Becky’s mission to support stroke victims 

An innovative ‘communication cafe’ set up in Tunbridge Wells to support working age adults who suffer from aphasia after having a stroke has earned its creator a nomination for the Kent Mental Wellbeing Awards. Adam Hobbs from the awards team investigated to find out more about this inspiring project.


Becky Puckett has been nominated for a charity award for her volunteering work at her communication cafe as part of efforts to support people who live with aphasia. Becky is an Associate Specialist Occupational Therapist at Neurological Rehabilitation Kent, specialising in cognitive rehabilitation, visual assessment and rehabilitation, and upper limb function.

Becky set up a ‘communication cafe’, the first of its kind, in Tunbridge Wells to support working age adults who suffer from aphasia after having a stroke. A language disorder like aphasia is frightening and often isolating for patients and their carers, so having somewhere to go to be supported and to work on re-developing their language skills is very important for patients’ recovery. The sessions Becky holds are free of charge to all attendees, based on individual need rather than income, and aim to provide attendees with confidence, companionship and hope.

The nominator said, “Becky’s support gives voice to the voiceless”.

There are no other therapy-led, informal groups for aphasia support in Tunbridge Wells, and Becky voluntarily led the sessions at the communication cafe whilst pregnant and suffering from morning sickness. She provides groups with a variety of communication methods to help them re-discover their language skills, adapting her approach to meet the needs of each individual in the group.

The Kent Mental Wellbeing awards is an annual event designed to showcase the people, organisations and initiatives that help us cope with life. The event’s three themes are: kindness and compassion; wellbeing; mental health.

Whether it is in school, business, community or family, so many of us have been lucky to have people and organisations with ideas, tips and tactics to help us cope. It is time to celebrate those mental health and well-being champions in our community and share this best practice.

The awards will be staged in October by the mental health charity Mind in Bexley and East Kent in collaboration with a range of wellbeing and mental health organisations.

Nominations can be linked to a simple act of kindness that lifted the spirits, a business that has improved staff wellbeing, through to a targeted initiative delivered by a charity or statutory organisation to support a mental health issue.

The event is sponsored by Kent County Council, Kent Community Foundation, ADM Computing, GrainLNG – National Grid, Medway Council, Optyma Security, Ble Global, Wave Community Bank, Cactus Graphics and CommunityAid.

Submit nominations at  For awards news follow @KentMWAwards on Facebook and X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.