Woman thanks stroke group by doing a skydive

The Westmorland Gazette: Vicky during her skydive Vicky during her skydive

A Whitehaven woman whose father was helped by the local speech after stroke group has completed a sponsored skydive to raise vital cash for them Vicky Branch decided to do the jump for her 30th birthday.

“I decided to do something off my bucket list," she explained.

"On my bucket list I had ‘do something for charity’ and ‘skydive’. I decided to combine both and do a charity skydive.

"I wanted to support a local charity so I knew where the money was going and how it would benefit the charity. My dad used to go to the Speech After Stroke Support Group so I thought it would be nice to support a local charity that personally meant something.

“I was pleased that there was a local support group for my father after his stroke. I thought it was brilliant that transport was provided as my dad wasn't allowed to drive shortly after his stroke.

"The group gave my dad the support and confidence that he needed. He could practice his conversational skills in a relaxed atmosphere with people in a similar situation to himself without feeling embarrassed or under pressure.”

After initially setting a target of £250 Vicky was amazed at how generous and supportive people were and her final total was £756.

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The speech after stroke group run by Alison Tams who is a speech therapist for Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, the group is supported by a large group of volunteers.

It aims to provide help for those who have speech problems as a result of a stroke to engage in conversations with each other and with the volunteers.

Alison Tams, the coordinator for the speech after stroke group, said: “We are so touched by what Vicky has achieved for the group, although it is supported by Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust we need donations to be able to organise events and activities such as Boccia. Vicky has raised a huge sum of money, and it will go a long way to helping patients like her father find the courage to learn to communicate again.”

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