Belper mum calls on bakers to join stroke charity’s autumn campaign

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A stroke survivor from Belper is urging people to join a charity baking campaign this autumn to give more people like her a fighting chance.

Sharon Smedley, 55, is backing the Stroke Association’s latest fundraising initiative, which wants people to roll up their sleeves, grab a mixing bowl and bake to help make a difference.

The Give a Hand and Bake campaign will run from October 24–30, with charity supporters holding bake sales and afternoon teas across the region.

Mother-of-two Sharon always enjoyed baking cakes, until a stroke 18 months ago initially stopped her from enjoying the hobby she loved.

She said: “My stroke was life-changing and it took me around a year to get back to baking. I’ve had to find different ways to do things, such as setting alarms to remind me when my cakes are done. My daughters also help me a lot.”

Sharon worked as a childminder before her stroke, but was left unable to return to work due to weakness in the right-hand side of her body and problems with her speech and memory.

Association spokesman Louise Knight said: “Sharon’s recovery is inspiring. There are over 93,000 stroke survivors living in the East Midlands, who need support to rebuild their lives.

“Whether you prefer to host an afternoon tea for your colleagues or create a fancy showstopper to wow your friends, a simple donation in return for a slice of cake will help to make a real difference.”

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