Hi I'm Margaret


I am a volunteer support helper in the computer group for stroke survivors at Paignton Library and enjoy it very much.   I got involved through my husband, Colin, who is a stroke survivor and undertook a basic online computer course last year.

He roped me in to help out. 

He found it helped his co-ordination and built his confidence through learning new skills and he feels he can keep up with our grandsons who are very computer literate.

He also does not have to ask me to do all his correspondence on the computer for him. 

We both have been very encouraged in seeing how this group help other.  There is a good camaradarie, support and encouragement.   We have seen members gain confidence and co-ordination from attending the group. 

We have also seen an improvement in communication for those who struggle with speech since have strokes, they feel relaxed being with others who understand the problems they experience

We enjoy coming here very much.

Hi I'm Colin.


I had my stroke on November 5th 2005 (went out with a bang, or was it a rip-rap, I'm not sure which). Since then I've had a couple of blips but otherwise improving each day. I took up the computer after saying that I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole. Now I'm saying I wish I had done it sooner.


It's opened up a whole new world and adventure for me; it's been Part of my dream in bringing hope and new horizons to all stroke survivors and carers in a project called "Life After Stroke".


From being a reluctant computer user to this present day, has gone beyond my expectations.  It was while on a UK Online computer course for beginners that I found that using the computer was helping my brain and motor skills, that and the patience and understanding of my tutor, instilled the idea for a computer course for Stroke Survivors.  I shared this idea with my tutor and the Library staff, they saw the potential and with their help, our Award winning Group came to fruition here, at Paignton Library.


My aim, to see what is being achieved here being replicated in other Libraries up and down the Country, bringing about that hope, self esteem and confidence that we as stroke survivors need. 

Hello my name is Liam.


My stroke occurred in March 2010 in Dorset. I have, among other things, mild receptive and moderate expressive dysphasia or so it says in the letter from my speech and language therapy service.

 To nontechnical people in means I can't read much, I can't spell, I can't remember much, I can't remember words to type in for internet searches, I can only talk with a stutter, I can't tell a joke  and I feel like a complete fool. Coming to these lessons has taught me I have knowledge that I can share, people do care about me and although I still feel like a fool it's a lot less of a fool.



 Also if I take my time I can write 4 days and plenty of spelling mistakes that word can't correct.

Hi I'm Irene.


I had a very mild stroke a few months ago. Through the sympathetic help of David Mannion I was encouraged to join this group.

I am so glad I did - as a fairly recent resident in Paignton, I knew very few people but have found lots of good social contacts here. I am very grateful.

 My name is Patrick,


I had my stroke September 2012. The right side is still heavily affected. I was in hospital for 3 or 4 months and I could not speak a word and needed a hoist.

I find it very frustrating as I am only 52 and used to be a fully fit Life Guard at Clennon Valley Leisure Centre. I miss the work and the people very much and feel very isolated.

Coming to the computer group has helped me a great deal. It has helped improve my co-ordination and memory. It has  also given me confidence and self esteem and I feel safe with the people in the group who understand problems associated with stroke.

I also have benefited from going to Plainmoor swimming pool every Tuesday.

I found it has helped talking to other stroke survivors. 

Hi! I am Pat,

I had a stroke in 2016.  But I had brain cyst in 2015 and had an operation to remove it in Dereford. It was partially successful (they could not remove it all) and after 9 weeks in hospital I was sent home. I was recovering well but walking with a trolley. I was driving again and getting about as before. In the spring of 2016 I started behaving strangely. A stroke was diagnosed. Later that year I had an operation to remove excess fluid from my brain and a shunt fitted. This was probably related to the brain cyst in 2015. My current symptoms are being very tired, a big memory loss, lack of balance, and loss of taste buds.  I am waiting for the DVLA to renew my licence. My problem is impatience and frustration. I can’t do the things I took for granted. The Paignton Computer course is refreshing my memory. Again I am trying to remember everything I took for granted in computers.

Hi I'm Peter


It was an almighty blow when I was unable to speak for six months after my stroke. When I felt a little better I had a pain in my back. A surgeon did exploratory work and  I had a second stroke two days later. This meant I had to have a stent inserted into the veins leading to the heart. That's all behind me now and I'm diverted by learning my computer.


Hi I'm Rosie,


I had my stroke on 5th October 2011.

When I had my stroke at the age of 38 I was in Torbay Hospital for 2 weeks, then transferred to Newton Abbot hospital for 2 months.

The stroke affected the right hand side of my body. I needed physio everyday to re-learn everyday things i.e. walking, talking, reading and making simple meals.

After early discharge I continued with physio etc.. gradually everyday skills such as talking, walking and making tea improved.

I still need help to shower and dress with assistance from Parkview and Headway staff. I go swimming with my Auntie.

Since coming to the computer group I have improved a lot and I have learnt computer skills and it has helped with co-ordination and memory. My confidence and self-esteem have improved and I enjoy my time in the group and look forward to coming each week.

I have learnt how to make greeting cards using clip art, surfing the internet, typing letters on Word and sending e-mails. 

Brian confused.com wearing his tie

Hi I'm Brian,


I had my stroke about 18 months ago, and it was a real monster. I didn't know what was going to happen to me and what the future would hold. I had to come to terms with the effects of my stroke, and be prepared for the reality that there would be no ideal solution.

 Before my stroke I could do many things such as photos and emails on the computer, but afterwards I couldn't remember how to do them.

Trying to get words out was very difficult and I questioned if it was worthwhile doing things as I didn't know if I could.

When I went home after 3 weeks in hospital I felt much better that I was at home. I slept a lot but was happier.

I saw Sarah Burton, speech-therapist at the hospital regularly for 7 months, and Viv and I worked daily. A great deal of patience was required to cope with all the frustration.

It is 2½ yrs since my stroke and it has taken me this long to get this far so DON’T GIVE UP, and I have still a long way to go. 

Hi I am Ian,

I was born in 20-2-1941.

I had a brainstem stroke in 24-3-2016 in Spain and spent 2 months in hospital there. My stroke was severe and I lost my speech and mobility but thanks to the support I had here in Paignton I have now recovered the ability to walk with the aid of a stick. My speech is slowly coming back. I am now able to cycle on a tricycle which I really enjoy.

Hi my name is David,

I had my first stroke in 2001, and my second stroke in 2006. The first was shock enough, but the second even more so and the struggle back to as near to normal life as possible is a very, very long road to travel. I have recovered as much as I ever shall and daily life is still a constant battle.

I was so very delighted to join the Torbay Stroke Survivors Computer Group as a volunteer teacher. As I have had strokes myself, there is an immediate rapport between teacher and pupil, and there is no reticence on either side as to the learning curve required. We work at the most appropriate pace for the pupil and my satisfaction comes when the pupil grasps what might be considered by others as a tiny advance, but which to the stroke survivor pupil and myself, is a giant achievement.

Volunteer teachers have patience, understanding and empathy. It does not matter how many times we cover a particular topic, as it will be repeated until the pupil is happy. This is only possible as we provide a one to one environment, which means that there is no pressure on the pupil, or teacher for that matter, to perform to a class average, and, therefore, encourages the pupil to maximise their potential.

This volunteering has given me some structure to my life, which to many stroke survivors is essential, and the pleasure that the pupils show by way of their achievements is enough to warm anybody's heart.

Hi my name is Terry,


I suffered  a stroke in October 2015 it is my belief groups such as this one play a large part in the recovery process of any person who has the misfortune to have a stroke it gives me a chance to meet people who know exactly how things are thanks group for all your support.