A new centre bridging the post-hospitalisation gap for stroke survivors is set to open in the city, the first of its kind in Cork.
Cork Stroke Support Group, which was first established in 2010 by three nurses working at St Finbarr’s Hospital stroke rehab unit, has secured a new premises which will allow the voluntary-led group to extend its supports.
Chairperson Dan Cronin said that the number of stroke survivors attending St Finbarr’s activity centre pre-pandemic made it “very apparent that the activity centre wouldn’t suffice” and so a new premises for Cork Stroke Support Centre was sought after.
The new centre is set to be officially opened by Lord Mayor Cllr Colm Kelleher on World Stroke Day at Riverview Business Park on Bessborough Road on Friday, October 29.
Mr Cronin said that it has been a journey to secure the correct premises that met all of the centre’s needs as “numerous premises around the city weren’t fit for purpose”.
The centre is the first of its kind in Cork and will offer support to stroke survivors and their families as they transition from hospital to home and will offer a wide range of assistance including counselling, physio and peer support.
“The biggest issue faced with any stroke survivor is being understood in so far as we wouldn’t necessarily know what a stroke survivor is going through, the fact that they can’t use their left side or right side so peer support from another stroke survivor is really important because there’s an understanding there and a commonality there and so peer support is probably one of the most important things offered.
Information is also really important and that’s what we offer, exercises for both the stroke survivors and their families.
The centre will have many medical professionals working on a voluntary basis to deliver services, including nurses, physiotherapists, and occupational therapists.
“We’re all volunteers giving our time to try and make supports better,” he said.
Mr Cronin said they have been “blown away by the support” since securing a premise, including donations from businesses and people offering their time to tile bathrooms and paint walls which he said has been “absolutely fantastic”.
It’s great to see the community coming together to help with what I say is the best-kept secret in the country because a lot of people don’t know we even exist.
“I think it's very poignant that it’s opening on World Stroke Day because it’s been a long journey for us over the last 18 or 19 months to get where we’re going and to be able to extend the services that we offer will be absolutely amazing,” he said.