A STROKE survivor has pleaded for Wrexham Council not to take away a vital lifeline for people who have suffered strokes.
Jeanette Court, 64, said following her stroke at the age of 49 she felt socially isolated until three years ago, when Maesgwyn Community Centre started a stroke group which has grown to accommodate 35 members from Wrexham and Flintshire.
But she says the community centre is now facing the possibility of closure after Wrexham Council gave an ultimatum to community councils to either take on or potentially face losing the facilities.
Ms Court, who lives on Primrose Way which is a short distance from the centre, says it would be ‘impossible’ to attend an alternative venue as she needs a wheelchair to get around outside the house.
Ms Court said: “I had a stroke at the age of 49, which left me unable to talk and walk, because it took the use away of my left side of my body. In the past I enjoyed a full active life.
“But now with the loss of my left hand, I needed to re-think my life style. Slowly, I re-learned to talk, and walking inside the home developed with the aid of a tripod walking stick.
“I eventually completed most tasks one handed, so life started to look less grim. The only thing I was really missing was a social life.
“For years, I became almost a recluse until Maesgwyn Community Centre started a stroke group.”
Ms Court said the group offered an opportunity to speak to someone who understood what she had been through, but she is now in fear of losing the vital link.
“We don’t ask a lot from life, but if this centre was closed down, we may never recapture the friendship and understanding or the sense of belonging,” she said.
“Now it seems we may lose the community centre. This is such a lifeline for people facing similar problems.
“The group never turns anyone away, there is something for everyone to enjoy.”
She said the alternative venue suggested if the centre were to close it would not be viable for members.
“We have been offered an alternative venue in Bellevue Park, but this is not either convenient or within a distance for myself due to my personal situation,” said Ms Court.
“This would also mean an extra bus journey for others. Parking is insufficient for our members, and would require an easy access from the car park to the entrance.
“The facility we have already helps so many from the immediate area and is available to many members outside the area who are more able bodied than myself.
“The loss of this centre is more than just the closure of a building.”
Wrexham Council’s lead member for communities, Cllr Hugh Jones, has previously stressed no final decisions have been made about community facilities.
But he said the council does not have the resources to support them further in the future and would look to work with community councils and other groups to take them over.