RETURNING to work after an illness is never easy, but when you have had a stroke and been left with a disability you need help on the road to recovery.
The Stroke Association is a charity which funds research into prevention, treatment and rehabilitation and helps stroke survivors and their families in many different ways.
It is thanks to the delivery of The Stroke Association’s Return to Work service, funded through Nottinghamshire County Council, that Kevin Parker, of Skegby, has been able to return to his job.
It was back in August 2011 when 52 year-old Kevin was struck down with a stroke, which he believes was due to stress. Following the stroke, Kevin initially had problems with severe depression, fatigue and a lack of confidence but thanks to the help of the Return to Work service’s Emily Knowles, he is now back at civil engineering firm MWH Direct.
“My recovery is down to Emily, she has been absolutely fantastic,” said Kevin. “She was really supportive, came to visit me at home and was there when I needed to talk.
“She helped me with writing a CV and understanding the benefits system - I’ve never been out of work so I didn’t know what to do.”
A stroke is a brain attack which occurs because of a clot or bleed in the brain causing brain cells to die. One person every five minutes suffers a stroke in the UK and it is the third biggest killer and the leading cause of severe disability.
Strokes can be prevented through lifestyle factors such as a healthy diet - particularly reducing salt intake, drinking alcohol in moderation, not smoking and taking regular exercise.
The service can arrange meetings with disability employment advisors, supporting with CV and interview preparation, help navigate through the benefits system, provide further information on preventing further strokes and identify training and volunteer opportunities.
Kevin, who has a weakness on his right side and gets tired easily, has also praised his employers and colleagues for their continued support. He now works reduced hours in a more supervisory role.
Emily, who works in the Mansfield and Ashfield area explains: “It has been great working with Kevin and seeing him progress and achieve his goal of returning to work.”
If you are a stroke survivor and think you may benefit from the Stroke Association’s Return to Work service, Emily would love to hear from you.
For details contact Emily Knowles on 07506 427057 or visit Stroke Association.