While many of you may think you know what WAGS stands for – it is time to think again. Do you know what the signs of a stroke are? According to the Stroke Foundation, in 2017 there were more than 56,000 new and recurrent strokes – that is one stroke every 9 minutes and around 30% of stroke survivors are of working age. Stroke is the leading cause of disability amongst adults. The Working Aged Group Stroke is a group of stroke survivors and carers located on the Central Coast of NSW, Australia who work to raise awareness in the community of people of working age who have suffered from a stroke.

What is a stroke?

In the simplest form, a stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted. Blood may be interrupted or stop moving through arteries. Arteries may be blocked – (ischaemic stroke) or bursts (haemorrhagic stroke). When brain cells do not get enough oxygen or nutrients, they die

Central Coast WAGS

Not only do they support survivors of stroke but also support family members and carers along the post-stroke journey. What is considered working-aged? 65 years and under). WAGS meet each month to share their experiences and information. Often they catch up more than once a month for social activities forming great friendships along the way. At a local level WAGS has approximately 90 members made up of Stroke Survivors and Carers between the ages of 18 and 67.  It is one of the largest Stroke Support Group in NSW

What to expect at Monthly Meetings

Mingara is a proud supporter of local group WAGS ( Working Age Group Stroke ). WAGS meet at Mingara Recreation Club on the first Saturday of every month from 10 am to 12 pm. The group meets and provides friendship and support to each other.
The meetings are free but a gold coin donation is welcomed.
The WAGS meeting often features professional speakers, group discussions, jokes, member moments, the opportunity to find a way forward in life and morning tea. Carers and family members are encouraged to come along too so that they too can share in the understanding and support.

Meet Brenda

Brenda Booth is Co-President of the Central Coast WAGS group. Brenda is a Stroke survivor herself and facilitates the working-age group for young Stroke survivors, to allow the young Stroke Survivor and their Carer some much-needed respite, networking, camaraderie and social opportunities. No two Strokes are the same some can be cognitive like the one Brenda had and others physical, both can create daily challenges. Brenda’s dedication, availability and passion for improving outcomes in Stroke Survivors is amazing, she gives everything to WAGS and supporting stroke survivors.
She is on numerous panels revolving around Stroke research as the consumer for the National Stroke Foundation, the Stroke Recovery Association of NSW and various other government departments, she has neurologists, professors and other healthcare professionals seek her advice on new models of research, has had input on a research  paper dictating best practise at onset of Stroke.
She was also recently invited on to an International Panel, consisting of a Carer from Cameroon and Stroke Survivors from the United States and the Netherlands about TIA (trans ischaemic attacks) and minor Strokes.
She constantly advocates for young people suffering from Stroke and also to alert the difference in Stroke Care between Wyong and Gosford Hospitals.
The relationship between the National Stroke Foundation and the Stroke Recovery Association of NSW has for many years been a strained one and due to Brenda’s Bipartisan approach and input has gone a long way to bridging the gap and opened up a dialogue between the two agencies.

Order of Australia Medal

Brenda’s passion dedication and inside information make WAGS the successful Central Coast club it is today and a model for all other Stroke support clubs in the state. Brenda’s humility is what endears her to our WAGS members. She is often asked to fly around the country to attend a research discussion panel and given her level of fatigue rarely says no. In recognition of her efforts, Brenda was awarded an Order of Australia Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honour List for all her work with stroke survivors.

Working Aged Stroke Group – find out more

WAGS meet on the first Saturday of every month at Mingara Recreation Club. For more details call 43 49 77 99