Aphasia support charity is now Big Lottery funded!

Yorkshire based charity who support people with Aphasia to regain their speech are now funded by the Big Lottery. Speak with IT are keen to use this funding to support more people with Aphasia.

Speak with IT were formed in 2011 by 12 people comprised of people who had aphasia following stroke or their carers. Since 2011 the charity has expanded into 15 towns and cities across Yorkshire supporting numerous people with Aphasia. 

Aphasia often occurs when people have had a stroke or brain injury, damaging the communications centre of the brain and affecting speech and the ability to communicate with others. The charity aims to supplement the work of speech and language therapists and other stroke charities, such as Stoke Association. 

The charity uses computer therapy programmes to assist speech recovery and uses trained volunteers to support clients with using the software.  

Speak with IT's new Charity Manager, James Major explains how the charity works.

'We receive referrals from speech and language therapists but also through Stroke Association, Speakability groups and often word of mouth. We aim to pair someone with Aphasia with a volunteer who lives locally to them within one month. The volunteer will meet with the client and their carer on average once a month for one and a half hours in their own home. In this regard it is a fairly flexible volunteering opportunity and the time commitment from volunteers is relatively low.'

The charity is now seeking to expand its operations and support more people with Aphasia. In order to achieve this aim it must recruit more volunteers. 

'We currently have around 30 volunteers working for the charity and the work they do to support people to regain their speech is incredible. We have volunteers who work full time and support people on weekends; we have people who are retired but who want to continue contributing to their community; we have people who are unemployed and see the volunteering opportunity as a way to keep themselves busy, build their skills and support them to progress into work, and of course we have speech and language therapist students who are able to transfer their academic learning to real situations.'

If anyone wishes to find out more about Speak with IT please see their website www.speakwithit.org. or contact James on 01924 562228