Wakefield Aphasia charity calls for volunteers following surge in demand
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Aphasia Support said new referrals into their support service rose by 81 per cent in the past six months.
Aphasia often occurs after a brain injury, like stroke, and impacts a person’s ability to speak and communicate. People with aphasia can struggle with finding the right words, putting them in the right order, reading and writing, and understanding spoken language.
Aphasia Support provides communication therapy for those living with the condition, offering a range of therapies including one-to-one support and aphasia cafes.
The team helps those living with such conditions to work on key communication goals with the support of speech and language therapists and trained volunteers.
However, as demand for their services rise, the charity is looking for new volunteers to support the aphasia community in Wakefield.
One-to-one volunteers make such a huge difference to those living with communication difficulties after stroke and other brain injuries. The role involves visiting a person with aphasia, or supporting them on Zoom, once a week to help them use therapy apps and support with assisted conversation techniques.
All volunteers are supported in their role by Aphasia Support’s speech and language therapists and volunteer coordinator. Hours for this opportunity are flexible, beginning at two and a half hours per week, with all travel expenses covered.
James Major, CEO of Aphasia Support, said: “Referrals into our service have soared over the past six months, and as we expand our services to support those living with aphasia in Yorkshire, we urgently need the help of the wider community.
“By donating just a few hours of your time each week, you can make a real difference to someone’s life, helping them feel less isolated and more confident in communicating. It’s a really rewarding role, with our volunteers telling us that they feel they are giving something back to the community.”
Ani Pesola has volunteered for the charity since February 2020 and has supported three people with aphasia, both in the home and using zoom.
She said: “I joined Aphasia Support as a volunteer as I wanted to pursue a degree in speech and language therapy. Over my time volunteering, the experience has included the amazing interactions you get to have with people, the knowledge you get to share with other volunteers and the problem solving you have to do. It is a constant learning process, but it’s so rewarding.”
The deadline for applications is September 29 and the volunteer training days will be held in October for all those selected.For more information about the roles, or to submit an application to volunteer, email [email protected] or visit their website.