THE Chippenham Stroke Club has come to an end, following a final farewell meal at the Lansdown Arms, as membership has decreased and younger volunteer helpers were needed.

Janet Denning said: "It is a very sad day after so long, and the happening of a stroke to all ages of men and women doesn’t diminish - it happens one every five minutes through out the country."

The group got together for their last gathering in the Derry Hill pub on January 16.

It was decided at the club's annual general meeting that the club would cease, as members were getting fewer and the volunteer helpers, who were also getting older, could not always easily help the members.

Mrs Denning, from Chippenham, who suffered a stroke when she was 57, said: "I only have half a body - I find it very hard to walk. But some people say when they see me, it gives them hope that there is life after stroke."

The Chippenham Stroke Club ran for 28 years, and Mrs Denning joined in 2007.

"In the beginning there were 25 to 30 members but gradually everybody has been getting older. I think it wasn't publicised enough, but people would say, I am so glad I came."

She said the club offered mutual support for people affected by stroke.

"People can think they are the only one with the disease," she explained. "If you can get to a place where there are others, people can build up friendships. Sometimes you 'normal' friends don't want to know you - that happens. It can even breaking up marriages."

Mrs Denning, who can drive, said she would be visiting the Cirencester Stroke Club henceforward, but the closure of the group, which used to meet fortnightly at the Jubilee Rooms in Chippenham, would be a great loss to those who did not have transport.

"We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Borough Lands Charity, Chippenham Transport for the Disabled and the many shops in Chippenham who have allowed us over the years to have collections for stroke survivors, which went to the Stroke Association in London," she said.

The final dinner was arranged by Brenda Walker, the club's treasurer. If any one would like to start a new club, they should contact the Stroke Association London. Visit