Lynn stroke survivors take part in art therapy

Landmark images in Gaywood - Gaywood Church Rooms. ENGANL00120121128144135
Landmark images in Gaywood - Gaywood Church Rooms. ENGANL00120121128144135

A group of stroke survivors from Lynn are learning to express themselves in new ways thanks to a weekly art and craft group organised by the Stroke Association.

Survivors and their carers are learning different art techniques, such as watercolour, pencil, ink and mosaic at the group, which takes place every Wednesday at Gaywood Church Rooms until March 23.

Rik Thornton, 41, from Lynn, volunteers his time to run the local group, and attends with his wife Victoria.

Victoria had a devastating stroke at the age of 38 caused by an unknown congenital heart defect which left her with dysarthria (difficulty speaking caused by problems controlling the muscles used in speech).

Rik said: “I’ve always believed that art therapy can have a great healing power and helps stroke survivors build their confidence.

“This group gives stroke survivors and their loved ones the chance to demonstrate the powerful ways art enables people to express themselves.”

“I’d dabbled with painting before, but the techniques we learn at the group are all new to me. Vik has really enjoyed it, and has got a real feeling of satisfaction from producing her own art. It’s very relaxing and distracts us from everything else that’s going on. The group has helped us to become more creative; we’ve all become artists through being involved.”

Neil Chapman, assistant regional manager at the Stroke Association, said: “Painting, sketching and drawing all are forms of art therapy which can improve our physical and emotional wellbeing. Not only does the group bring out everyone’s creative side, it’s a great way to get together to try something new and have fun.We see such overwhelming courage in many stroke survivors as they cope with the loss of many things we take for granted, such as being able to say what we are feeling, and the group has enabled them to find their voice again .”

The art and craft group runs every Wednesday from 12.30pm to 3.30pm. There is a £3 entry fee, and includes lunch and hot drinks.

For more information about the Stroke Association ring 0303 30 33 100 or visit www.stroke.org.uk.