queens students was that A.W. had given a true and honest and sometimes emotional account of his journey which was very valuable in understanding how deeply patients are affected.  A.W. will leave the programme in June 2020 and commented  

 "Never ever did I think that two years on I would have achieved so much."