Our Story

InterAct Stroke Support began as "InterAct Reading Service" in the year 2000 and was the brainchild of theatre director Caroline Smith

In the year 2000 Caroline Smith had been nursing her brother through a terminal illness

Caroline's brother, a doctor by profession, delighted in being read to throughout his journey. During one of Caroline's visits, the siblings discussed how the relationship between the arts and health might be more mutually supportive.

 

With a background in theatre, Caroline wondered whether there might be a synergy between drama, literature and medical support for those recovering from damage to the brain.    

Caroline understood that professional actors possess a unique skillset. Actors have the stamina to sustain long periods of reading, can hold the concentration of someone in a busy hospital environment, and have the physical and vocal dexterity to stimulate the imagination; bringing stories to life. 

No other organisation offered such a service, so Caroline began reading on a voluntary basis at her local hospice: the Pembridge Palliative Care Centre.

Hospital professionals at the Pembridge Centre encouraged Caroline to read to stroke survivors 

After several months and a great deal of learning, InterAct was launched. Stroke survivors were now the charity's key beneficiaries.  

InterAct understands that stroke is a life-changing event and that recovery is a lifelong process. The recognition and support from stroke survivors, their families and friends, therapists, medical specialists and their staff is key to InterAct's continued success.  

Since 2000, InterAct has gone on to become an award-winning charity: winning the Tesco Community Award, Guardian Charity Award, and Best New Charity at the Charity Awards.

We now read in 19 hospitals including Scotland and Wales, read in 35 stroke clubs across the country, and have expanded our reach to patienti's homes with the InterAct at Home virtual service
For the list of hospitals we read in, click here
A whistle-stop tour of InterAct's work