Our Volunteers, Therapists and Workshop Leaders

Kindful Chi Gong

with Swithin Fry

My Chi Gong is a sort of home-grown hybrid based on the 18-stance version taught during the three years of my Shiatsu training (three years part-time, of course!) mixed with Kindfulness* exercises that I've learnt 'along the way'. My Shiatsu teacher, Chris Jarmey, described Chi Gong as 'practices that encourage Chi (that's body energy) development and harmony within the body'.

            My focus is to develop a simple home routine of gentle stretching and 'opening' exercises which can be done standing or sitting. Kindfulness helps us be 'in the now', letting go of stressful worries both past and future. Together they develop 'calm body' and 'calm mind'. Harmony!

            I enjoyed leading the AsphasiaNow members very much; they are especially welcoming, and always willing to try even the more expansive movements. Each Shiatsu movement has a name; with a few, I included an audio to help with visualisation – they particularly liked the honks of 'flying with the wild geese'!

*Kindfulness is similar to Mindfulness, being in ‘the present’, though with a focus on being kind, especially to oneself.

Contact Swithin Tel 01452 813 274

Kim Westcott

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"I chose to volunteer because I wanted to help make a difference.

Since experiencing my father suffering from Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP) and more recently helping my mother following a stroke, I have seen how lonely and frustrating it can be to have communication difficulties.
 
My aim is to try and help those with difficulties regain communication skills, gain confidence and smile."

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Annabel Britton

"Aphasia Now is such a friendly, diverse group of people and I always look forward to spending Monday mornings in their company, offering practical support wherever it is needed.
 
My professional background is in Marketing and Communications. I have a passion for the spoken and written word, and I particularly like developing language-based activities for the group.  Through these I hope to stimulate and encourage a range of communication methods to give confidence in dealing with everyday situations and interactions.

I also come for the cake!"

'Fit for Fun'

with Simon Grodentz

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"During the support sessions I am regularly invited along to provide a 'fun and fitness' session for the group. With as much emphasis on the fun as the fitness!

We do activities to help restore mobility, strength and balance to the group as well as games that can help improve co-ordination or even thinking skills following strokes.

Often our exercise class can involve Balloon Tennis one minute then Tai-Chi the next.
 
I have been seeing the group for over 18 months now and many members have improved so dramatically that the support sessions have really changed their lives for the better. From  what I have seen; having other individuals around who are learning to cope with Aphasia and with the fantastic support provided by the AphasiaNow team, Aphasia becomes less of a condition to push people away, instead it is something which pulls this great group of people together.
 
Thank you for letting me be part of it all and I am looking forward to many more fun times!"
 
Simon

Art therapy with Pia Smith

Silent communication

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"One of my artistic sessions with the group focused on the season of Autumn and the life of trees with visual changes they undergo.

The purpose was to offer an opportunity for the group to communicate their feelings in colour and form with the aid of artistic media."      more ..

Chi Gong

with Clive Birch

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Chi Gong is a safe, healthy series of gentle exercises.


Dramatic improvements can be achieved in managing one’s health and emotional well being, improving mobility and physical condition.

Musicmaking with Ronnaug Dowle

Music as a Therapeutic and Healing Art

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"Musicmaking is a powerful tool to use to enhance social interaction and communication.

We experience this very much during our music sessions.

Choices of tuned and untuned percussions enable everyone to participate and to accompany our singing.

The sessions create lots of laughter and fun. And as the sessions progress motivation and confidence grow amongst the participants.

It is a wonderful experience for me as a tutor."

Ronnaug

A message all the way from snowy Norway ..

.. from Inga Milner

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"On a Monday morning I still think with affection of Aphasia Now. As I look out onto the snowy Norwegian landscape I wonder how you are all getting on this year.
 
After News with Jenny, first each morning, it was my turn to facilitate Time to Talk with word games and themes devised by John, the Speech Therapist and others. You all worked so hard!

The Joke of the Week sometimes needed a bit of explaining but we seemed nevertheless to have laughter and fun!
 
I think of the start in September and how the group evolved, trying different pastimes; singing, eurythmy, painting, music making...and I hear that now you are all keeping fit! Great!
 
I wish you all well for the future!"
 
Best wishes,
Inga

'Uncovering the Voice', vocal therapy by Valborg Werbeck-Svärdström

Pia Poulsen

1.Sing.Pia

"Since I was ten years old, music has been an important part of my life.

It has given nourishment to my soul and helped me through difficult times. It has also been an important way of giving expression to myself.

I studied singing and music education at the Tonalis Centre for Music, and I have worked as a music teacher in Steiner Schools, taught singing to groups of adults and given individual singing lessons.

In 2008 I graduated as a singing therapist from the Medical Section at the Goetheanum in Switzerland.

I'm currently working as a singing therapist at St. Luke Medical Centre in Stroud and at the Bristol Steiner School.

I am deeply interested in how singing can support speech development."

Eurythmy with Juliette

Art movement originating from music & the sounds of speech

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Eurythmy therapy helps to strengthen, regulate and harmonise. The exercises help to improve posture, mobility, spatial orientation, rhythm, breathing, circulation and warmth.

Research in neuro-physiology confirms that there are intimate links between our movement and the development and stimulation of the brain.

Many people experience benefit and well-being from regular movement and exercise in many forms and disciplines.

Eurythmy therapy can be directed towards specific areas of the body or the physiological constitution in highly effective treatments for individual patients.

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