//A message from Different Strokes CEO Austin Willett

A message from Different Strokes CEO Austin Willett

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to send you a quick message to thank you so much for all of your support this year!  I joined Different Strokes in January, and over the last 12 months, I’ve loved being a part of this organisation and working with our fantastic team of staff, volunteers and trustees to support stroke survivors.


My particular highlights of the year would be:

  • Attending one of the abseil events that we held, at the Olympic Park in September. This was a great fundraising event for us, but what I will remember more is seeing close to 20 stroke survivors take part in the event, and how rewarding and empowering they found the experience, which was truly inspiring

  • Visiting a number of our peer support and exercise groups up and down the country, chatting to the beneficiaries there, and seeing first-hand all the different ways in which our groups support stroke survivors in their local area

  • Reading all the stroke survivor stories – as well as seeing the videos, which we now post on a weekly basis

  • Growing our online Facebook support group to more than 4,500 members, and seeing how supportive our community of stroke survivors are to each other

  • Attending various fundraising events through organisations such as the Lions and corporate supporters such as Sainsbury’s and Macquarie; with their support, along with the countless dedicated individuals who have raised funds on our behalf, and with additional support from trusts and foundations, we remain very stable financially and are hence able to help more people than ever

Christmas is a time when we tend to pause and reflect, and when we focus on the things that are truly important in life.  However, I feel that this is something that our community of stroke survivors do throughout the year.  Stroke can be difficult for people to come to terms with, whether this has happened to you directly or whether you are a close family member of friend of a stroke survivor, but we often hear stories of how a stroke has enabled someone to get much more of a perspective on their life, how it has made them realise what is truly important, how it has made them want to support other people who have gone through a similar experience.

It is this ethos of stroke survivors supporting other stroke survivors, and providing a space where people feel that they belong and can be open and honest with themselves and other people, that is so important and unique to us at Different Strokes.  I feel very humbled to manage this organisation, but most of all, I feel so proud of you all for everything that you have done for each other this year.

With very best wishes for a happy and peaceful festive season, and look forward to working closely with you all in 2019!




2018-12-20T12:42:52+00:00December 20th, 2018|News|0 Comments