Bideford woman sets up new rehabilitation service for stroke victims

Mayor and Bideford Bridge Trust trustee Peter Christie with Nicole Williams, who has set up the new

Mayor and Bideford Bridge Trust trustee Peter Christie with Nicole Williams, who has set up the new stroke rehabilitation service thanks to funding from the charity. - Credit: Matt Smart

A Bideford woman has set up a new physical therapy service for stroke victims.

Nicole Williams was inspired to undertake training and set up the rehabilitation service after seeing the impact a stroke had on a member of her family.

Nicole's auntie Jane Pascoe suffered a stroke in 2017 which left her with disabilities. After NHS rehabilitation and home therapy started and stopped, Nicole felt like there 'should be something more'.

The 35-year-old trained with Action for Rehabilitation from Neurological Injury (ARNI), which has specialists available to people who have been discharged from hospital and living in the community and aims to help stroke survivors improve their mobility.

"I went in to hospital to see her and I was really shocked. I couldn't believe how devastating it was for someone so fit and able," said Nicole.

"I started looking at research and what is locally available and what's when I found ARNI.

"Charities like the Stroke Association are amazing but there is a gap in how to help people when everything has finished.

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"The course was really inspiring and I thought it made sense to roll it out locally."

Nicole was able to undertake the training thanks to a grant from Bideford Bridge Trust.

She said she would not have been able to train with ARNI but for their help.

"I could not have gone on the course without the Bridge Trust and I would not be able to provide this without their funding.

"This is a way I can give back to the community and what they've been able to do."

Mayor of Bideford Peter Christie, who is also a Bideford Bridge Trust trustee, said: "I'm well aware of the problems of stroke victims in Bideford. I welcome this new initiative and wish Nicole the best of luck.

"It's really good to see a local person working for the Bideford community."

Nicole is hosting an open day in Bideford on Saturday, August 17 for people to find out more about the service.

The day will be held at Bideford Town Band's room at Riverside Studio in Kingsley Road and will from 10am until 2pm.

Visitors can find out more about treatment and some of the equipment and kit used, as well as finding out more about other services.

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