Bridgend AM Carwyn Jones thanks Bridgend stroke co-ordinator for decades of vital support

Bridgend AM Carwyn Jones was the surprise guest at a retirement lunch for a stroke support co-ordinator who’s spent almost 30 years supporting stroke survivors in Bridgend. Karyl Carter from Bridgend is part of the Stroke Association’s Wales support team and has worked tirelessly to help those affected by stroke gain confidence and know they are not alone.

Karyl said “It has been a privilege to be able to share in the lives of such inspirational people, and none of what we’ve achieved could have happened without the support of volunteers. When I first meet someone who’s had a stroke, I tend to say that it’s like being in a tunnel. To begin with, they are looking backwards into the darkness and grieving about what they have lost. But we try and show them that there is a light at the other end – there is life after stroke.

“I remember visiting one man after his stroke, and he didn’t even look up at me. I told him to just come to one group session to try it out. He did, and now he regularly volunteers for us, plays bowls and is a brilliant artist.

“The most important part of my role has been to give stroke survivors the chance to speak to other stroke survivors who are going through similar experiences, which helps them feel less lonely.

“I was delighted that Carwyn took the time to send me off with a bunch of flowers and a few kind words.”

At the retirement lunch at the Grove Golf Club, Bridgend, Carwyn Jones said: “Karyl has been an outstanding advocate for the charity and has worked tirelessly over the last twenty eight years to raise awareness of stroke and to help raise vital funds for the charity’s work to support those affected by stroke. To many, and to me, she is the public face of the hugely popular ‘Step out for Stroke’ annual event and I have always been happy to lend my support to this very worthy event.

“I know Karyl will be hugely missed and I would like to wish her all the very best for her future endeavours.”