Len’s ‘emotional’ decision to stand down from stroke survivors role

PUBLISHED: 09:42 08 February 2019

Len Worsfold, who set up the Stroke Survivors Club in 2012. Picture: Daniel Wilkins

Len Worsfold, who set up the Stroke Survivors Club in 2012. Picture: Daniel Wilkins


Len has decided to step down as chairman of the Exmouth Stroke Survivors’ Club after seven years.

The man behind a weekly support group for stroke survivors has spoken of his ‘emotional’ decision to step down as chairman.

Len Worsfold will take a step back from leading the Exmouth Stroke Survivors Club at the end of the month - seven years since setting it up on the back of an advert in The Journal.

The 84-year-old has been told by medical professionals he needs to ‘slow down’.

Len said: “I have been advised by medical professionals to not do it any more but I’m still going to be a member of the club.

“I’m getting old and my memory is going and I can’t face doing it anymore.”

The retired engineer told The Journal the group which meets every Wednesday morning at Exmouth Library, is not looking for someone to replace him as chairman with other members of the groups taking on his responsibilities.

Over his time leading the support group, he has helped a number of members to regain their ability to speak in the same way his own wife had to help him.

Len suffered a stroke in 2002 which left him unable to talk, walk or use his right side.

READ MORE: ‘I had to believe I’d get better’

“I couldn’t walk, couldn’t talk. My wife taught to speak again, read and walk,” said Len.

“Some of them (members) can not speak very much. One person visits me every week since September last year – he has come from struggling to form sentences to speaking to me on the phone without making a single mistake.

“He has gained that confidence from coming to these meetings.”

The group started as a few stroke survivors meeting in Exmouth cafes every Thursday afternoon to share their experiences but soon the group expanded and had to find a more suitable home for their meetings.

In the last few years meetings have been held in Exmouth Library and Len said he wants to see the group, which has expanded to four times its original size since he set it up, continue to grow.

Members, who meet at the library at 10am on Wednesdays, take part in various games including cards, darts and dominos as well as taking part in quizzes and sing-alongs.

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