The Life After Stroke Awards recognise and celebrate the achievements of everyone affected by stroke.

The 2017 awards ceremony took place on 1 November, at the Dorchester, London. You can watch the whole ceremony on the Stroke Association Facebook page. The awards celebrate stroke survivors for showing tremendous spirit and determination after their stroke, commending carers, volunteers, stroke clubs and health professionals who are with stroke survivors every step of the way.

Learn about the very deserving winners below by reading and watching their stories.

Winners and Celebrity Presenters

Fundraiser of the Year – Lucy Trafford. Lucy set up Saddle for Stroke to funds for the Stroke Association after her mother died from a stroke aged just 53. She has raised over £130,000 for the charity and now aims to reach £150,000.

Her award was presented by Rupert Graves star of the BBC series Sherlock and Baroness Brady Patron of the Life After Stroke Awards and Lord Sugar’s right hand woman.

Watch Lucy’s story here

Corporate Supporter Award – Well Pharmacy. The Corporate Supporter award recognises an organisation that has gone the extra mile for the charity.  Well Pharmacy has been working with the Stroke Association to reduce people’s risk of stroke across the UK. The national pharmacy chain is aiming to fundraise £250,000 for the Stroke Association’s Know Your Blood Pressure campaign, which provides free blood pressure checks within local communities. John Nuttall, CEO at Well Pharmacy, was presented with the award by musician Dave Hill and broadcaster Mark Goodier.

Learn more about Well here.

Stroke Association Award for VolunteeringAmber Garland After several strokes at the age of just 19 Amber has learnt to walk and talk again. She now gives up her time to act as an ambassador for the Stroke Association.  Despite her communication difficulties she gives talks within her local community to raise awareness that stroke can happen to anyone at any age. Amber’s award was presented by Vogue Williams model, DJ, TV presenter and Anna Richardson TV presenter, journalist, and host of Channel 4’s Naked Attraction.

Watch Amber’s story here.

Children and Young People’s Courage Award – Neil Ferguson. On 23 December 2015, completely out of the blue, schoolboy Neil was taken to hospital after completely losing movement in his arm, leg and his ability to speak. His family were told that he had had a devastating stroke. It took four months in hospital and intensive therapy for Neil to learn to sit up and eventually to walk again. The stroke also left Neil with a condition called aphasia, which affects his ability to express himself through speaking or writing. He was unable to make any sound for five weeks, but showed incredible determination to improve.  After 15 months, Neil could speak simple sentences.  Neil has returned to school, and is working hard to help other children living with aphasia and stroke in Scotland.

Neil’s award was presented by: Scott Quin Team GB Paralympian swimmer and silver medallist Scott Quinn who did us all proud in Rio in 2016 and TV presenter Amanda Lamb. 

Watch Neil’s story here.

Professional Excellence Award – Dr David Hargroves has been instrumental in the reorganisation of stroke services in Kent and Medway. When he started working in East Kent, fewer than half of local stroke survivors were able to return home and live independently. Within three years of taking charge, the number of people going home or back to their care home rose to nearly 80%. As a result, the local stroke service has also been rated as one of the best in the country by the Care Quality Commission. Dr Hargroves’ award was presented by Sophie Thompson actress and winner of Celebrity Master Chef and Baroness Benjamin, TV presenter, actor, author and politician.

Watch David’s story here.

Award for Creative Arts – Richard Raynor. Richard was 30 years old and working as a business consultant when he had a stroke in 2012. His stroke left him with complete expressive aphasia, a communication difficulty which meant he was unable to speak, read or write. Despite his almost complete loss of his speech, Richard remained positive. He threw himself into speech and language therapy, and focussed on living life to the fullest. Unable to return to work, due to his very severe aphasia, Richard took up  photography.  His portfolio soon grew to include portraits and shots of landscapes, wildlife and sport. Richard now has a popular instagram account where he shares his images. His award was presented by: Mike Bushell BBC Breakfast sports presenter and Marcus Birdman comedian and artist.

Watch Richard’s story here.

Carer’s Award – Edward Pearce. Edward’s father, Andy, had a severe haemorrhagic stroke in May 2013 and Edward’s parents separated in 2014. Realising that his father needed support, Edward chose to remain with his dad, and became his primary carer. Since then, Edward has taken on housework, cooking, and looking after his father’s needs. He gets up at 6am every day to clean and sort washing before walking 2.5 miles to school.  In Andy’s own words, he’d be lost without Ed. Edward’s award was presented by: Michael Lynagh Aussie and international rugby legend and inspirational stroke survivor and comedian Stephen K Amos.

Watch Edward’s story here.

Adult Courage Award (65 years and over) – Dawn Minker had a stroke at birth that left her with communication difficulties. Thinking she would not be able to understand what had happened to her, her family decided not to tell her about her stroke. Eventually she found out that she was a stroke survivor and immediately Dawn decided to use her experience to help other people affected by stroke across the Isle of Wight.

Dawn’s award was presented by a host of soap stars including Rudolph Walker star Shobna Gulati and Sally Lindsay. 

Watch Dawn’s story here.

Stroke Group Award – Neath Port Talbot Stroke Support Group

In 2014, there was very little support available for stroke survivors in Neath Port Talbot. A small team of stroke survivors decided to start a local support group and advertised for members. They worried that no-one would turn up.  However, over 50 people arrived at the group’s first meeting and Neath Port Talbot stroke support group was born.   The group has gone from strength to strength ever since,  host events and activities and love to try new things. They have everything from staying in haunted houses to African drumming. No two weeks are the same, there is a lot of laughter and friendship too, the members describe it as a ‘lifeline’.

The stroke group award was presented by: Alex Jones Welsh national treasure and presenter of the BBC’s One Show and Robert Bathurst Cold Feet star

Find out more about The Neath Port Talbot Stroke Group here.

Adult Courage Award (18 to 64 years old) – Clodagh Dunlop Clodagh was left with locked-in syndrome for three months after her stroke at the age of 36. She was unable to move or speak and could only communicate by blinking. After months of hard work and determination and a little helping hand from the Stroke Association she’s now returned to work as a Police Officer. Clodagh’s award was presented by actor James Norton who has just given us the chills and thrills in the new Hollywood movie Flatliners, and Victoria Yeates star of Call the Midwife.

Watch Clodagh’s story here.

Nominate someone for the Life After Stroke Awards 2018

If you know an inspirational stroke survivor, a terrific carer or a fantastic volunteer then you can nominate someone for the 2018 Life After Stroke Awards.

Please contact lasa@stroke.org.uk or call 01527 903927 with any questions.