AFTER 17 years of service to a Halton disability group campaigner Bob Bryant is set to start a new chapter of his life in Devon.
Bob Bryant, who founded Halton’s Let’s Go Stroke Club 17 years ago, was awarded the BEM from the Queen last year for his commitment.
It is the biggest club of its kind in Britain with more than 200 members who have regular socials, holidays and outings.
A luxury caravan in North Wales provides respite breaks and the club offers help and practical support to many stroke survivors and their families.
Bob, aged 67, of Claremont Road, Runcorn, said: “Without the people of this borough, that club would never survive.
“We have always received tremendous support.
“It is run by stroke people for stroke people and everyone does it voluntarily.”
Bob, a former tanker driver, suffered five strokes, the first when he was only 30 and his condition has left him needing to use a wheelchair. His son, Roy was only three. A more severe second stroke a couple of weeks later left his left leg paralysed.
Bob said: “I don’t think I’d be here now if it wasn’t for my wife, Carole and the stroke club.
“My family and friends have kept me going.
“When I was really poorly, Carole took a year and a half off work."
Carole, aged 62, who recently retired from Halton Council where she was PA to education director Gerald Meehan, said: “It was a very difficult time but lots of good people helped us along the way.
“The stroke club was something Bob could put his energies into or he would have given up. As much as he loved doing it, he received lots back.
“We have had lots of really good times with the club.”
Bob served as an independent Halton Councillor in Halton Brook for four years.
He also gave up his time to represent patients on the board at Halton Hospital. He has just stepped down as a lay member on Halton Clinical Commissioning Group.