Colin Lyall

When I was 50 years old (five years ago) I had a stroke, and now I have aphasia.

Five years ago I could say ‘yes’ and ‘no’, and that was it. I had speech therapy every two days for three months, and then further speech therapy every week for another six months.

It took a long time to realise what aphasia is, and my brain realised I won’t be normal again!

My speech is a little bit better, but reading or writing skills is terrible!

I’m very lucky that I have voice recognition in my iPhone, so I can do emails and text. It’s not hundred percent, (I used to be very eloquent!), but it’s very good to have it.

When my speech therapy finished, I starting doing befriending for the Trust.

People that have a stroke, and are a little bit older, may not have family or friends, and can’t go out.

It was good for me to have a chat one-to-one for an hour. I still do that. At the moment I have about seven ‘patients’ that I meet up with for a chat.

Two years ago, I was very bored, and couldn’t get the job that I did before, so I decided to do my charity – Say Aphasia.

For Say Aphasia now, we have for drop-in groups in Sussex: Hove, Worthing, Chichester and Crawley. Hove was the first, and every Friday morning, there is about 35 people! We do lots of events to increase awareness about our condition.

I do grants to get some money, and I do fundraising as well. Also every three months we do a newsletter.

I'm really looking forward to being a volunteer governor for Sussex Community.