A charity has teamed up with the country’s biggest public health body to raise awareness of strokes among people with Afro-Caribbean backgrounds.

Age UK Haringey Stroke Connect Club has supported Public Health England’s Act FAST campaign in order to save more lives.

Research shows that the risk of stroke among black people of African and Caribbean origin is twice as likely as the general UK population.

The stroke mortality rate in England and Wales is almost double for people born in Jamaica and two and a half times as high for men born in West Africa.

Public Health England has told people to looking for the signs of stroke to save lives and potentially limit long-term effects.

The campaign explains that people should look for:

  • Facial weakness - can the person smile? Has their mouth or eye drooped?
  • Arm weakness - can the person raise both arms?
  • Speech problems - can the person speak clearly and understand what you say?
  • Time to call 999.

Vanessa Rawle has run the Stroke Connect Club for more than six years and is the project organiser for Healthy Living and Clubs.

She said: “The Stroke Connect Club helps to reduce isolation, by helping members socialise and make new friends, find other people of their age that understand their problems and concerns.

“As well as helping stroke survivors to share their experiences and support each other, we help them build up confidence to work towards personal goals and develop new interests.”

For further information please visit: www.nhs.uk/actfast