Nancy's hard work improving lives after strokes
TOOWOOMBA'S Nancy Hardwick was as surprised and honoured to be named a finalist in the 2016 Stroke Awards for Improving Life after Stroke as if she had won the title itself.
Now in her 80s, Nancy has offered support to survivors of stroke for 30 years after initially being asked to help out by a friend. She is the driving force behind a weekly stroke support group at the East Creek Community Centre.
"You feel as though you are helping someone get back to normal as soon as possible after a stroke. It is wonderful helping others," Nancy said.
Her group offers social support and a range of activities to encourage memory, speech and other learning to help people recover from stroke. She is delighted to see people get to the point where they are coping so well with life that they no longer need the group's help.
"Although we miss their company, it is fantastic to know they are better," Nancy said.
"I have seen many people make wonderful recoveries from stroke, and once again live independent lives."
Community Centre manager Sally Fischer said everyone loved Nancy.
"Nancy is an amazing woman who has helped many people over the years," Sally said.
"She has a great deal of knowledge on how to improve mental aspects of stroke recovery and understand what people need. Nancy's warmth and friendliness make the group a highlight of the week."
Stroke Foundation Queensland executive officer Libby Dunstan thanked Nancy for her dedication.
"Nancy's unwavering commitment to stroke support in her local community is outstanding. Her compassion and care has helped many people regain their lives following a stroke," she said.
The Improving Life after Stroke Award is one of five categories in the Stroke Awards, along with the Courage, Creative, Fundraiser of the Year and Stroke Care Champion Awards.
Nancy was one of a record 120 national nominations for awards. .
Her section was taken out by Noosa man Christopher Kay for establishing the Young Queensland Stroke Support Group.