Different Strokes

Different Strokes is a national charity launched in 1996 by, and for, younger stroke survivors to encourage active self-help and mutual support. Our mission is to empower younger stroke survivors and family members to reclaim their lives through active support. We have over 40 groups around the country and a lively and supportive presence on social media.

  • There are 152,000 strokes every year in the UK.
  • 1 in 4 (26%) of these occur in people under 65 years old.
  • The number of people having strokes aged 20 to 64 increased by 25% from 1990 to 2010 worldwide.

Stroke is especially devastating for people of working age: one day fit and well, the next moment disabled, often with a young family and a mortgage to pay. Younger stroke survivors need relevant and practical advice to take control of their lives, and rehabilitation services designed to help them to make the best possible recovery.

We provide a practical information pack which covers a range of topics such as services for stroke survivors, life after stroke, benefits, help with social care services, the often–neglected psychological aspects of stroke, and work after stroke. Information is also available for carers and to support families of children affected by stroke. Information is additionally available for children whose parents have had a stroke to help them to understand what is happening and to express their feelings.

"Thanks so much for the information pack. It is very detailed and probably the best information I’ve received since my husband had his stroke 9 weeks ago!" GF

Our helpline (tel: 01908 317618 or 0845 130 7172) is staffed by younger stroke survivor volunteers to offer peer support and a chance to share experiences, concerns and hopes for the future with somebody else who understands. Callers often say the full impact of their condition hits them once they leave hospital and attempt to resume their daily lives. We provide a listening ear and also redirect to counselling services where required. The helpline is also available as an online chat facility on our website and by email on info@differentstrokes.co.uk.

"It helped so much to be able to talk to someone with your understanding, and I just wanted to let you know how important your kind (and practical) words were." DE

We have a network of exercise and support groups around the country which are run by volunteer stroke survivors. Some coordinators run aphasia groups too for stroke survivors with speech and language difficulties. Attending a group can help rebuild confidence, as well as allowing you to make new friends.

"I can still remember the tremendous relief I felt when I found Different Strokes and the group. I was in my 30s with young children and my life wasn't over." JJ

We have a supportive Facebook group which allows younger stroke survivors to make contact with each other, reducing feelings of isolation and helping members to share experiences and develop a supportive network of online friends.

“I got so many answers and support that even now the gratitude is nearly bringing me to tears. The Facebook group is a safe place to go to, a knowledgeable place, a place of comfort, a bit of a beacon of light in a dark period for many of us.” WL

Our vision is “a world where all stroke survivors, their carers and friends achieve their ambitions and reclaim their lives.”

Registered Charity Number: 1092168