Increasing demand leads to call for volunteers

APHASIA CAFE: A volunteer helps out in the cafe.

A GOOD CAUSE is looking for volunteers in Barnsley due to increasing demand for their services.

Aphasia Support currently offers both home-based and online individual support in the region, in addition to a bi-monthly café at Barnsley Metrodome.

Over the past year, the number of referrals has increased by 90 percent compared to the previous year.

Aphasia is a language disorder that affects a person’s ability to speak, read, write, and understand language. It can result from a stroke, a brain tumor, a head injury, or a form of dementia.

The foundation is looking for volunteers who offer support for speech problems. They would like to play an important role in visiting clients at home to help them improve their speech and communication skills using various therapy apps and supportive conversation techniques.

Craig Schofield, who suffers from aphasia, is receiving help from volunteer Alex Moran and Craig’s partner, Khalid Bashir, said: “Aphasia Support came into Craig’s life when he was receiving no support at all from the NHS and was on a waiting list.

“We were paired with our volunteer, Alex, who helped Craig bridge the gap.

“Without her his speech would never have improved – Alex is truly an amazing person.

“She always listens, is kind and really cares about you.”

“Craig and I will be forever grateful to Alex and the team at Aphasia Support for helping Craig regain some of his old self.

“Alex has been one of Craig’s bright spots during his recovery and I hope she continues to shine for the many others who need her support.”

The cafe, which has previously been nominated for the Proud of Barnsley award, opened in 2014.

Angie Beaumont takes another aphasia patient, Gerald Scott, to the Metrodome.

“When Gerry was diagnosed with aphasia, we both went to the cafe in the Barnsley Metrodome,” she says.

“We were welcomed so warmly. We enjoyed meeting other people with aphasia and other caregivers.

“It’s something we’re looking forward to because everyone has been so supportive and understanding.”

Chief Executive James Major added: “Our charity simply wouldn’t exist without the passion and dedication of our extraordinary volunteers.

“Whether it is attending home visits to provide one-on-one support, or taking part in our café group meetings.

“You can make a big difference in Barnsley.”

If you are interested in this opportunity, please visit www.aphasiasupport.org/volunteer or call the team on 01924 562443.