A STROKE survivor set up a support charity to help others like him.

Colin Lyall was left unable to read, write or speak, a condition known as aphasia, following his stroke five years ago.

After working with a speech therapist for three years he was able to talk again.

Then he founded Say Aphasia to support those in the same position. The charity holds weekly drop-in groups in Hove and fortnightly sessions in Chichester and Crawley.

And this week 22 members enjoyed a day out on the Happy Bus after being nominated by Colin’s daughter.

The Happy Bus is a new venture run by Brighton bus company the Big Lemon.

It offers people a happy day out and Lauren Leake-Lyall put forward her father and users of the charity as worthy beneficiaries. The group, all aphasia sufferers, went to Heaven Farm near Uckfield on Tuesday.

Colin, who used to work as a mechanical and electrical engineer, said: “Aphasia is a silent condition as people who have it can’t ask for help and many people don’t know about it.

“We had a great day out. Some of the group don’t have a lot of family or friends and are bored and lonely, but going out helps them forget their symptoms.

“This was our first day trip with the group and we hope we will be able to do more.”

Kelly Dibbert, development manager at The Big Lemon, said: “Happy Bus is The Big Lemon’s vehicle for giving something back to the community.

“It’s our way of brightening up people’s lives by taking them out of their daily grind and injecting some love.

“We’ve only done one previously but we are planning to do two trips a year.

“Colin works tirelessly for the charity and after working so hard to get his speech back, we wanted to give something back to him and the people he helps.

“We are accepting nominations now on behalf of anyone that is community-spirited and does something in the community. If someone has a good story about why they want a person to have our support, we want to hear from them.”

l The next round of nominations for the Happy Bus closes in March. If you know anyone who deserves a day out, visit thebiglemon.com/happy-bus.