Friday, 31 December 2010

Good Cause

Stroke support is a flying zip across the river

THE things people do for charity – this is probably not one for vertigo sufferers – but the Stroke Association is organising a 250-metre charity fund-raising zip slide over the river Irwell in February. 

Strokes are the UK’s third biggest killer, with 120,000 people in the UK suffering their first stroke every year, according to the charity. They can strike at any age and are a particularly cruel affliction, since they strike at the very core of our being – the brain.

They take place when a blood vessel in the brain becomes blocked – depriving parts of the brain of oxygen – or when a vessel is weakened and bursts. Either way, the resulting damage to the brain can be devastating. 

Some go on to make a sufficient recovery that enables them to continue to lead a full and active life, but many more are left with varying degrees of debilitation both physical and mental. In the worst cases, where the victim lives on, they can be left utterly helpless, needing constant care and attention. Indeed, the damage can be so severe that the person themselves are changed, perhaps fragmented, making it tough to assess just how much of ‘them’ remains coherent within their heads because of the lost speech capabilities.

Strokes truly are horrible things, but with care and attention many sufferers can make something of a comeback and that is what the Stroke Association looks to do.

The zip slide, organised for the 19 and 20 February 2011, is to take place at the Imperial War Museum North, Manchester, with the participants hurling themselves across the river from the museum. 

A zip slide involves a taught wire suspended between two points from which a person is suspended by way of a sliding attachment and a safety harness. Once they launch themselves off, they whiz through the air, suspended by the wire. 

It’s a fund-raising event of course, and so participants – paying a £10 deposit – must commit themselves to raising at least £85 of donations to the Stroke Association, paid either up-front or on the day. 

“A zip slide is a great way to challenge yourself, whilst providing funds to support people affected by stroke,” said a spokesperson. “You don’t need any previous experience to take part as full instruction will be given by our professional, friendly instructors. It’s a truly memorable experience.

“The money raised will be used to provide services for people affected by stroke and their families. [People’s] support will help us to work towards our vision of a world with fewer strokes and where those affected by stroke get the help and support they need.”

The Stroke Association says it is expecting around 600 people to take part in what it calls a “once in a lifetime event” and the organisation is making a suitable ‘song and dance’ of the affair: there will be a photographer to record the event, a DJ, prizes for the best fancy-dressed participants and refreshments on hand. Participants will get a limited edition t-shirt and a certificate commemorating their involvement.

Details: The Stroke Association presents ‘Springtime Sweethearts’ charity zip slide at the Imperial War Museum North, 19-20 February 2011. Booking enquiries: 01604 687 768 or email

The Stoke Association:


Category: EVENTS



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