"My grandmother had several strokes in her later years. Having recently seen the work that InterAct performs in hospitals and stroke clubs around England, I only wish she had been able to benefit from their service.
Watching at close quarters the interaction between one of InterAct's professional actors and various stroke sufferers, I couldn’t help but be moved. From one patient closing her eyes and smiling at the story of an estranged couple reigniting their love for one other, to another lighting up at hearing a traditional Portuguese song (the country of the patients origin), to a man being read a witty take on life by the brilliant comedian Dave Allen; the range of positive responses was eye-opening and very humbling.
I believe that the people who are read to by InterAct actors all benefit in some way. They are not just patients with an illness but human beings with a whole inner life that is being stimulated, and not just by the story they are being read but by the ability of the actor to bring the story to life. It must be easy in hospital to feel like you are just an illness because that is what everyone around you is treating, but having someone to communicate with in a different way, having 15 minutes of your day where you are not just your illness or a patient, seemed to me to be invaluable.
After seeing the work I left feeling that InterAct's service should be seen as a vital part of the rehabilitation process, a part that stimulates the patients' imaginations, and from what I witnessed, left them extremely thankful for the connection."