DOZENS of people took the chance to get their blood pressure checked for free in Alloa at the weekend as part of an awareness day.

Alloa Rotary Club teamed up with the Stroke Association once again as part of a long-running national partnership.

Around 14 members of the local club were at the Morrison's supermarket in town, speaking to shoppers and offering free checks for those interested on Saturday, April 13.

It was a part of their annual Know Your Blood Pressure Day initiative, which seeks to highlight that high blood pressure is one of the biggest risk factors for stroke.

With stroke a life-threatening medical emergency, which happens when the brain's blood supply is cut off, they were also keen to tell people how they can recognise the signs to make sure they can summon help as urgently as possible.

In the vast majority of cases, a stroke occurs due to a blood clot which blocks the flow and starves the brain of oxygen and other nutrients.

It can also happen when a weakened blood vessel supplying the brain bursts and both can be a result of uncontrolled high blood pressure, which is why the local Rotary has been keen to shatter stigmas and bring the issue to the fore.

Of the around 35 people who get a check done on the day, 15 had higher figures than usual and were advised to visit the GP.

Alistair Spowage, president of the local Rotary, explained that there are less and less people saying they would rather not know the results, although some remain.

He said: "I don't think there's such a stigma as there used to be.

"This is part of the process of talking about things much more normally and making people less afraid of checking up on their health."

He wanted to thanks Morrison's for lending the space, the Stroke Association and the Rotary's Michael Clark who was organising it all.

Andrea Cail, the Stroke Association's director in Scotland, previously added: "High blood pressure often has no symptoms and is much more common than people think.

"A blood pressure check only takes a moment, and it's such a simple way to reduce your risk of a stroke."