Credit: North Devon Gazette

A 35-year-old woman from Bideford, Devon, has set up a new physical therapy service for individuals who have had a stroke to help them regain their mobility and independence.

Nicole Williams was inspired to undertake rehabilitation training and set up the physical therapy service after seeing the devastating impact a stroke had on her auntie.

Nicole’s auntie had a stroke in 2017 which left her with disabilities. After NHS rehabilitation and home therapy finished, Nicole felt like the rehabilitation process was lacking and that change was needed to help patients regain control.

To help create change, she trained with Action for Rehabilitation from Neurological Injury (ARNI), a charity which aims to help stroke survivors improve their mobility.

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It provides a service for people who have had a stroke after their NHS rehabilitation therapy finishes, helping them partake in daily activities again.

Nicole told the North Devon Gazette: “I went in to hospital to see her and I was really shocked. I couldn’t believe how devastating it was for someone so fit and able. I started looking at research and what is locally available and what’s when I found ARNI.

“Charities like the Stroke Association are amazing but there is a gap in how to help people when everything has finished.

“The course was really inspiring and I thought it made sense to roll it out locally.”

Over time, ARNI instructors can help patients: correct their balance and posture; improve their co-ordination and timing; increase their flexibility and stamina;  increase their muscular, tendon and ligament strength; remove the fear of the consequences of exercising; increase their ability to perform everyday tasks; and increase their self-esteem.

Nicole is hosting an open day in Bideford on the 17th of August 2019 for people to find out more about the service. The event will take place at Bideford Town Band’s room at Riverside Studio and will run from 10am until 2pm.

Visitors can find out more about treatment and some of the equipment and kit used, as well as finding out more about other services.

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