Will to Give’s Chairperson and NICHS’s Fundraising Manager Elley Martin was delighted to have the opportunity to see first-hand the incredible impact that a gift in Will can make to people who need NICHS’s help the most. The experience was made all the more moving by the fact the generous gift of £1,000 had been made by Gloria Mullan, who had herself attended our Bessbrook Stroke Activity Group for several years before she sadly passed away in December 2015.
The Bessbrook Group has been coming together on Friday mornings for over 11 years. Elley says, “When I went to the Bessbrook Stroke activity group I was immediately struck by a real feeling of camaraderie.
Everyone at the group has been affected by stroke in one way or another. I counted at least eight very enthusiastic volunteers – over half of whom had themselves experienced a stroke. Their commitment to help others more severely affected was very much in evidence.
From the get-go, the sense of positivity and fun is absolutely palpable. There was much enjoyment of the musical session that made up the first part of the group’s activities. What a talented bunch of singers and musicians.
The second half of the session was when the activity levels really ramped up, helped by Mary, Bessbrook’s answer to Mr Motivator! Everyone joined in and took part in a high energy session involving a series of chair based exercises and ball games that help with co-ordination and movement. There was also dance, sprints, and laps of a pool!
These types of activities are incredibly important for post stroke recovery and a good number of the group commented that although they find the session tough going, they feel absolutely great afterwards. It was just incredible to see the energy and focus of the group as well as hearing the huge amounts of laughter.”
Ann, NICHS’s Bessbrook Group Co-ordinator advises that Gloria was very much valued and enjoyed any physical exercise and movement activity undertaken by the group. Gloria’s appreciation of this element of NICHS’s stroke services, alongside her desire to help fellow stroke survivors led her to make such a special and enduring gift.
Photo caption: Attendees at NICHS Bessbrook Stroke Activity Group