Aphasia charity calls for new Leeds volunteers following funding cuts

A Yorkshire aphasia charity is calling for volunteers in Leeds to apply for their newly formed support roles, as they launch individual branches across Yorkshire to support people living with complex communication challenges.

Aphasia often occurs after a brain injury, like stroke, and impacts a person’s ability to speak and communicate. People with aphasia can struggle with finding the right words, putting them in the right order, reading and writing, and understanding spoken language.

Aphasia Support, which provides communication therapy for those living with aphasia, currently faces a funding shortfall, with NHS funding coming to an end. With National Lottery funding also planned to end in 2026, the charity is piloting a new branch support model in Leeds to ensure those living with aphasia will continue to receive the vital support they need to regain their confidence with communication into the future.

The network of branches, currently being trialled in Leeds and Barnsley, will be run by volunteers, and supported by Aphasia Support’s CEO, speech & language therapist, and volunteer & group coordinator.

Each branch will offer a range of therapies including one-to-one speech therapy support via video call and regular aphasia cafes, to help people living with aphasia to work on key communication goals.

To support the launch, the charity is calling on volunteers in Leeds to get involved and help establish the new Leeds branch. With full training provided, the ‘branch support volunteer’ will visit new patients and help them complete paperwork that enables them to access Aphasia Support’s services. They will also ensure the charity’s video call support is accessible for every person with aphasia, as well as supporting fundraising activities to support the branch’s operational costs.

The role requires a commitment of six to eight hours per month and full training on the condition of aphasia, communication techniques, and therapy apps will be provided upon induction.

This role is a fantastic opportunity for someone who wants to give back to the local community and likes to speak with people, is patient and can take the time to listen to patients and their challenges.

James Major, CEO of Aphasia Support, said:

“Aphasia is a life-changing condition that requires ongoing care, compassion and support to improve communication and mental health outcomes.  However, without support from the National Lottery and NHS, we are having to move towards a new branch model, run with the support of local volunteers, to futureproof our services.

“One-to-one volunteers make such a huge difference to those living with communication difficulties after stroke and other brain injuries, as they can help them navigate an incredibly challenging and worrying time. Our branch support volunteers will play a vital role in helping people in Leeds unlock access to our services and support them on their journey to regaining confidence in communicating. It is a really rewarding role and we hope people will get in touch to find out more.”

To find out more about the opportunity, visit: aphasiasupport.org or contact Aphasia Support on 01924 562 443info@aphasiasupport.org

Apply here: portal.aphasiasupport.org/volunteer-application

 

This post is based on a press release issued by Aphasia Support

Photo: McFade

 

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