A new pilot exercise group for people affected by stroke in Scotland has been met with great success.

The Deeside Stroke Exercise Group has been operating via Zoom since lockdown began in 2020. The charity has been able to open up the opportunity to people throughout Scotland to join its online stroke exercise group as part of a six week pilot to determine the effectiveness of supporting people affected by stroke.

There are over 128,000 people living with the effects of stroke in Scotland, many of whom with be dealing with mobility problems, rendering some unable to carry out activities of daily living.

The group meets online via Zoom, enabling people to take part no matter where they live in Scotland. The group is led by a qualified physiotherapist, who works extensively with stroke survivors.

Moya Paton, 61, from Renfrewshire had her stroke in June 2018.

When she heard about the group, she signed up to take part hoping to see if she would benefit from therapy to help with her recovery and it has been a tremendous success.

Moya said: “As soon as lockdown happened, my occupational therapy came to a standstill and I felt lost. So I looked for help elsewhere and found the Stroke Association’s exercise group which I joined. It has been a lifesaver. Anna – my physiotherapist, taught me exercises that have really improved my movement and my confidence.

“A very important aspect of the group, has been the peer support. Being around people who have gone through a similar life changing event is reassuring and makes you realise you are not alone.”

Gaby Beattie, Engagement Officer for the Stroke Association said: “A great aspect of this exercise group is that anyone in Scotland can take part. This is important given so many remote and rural communities miss out on physical meet ups of stroke support groups. We remain committed to equality of opportunity and believe everyone should get the support they need no matter where they live.

“Another important element of the group is the range of stroke experiences people bring and the benefit that has in coming together. Participants have found it helpful to talk about their own experience, listen to other peoples’ experiences and get some hints and tips to help in their recovery.

“People have found the exercises helped with strengthening their muscles and improving balance. There have been other benefits including improvements in mood, resilience and confidence. It is astounding to see the difference these classes have made.”

The charity is planning to invest more of its time and funds into providing adaptable, community based peer support projects and events to ensure that all stroke survivors are given the opportunity to learn, meet new people, try something new and ultimately work towards rebuilding their lives after stroke.

For more information contact the Engagement team in Scotland at EngagementTeamScotland@stroke.org.uk