A Paisley man who suffered a stroke has told how he battled back to health to help others affected by the illness.

Alister Mejury, 56, lost the ability to walk and use his right arm when the stroke hit in October 2019.

His speech also became slurred and, although he received rehabilitation in hospital, his therapy soon came to a halt due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, Alister was determined to continue in his recovery, so he continued to exercise and came up with practical ideas to manage simple tasks, including preparing food and cooking.

He also made short instructional videos to share the innovative ways he carried out activities like making a sandwich with the use of one arm.

During his recovery, Alister joined the Renfrewshire Stroke Café, where he met other stroke survivors.

As well as sharing their experiences with the illness, members can enjoy a hot drink and a blether in a welcoming environment.

Having benefitted so much from the group, Alister decided to volunteer for the Stroke Association and is now vice-chair of the café.

He told The Gazette: "I decided to become a Stroke Association café volunteer because I wanted to give something back. 

"I wanted to help people who have been through a stroke and are dealing with its devastating effects. I am now aware how many stroke survivors are constantly challenged.

READ MORE: Johnstone carer sexually abused boys for over eight years

"I remember what it was like for me, having my world turned upside down and feeling alone. So I thought volunteering at the café would help others like me.

"I knew it would be challenging as well as rewarding. Every stroke is different, so you can't assume you know everything about stroke, you have to take each person at face value."

A celebratory event was recently held by the Stroke Association to recognise and thank volunteers such as Alistair for all the important work they do.

Alistair said: "The event made me realise just how much I get out of my volunteering. I’ve met new people, like me, who I can share my experience with. 

"We have fun together, and have that common bond, as volunteers, to help work towards stroke improvements."

READ MORE: Plans for storage facility submitted to council

Karen Garrott, head of engagement at the Stroke Association, added: "It is thoroughly worthwhile bringing people together to celebrate their volunteering efforts. Volunteers need to be recognised and thanked, and this is one way in which we can do that."

The Stroke Association is currently advertising 'Community Connector' volunteer roles in Scotland.

To find out more, send an email to EngagementTeamScotland@stroke.org.uk or visit www.stroke.org.uk/jobs/community-connector-scotland.