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Project information

Supporting Stroke patients in Wales

InterAct are an award winning charity that take professional actors into hospitals and read to stroke survivors. We do this to uplift mood and stimulate memory and language recall. We are looking to deliver our award winning service in Wales for the first time.

One year

Charity information: InterAct Stroke Support

InterAct Stroke Support logo
  • Need


    Stroke is the 3rd biggest in the UK and the 2nd biggest killer in the world. Nearly 2% of the entire Welsh population are stroke survivors, ie about 70,000 people and Wales has the largest incident of high blood pressure at 15.6% in the UK. Wales also has the highest incidence of diabetes in the UK which doubles someone's risk of stroke. Many stroke survivors suffer depression and face difficulties finding their memory and language recall.


    We aim to stimulate memory, language and improve the mood of stroke survivors on the ward so they engage with other hospital interventions such as occupational and speech therapy. Our actors spend 2 hours on the hospital reading material of interest to the patient. We aim to deliver three 2 hours sessions per week at a hospital. Currently, our award winning service is not in Wales and we wish to deliver it at the Stroke Rehab Centre in Cardiff.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Stimulate memory and language of stroke patients.


    » Deliver a live, interactive reading service, catered to the interests of the stroke patient themselves, encouraging memory and language recall.

    What success will look like

    We aim to read to 100 new patients over the year, delivering 132 two hour reading sessions over the year.

    Aim 2

    Alleviation of Depression.


    » The reading service has been recognised by hospital professionals as uplifting mood on the ward.

    What success will look like

    We will use qualitative comments from patients augmented by some more in depth interviews, including the views of hospital staff such as occuapational and speech therapists.

  • Impact


    We will reverse the lack of opportunity Welsh people have to experience our award winning service. Success, beyond what stroke patients actually say about the service, will be hospital staff telling us at least 10% of patients have been discharged at a faster rate than previously planned due to more active participation of the stroke patients on the ward. We will also quantify success via feedback from hospital staff on the quantitative difference they feel our work makes.


    We need to ensure there is a sufficient pool of adequately trained professional actors in Cardiff with the skills set we need. The pool of actors has to be about 12 to account for some gaining acting employment at any given time. Our training team will spend at least 3 days with potential readers to ensure they deliver our high quality service, and understand how to fill our hospital forms.


    An update will be sent by email every quarter to funders, detailing statistical evidence and feedback from the hospital staff, with a final report presented at the end of the year.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £7,247

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £3,960 Actors Fees Providing 132 two hour reading sessions over a year.
      £792 Travel costs Travel at £6 per session over 1 year.
      £935 Hospital Administration To organise the monthly diary, collate all our material, send reports to Head Offic
      £1,560 Actor Training InterAct Training Team to spend time with new Actors. Costs include acoomodation and travel.
  • Background


    We aim to read at the Stroke Rehabilitation Centre, Cardiff. This is a 45 bed unit. The Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation ranks specific small areas in Wales in terms of deprivation: 16% of Cardiff’s areas fall in the 10% most deprived areas in
    Wales. 18.8% of the Cardiff population have a limiting long term illness, and 20% have high blood pressure. 26% of the population are smokers and 54% are obese. Stroke has a greater disability impact on an individual than any
    other disease.


    Studies have shown that patients on stroke units spend more than 50% time of their in bed.Even more worrying is the finding that despite the greatest amount of therapy resources being committed to stroke rehabilitation in the UK compared with other centres in Europe stroke patients received the least amount of therapy input (1 hour/day) compared with others. In that context, INTERACT readers play an important role in engaging and enabling patients, promoting participation with rehabilitation

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We are an award winning charity and the only charity that uses professional actors in this way in hospitals. We have won Best New Charity, two Tesco Community Awards, a Glaxo-SmithKline Impact Award rewarding Excellence in Community Health, a Guardian newspaper Charity Award. We have been praised in Parliament as an example of best practice and we have 17 years experience of delivering our service throughout the rest of the UK. We were also in the Independent Newspaper Top 100 Happy list.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    12 Professional Actors Based In Cardiff.

    They will be delivering the service each week on the stroke unit to the stroke patients. They are the heartbeat of our organisation.


Delivers three 2 hours sessions on a stroke ward for a week.

The InterAct service at St Thomas' has had a huge impact on many of my patients. I have seen people who have been severely disabled by their strokes, who have often spent many weeks in hospital, communicating looking more cheerful and starting to become much more engaged with their treatment.

Professor Anthony Rudd: Lead UK Stroke Clinician