Lydia Galvin & Sophie Preece are both young Herefordshire women, and to the casual passer-by it may seem that they are leading relatively normal lives.

Both young women are survivors of stroke and battle every day with what will be a lifetime of recovery for both them, and their families.

In November 2016 Lydia had a massive MCA (middle cerebral artery) stroke aged just 34. In the 18 months since, she’s had to learn to walk again and is still working hard to recover the life she led before the stroke.

Lydia (left) and Sophie are the organisers of Different Strokes Hereford.

Sophie suffered from multiple strokes and has spent the last year learning to talk again; both women now struggle to deal with people, crowds and noise as a result of their trauma.

Once discharged from the community stroke team Lydia and Sophie noticed a lack of support for survivors like them, and decided they’d like to help others. They set up a Herefordshire branch of Different Strokes.
Different Strokes is a national charity which supports stroke survivors, their friends and their families. They have an online support group and localised meet-ups where people can meet others and offer their help to those in the same position. The first Herefordshire meeting, led by the women, took place three months ago with a fantastic turn-out which has led to it becoming a free monthly event.

If you have been affected by stroke please get in touch with the Hereford Different Strokes group on Facebook or pop by the next support group on 25th June between 12:30 and 2pm at The Whitehouse Community Hub in Tupsley.

Support and information on stroke is widely available on the Different Strokes website as well as other charities’, such as The Stroke Association and Wye Valley NHS Trust