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A stroke can occur suddenly and can have a devastating effect on a person’s life and that of their family. Physical, cognitive, perceptual, speech and other impairments after stroke, can impact negatively on activities of daily living, work and participation in other activities which are meaningful to people. This can have a life-altering effect on a person’s way of life and sense of purpose as they often find themselves needing specialized rehabilitation and support.    

In 1993 an occupational therapist and speech therapist in Somerset West realized the importance of introducing some of their stroke patients to each other, in order that they could support and encourage one another. On the 3rd of September 1993 these two therapists got some of their patients together for tea at one of the therapist’s homes. This happening formed the start of the Helderberg Stroke Support Group (HSSG).  Now 30 years later, HSSG has established six community rehabilitation groups within the Helderberg Basin and one in Grabouw. 

  • Empowering stroke survivors and their families.

  • Working in conjunction with Government Health Services and relevant NGOs to improve medical and rehabilitation services for stroke survivors.

  • Increasing public awareness of stroke, its causes and prevention and providing free blood pressure testing at venues within the various communities of the Helderberg Basin. (It is recognized that hypertension is considered the main risk factor for stroke.)

  • Providing training that will equip volunteers, caregivers, community based workers and stroke survivors themselves to assist stroke survivors in their communities.


The main aims of the Helderberg Stroke Support Group are:

  • To connect stroke survivors with one another for mutual support and encouragement.

  • To empower stroke survivors and their families / carers through providing assistance, support and information.

  • To assist with rehabilitative therapy.

  • To increase public awareness of stroke, its causes and prevention.

  • To educate and train volunteers, caregivers, community based workers and stroke survivors thereby equipping them to assist other stroke survivors in their community.


The main focus of the Helderberg Stroke Support Group is on:


The committee of the Helderberg Stroke Support Group is made up of 11 members, drawn from among the following groups of people:

  1. Medical and allied health professionals. (Doctors, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech Therapists etc.)

  2. Individuals who do voluntary work and support the Association's objectives.

  3. People who have had a stroke.

  4. Relatives of people who have had a stroke.

The office is administered by a part-time administrator, and also serves as a base for the Community Rehabilitation Co-ordinator (CRC), who coordinates all the rehabilitation programs of the community groups, as well as the training of volunteers and home-based carers.​ The Organizational Manager oversees the day to day running of the organization.

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