Charity Community Health Local News

Surviving and thriving after stroke

“I’m able to walk a lot more easily and I’m able to walk further too” are just a couple of the achievements gained by a stroke survivor exercising at the I Can Therapy Centre in Andover.

In March 2016 Mick suffered an ischaemic stroke which affected the right side of his body, reducing his leg strength and affecting his walking ability. During the years after the stroke, Mick noticed a gradual decline in his ability to do everyday activities. A friend suggested Mick go along to the I Can Therapy Centre to help him.

Mick’s move more journey has not been easy over the last four years. The temporary closure of the Centre due to Covid-19 and some additional health problems have affected Mick’s ongoing recovery. However, a determined sole, Mick has successfully kept active at home and has recently returned to I Can to take advantage of the circuit of power assisted exercise equipment. His wife has noticed that “he is a lot more determined to do things now that he might not have done before; his mobility has certainly improved.”

Through determination and willpower Mick is now walking to his local shop for the paper and back home without having to stop for a rest, something he didn’t think would be possible six months ago.

An ischaemic stroke, such as the one Mick suffered, is the result of a blockage in the blood supply to the brain which causes damage to the brain cells and affects how the body works. Not all strokes are the same and the impact of a stroke is different for every person that suffers one. Stroke is a leading cause of disability in the UK and can affect people’s movement, speech, behaviour, emotions, memory and thinking.

Recent insight from national organisation Stroke Association indicates that a stroke strikes every 5 minutes in the UK. 100,000 people suffer from a stroke each year and there are 1.3million stroke survivors. There are nearly 40,000 stroke survivors registered with a GP in Hampshire.

Exercise, such as that provided by Andover charity Valley Leisure at the I Can Therapy Centre helps stroke survivors rehabilitate and recover after a stroke. The power assisted nature of the equipment helps initiate movement in joints and muscles that have stiffened following a stroke and the team have a wide range of accessories to support customers whose grip strength and flexibility have been reduced following a stroke.

Jacob Webb, Exercise Therapist at I Can said Exercising after a stroke using our power-assisted exercise machines will help improve a person’s ability to perform activities of daily living such as getting up and down the stairs, getting in and out of a car, putting things into and taking things out of cupboards. This has a tremendously positive effect on someone’s quality of life enabling them to live more independently.

Exercising helps improve fitness, helping the heart and lungs to work more effectively and efficiently therefore putting less pressure on these vital organs and subsequently reducing the risk of a further stroke and complications that arise post stroke. The team at I Can have supported a number of people post stroke and are ready and waiting to help more people.

For more information or to move more at the I Can Therapy Centre contact the team on 01264 568241, email or visit