A CHARITY is on the lookout for volunteers in Barnsley following a surge in demand for their services.

Aphasia Support currently provides both home-based and online one-to-one support in the area, alongside a twice-monthly cafe at Barnsley Metrodome.

In the last year there has been a 90 per cent increase in referrals compared to the previous year.

Aphasia – a language disorder which affects a person’s ability to speak, read, write and understand language – can be the result of a stroke, brain tumour, head injury or a form of dementia.

The charity is searching for speech support volunteers, who play vitals roles in visiting clients’ homes to help improve their speech and communication abilities using a range of therapy apps and supported conversation techniques.

Aphasia sufferer Craig Schofield receives help from volunteer Alex Moran and Craig’s partner, Khalid Bashir, said: “Aphasia Support came into Craig’s life when he was getting zero support from the NHS and was stuck on a waiting list.

“We were matched with our volunteer, Alex, who helped bridge that gap for Craig.

“Without her, his speech would never have improved – Alex is truly an amazing person.

“She always listens, shows kindness and genuinely cares.

“Craig and I will be forever grateful to Alex and the team at Aphasia Support for helping Craig regain some of his former self.

“Alex has been one of Craig’s bright spots in his recovery and may she long shine for many others that will need her support.”

The cafe, which has previously been nominated for a Proud of Barnsley award, started in 2014.

Angie Beaumont takes another aphasia sufferer, Gerald Scott, to the Metrodome.

“When Gerry was diagnosed with aphasia, we both started attending the cafe at Barnsley Metrodome,” she said.

“We received such a warm welcome – we’ve enjoyed meeting other people with aphasia, and other carers.

“It’s something we look forward to as everyone is so supportive and understanding.”

Chief executive James Major added: “Our charity simply wouldn’t exist without the passion and dedication shown by our extraordinary volunteers.

“Whether it’s attending home visits to provide one-to-one support, or being part of our cafe group sessions.

“You can make a big difference in Barnsley.”

If you are interested in this opportunity, please visit www.aphasiasupport.org/volunteer or call the team on 01924 562443.