The Maitland Aphasia Communication Group meets every Friday in Maitland, Hunter Valley. When COVID-19 resulted in the suspension of face to face meetings last year, the group changed to meeting online each week. The Group opened their meetings up to all members of the Association, who experienced Aphasia, from around the state. When the group re-opened after restrictions lifted, they continued to have members from outside the Maitland area attend the group online, with members joining from Sydney, Tamworth, Port Macquarie, Armidale and Orange, and any locals who are unable to join in face to face.
The main focus of the group is inclusivity and communication. Each member is openly welcomed and genuinely encouraged to speak and communicate in their own time without judgement. Two Speech Pathologists attend alternate fortnights for a member-driven therapeutic session.
Speech and language are also improved through games such as; Ice breakers, 5 Second Rule, 80’s Trivia, Charades, Word Finding and Cards Against Humanity. This provides motivation for people to continue therapy in an enjoyable and fun way.
Friday meetings are a big social day. After the meeting, the group lunches at the club and then heads into town for Friday afternoon coffee at a local café. They also run Sunday Coffee, a casual get-together every Sunday at a local coffee shop. It started after last year’s lockdown. It’s an opportunity for anyone to come together over a casual coffee, chat and catchup. Sunday Coffee continues even while the group breaks during December/January each year. They also have other occasional outings when COVID-19 allows.
The Maitland Aphasia Communications Stroke Recovery Club would like to acknowledge the Wonnarua people who are the traditional custodians of the land that they meet on. We pay our respect to Elders both past, present and emerging.