A SUPPORT group for people with a brain condition is appealing for more sufferers to come forward.

Aphasia is a condition that affects speech and language. It commonly occurs after a stroke or trauma to the brain and affects more than 376,000 stroke survivors in the UK.

The Weymouth drop-in aphasia centre at Highclere House hopes to help people living locally with the condition.

Helen Davidson, a trained volunteer at the group, said: “A stroke can happen to anyone at any age. It is not something that only happens to the old. We are like a little family here. We would like to be available to a lot more people. It is for the community.”

Pat Browne, group leader said: “We are trying to make people aware of our group. It has been going for almost two years and we want to let everyone we can know.”

Pat, who suffered a stroke and now lives with aphasia, hopes to raise funds for the group to widen its activities.

“We want to get funding so that we can do more. At the moment nobody in the group needs to pay anything and we don’t get any funding at all,” she said.

UK Connect funded start-up costs for the group when it formed at Weymouth Community Safety Centre. Members now pay out of their own pockets to continue at Highclere House.

The group’s main initiative is to help sufferers build confidence.

“I think it is a hidden disability,” said Pat. “You have to explain it to people who have no idea what the word aphasia means just because there are no physical symptoms.

“We have people who don’t go anywhere else and to be able to come here once every couple of weeks must really matter to them. Most would be really upset if we weren’t here. We are a friendly group. We have had six new members since we moved here in April last year.

“We’re used to each other now. When we get somebody new, we do not push them. We just let them come out in their own time. We want to promote the group. We would like more members.”

You can visit the Weymouth aphasia drop-in group on the first and third Wednesday of the month from 2-4.00pm at Highclere House, Cross Road, Weymouth.

For information contact Pat Browne on 01305 779971.