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Online digital forum unites stroke survivors and researchers



A digital forum held throughout this week is bringing together stroke patients and researchers in an online space. 

Now in its fourth year, UCL World Stroke Day Forum aims to empower stroke survivors to influence the future of stroke research at UCL.

The Forum was traditionally run as a one-day event, where over 200 stroke survivors and their loved ones participated in interactive talks and workshops in a central London venue.

But since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Forum has been held entirely online as a week-long series of events.

The digital Forum, run by the Wellcome Centre for Human Neuroimaging, will comprise a series of free online events every day this week.

There are 15 digital sessions, each designed to encourage open dialogue between researchers, clinicians, charities, stroke survivors and carers or loved ones.

Events include:

  • Live screenings of four short documentaries which showcase topical issues in stroke research, including how novel models of rehabilitation prove it’s never too late for recovery, and how apps are bringing rehabilitation to the home. This includes a live Q&A with leading experts and charities
  • An interactive online art workshop aimed at stroke survivors who experience communication difficulties, exploring communication that goes beyond words. The session will be jointly led by speech and language therapists from UCL’s PLORAS team and Ali Winstanley, a visual artist and health specialist.
  • A series of community-focused workshops, including interactive sessions for both stroke survivors and carers from Dr Catherine Doogan about the impact of stroke on relationships, and the Stroke Association’s guide to finding the best stroke support group for you.
  • The launch of Ensnared: The Inescapable Reality of Fatigue – a bold and emotive art exhibition from artist Sofie Layton and UCL’s Effort Lab. This artistic and scientific research project explores experiences of living with post-stroke fatigue through survivors’ own metaphors and narratives.

Professor Cathy Price, cognitive neuroscientist and director of the Wellcome Centre for Human Neuroimaging, said: “We are delighted that UCL World Stroke Day Forum is returning online this year.

“We hope to encourage even more stroke survivors and their loved ones from across the country to attend and lend their voices to the incredible work being carried out by UCL researchers and our charity partners.”

Theresa Dauncey, chief executive of The National Brain Appeal, said: “This is a fantastic initiative and one that The National Brain Appeal is delighted to support. Being able to reach out to and share experiences with professionals working in the field, as well as other people affected by stroke, is invaluable.”

Find out more and sign up here