Think Ahead opens Stroke Information Centre

- Think Ahead opens its new headquarters for celebration

Wigan based stroke group Think Ahead opened their new Ashland House premises yesterday (8th May), with an event for health professionals from across the Wigan Borough and an evening celebration for the members, family and friends of Think Ahead. The Chair of Wigan Clinical Commissioning Group Dr Tim Dalton began the day by declaring Think Ahead’s new Stroke Information Centre officially open.

Think Ahead Stroke Group was formed in the year 2000, to improve conditions and provide advice, information and support for those affected by Stroke in Wigan, Leigh and the surrounding area.

The first of the two open day events saw health professionals from across the Wigan Borough gather at Think Ahead Community Stroke Group’s new headquarters in Ince, Wigan. Attendees included senior colleagues of Bridgewater Community Healthcare; Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation; Wigan Council; Wigan Leisure Trust; Wigan & Leigh Housing; the Clinical Commissioning Group and Healthwatch Wigan.

As well as an official opening of the new Information Centre by the Chair of the Wigan Clinical Commissioning Group, Dr Tim Dalton, the event also provided an opportunity for local health professionals to discover more about Think Ahead’s mission and services for Stroke survivors in the Borough.

Chair of the Wigan Clinical Commissioning Group, Tim Dalton, said: “Think Ahead Community Stroke Group is doing great work for Stroke survivors in the Wigan Borough. It is important that there is a place that connects survivors to the community, as many can feel isolated if they do not get the emotional support that comes from having a social group around them”
“It is important to raise awareness of the dangers of Stroke, especially when half of the cases are potentially avoidable through healthy living. We need to recognise and support the efforts of carers in the community, who may feel overwhelmed, but thankfully now have a place to go.”

The second evening event saw Think Ahead open its doors to their members’ family and friends, giving them a chance to learn more about the care and support the charity gives to their loved ones. As well as an opportunity to see the work of Think Ahead, the evening’s guests were also treated to a very special performance from local band the Retronotes, who had written a song especially for the occasion.

Think Ahead’s open day coincides with the group’s second annual ‘Raising Stroke Awareness Week’.

Mike Aspinal, Chairman of Think Ahead Community Stroke Group, said: “We are very honoured that so many senior colleagues from health services across the Wigan Borough came today to help us open our new Stroke information centre today, and a very special thank you to Dr Tim Dalton who opened our new premises this afternoon.

“It is incredibly important that we keep raising awareness of Stroke locally: there are 1,000 incidents of Stroke in the Borough every year, half of which could be prevented through healthy living.”

Mike continues: “However, we also show that there is a life after Stroke. At Think Ahead we want to show survivors that they can still have an active life in the community, and that carers have the support they need through us.”

Think Ahead’s key aims are to improve the quality of care and support offered to those affected locally and to help reduce Stroke figures in the area through awareness raising activities, such as yesterday’s open day.