The Stroke Association’s ‘Here for you’ telephone service connects stroke survivors and families, to trained volunteers, to offer support following a stroke and to help combat feelings of isolation at this difficult time.
Sharon Williams from Renfrew had a stroke two years ago at the age of 48. Sharon, is now working with the Stroke Association as a lived experience volunteer, to offer peer support to other stroke survivors over the phone.
“I remember what it was like for me, having my world turned upside down and feeling alone. So I thought there would be someone out there who could benefit from a chat and a listening ear.
“I decided to become a Stroke Association ‘Here for You’ volunteer because I want to give something back to people who have been through a stroke and are dealing with its devastating effects.”
Karen Garrott, Head of Stroke Support in Scotland said:
“People affected by stroke often say that the biggest impact of their stroke are the psychological effects – in particular feelings of depression or anxiety. These ‘unseen’ problems can have a massive impact on a person’s stroke recovery.
“We developed this service during lockdown, but feedback from our volunteers providing it, and from those receiving it have encouraged us to continue with it.”
The Lived experience telephone support offers peer support to other people who have had a stroke. It’s a chance to connect with someone who can empathise and provide a listening ear to talk through what they are dealing with.
“Since volunteering I’ve found that even by asking people how they are and if they have had a good week, can really open a conversation up. And I’ve had some really rich discussions about the effects of a stroke, its impact and how rehab and recovery is going. We talk about old hobbies and new hobbies, family members – whatever the person I’m supporting feels like talking about really.
“I think the ‘Here for you’ service is offering a lifeline to people who need someone to talk to who can empathise with their situation.”
To sign up to the ‘Here For You’ service, complete the online form
or call the Helpline 0303 3033 100.