Speakability is a charity which offers support to people with aphasia: difficulty with speech caused in the main by stroke or brain injury. Mr Jones, who is the Vice-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Stroke, met Harrogate Speakability members, Harrogate Hospital Stroke Coordinator Jenny Jones and the Regional Speakability Coordinator Graham Johnson. During the meeting, member Simon Benneworth gave a presentation on the StepbyStep computer programme which teaches stroke victims to regain speech. There was also an emotive speech on life after stroke by member Charles Spencer who suffered a severe stroke and made a remarkable recovery.
Mr Jones said: “I am keen to support Harrogate Speakability whose support does so much to improve speech and confidence for stroke victims and others aphasia sufferers. Many people from our area have suffered a stroke and understand the debilitating effect this can have on a person’s ability to communicate. This often leads to stroke victims feeling frustrated and cut-off so it is important that the proper infrastructure is in place in our community to support them. Self-help groups like Harrogate Speakability coupled with professional medical advice such as local hospital stroke coordinators mean victims are able to cope and recover more quickly.”