Backing the Stroke Association’s new ‘Here for You’ telephone support service is Kaye Adams, host of ITV’s Loose Women.
Bridget Bergin, executive director of Stroke Support Services at the Stroke Association said, “Stroke survivors have told us that one of the most important things that help them with their recovery is speaking to other stroke survivors, but also just having someone to talk to is important.”
According to a survey, one in five people with long-term conditions including stroke have not left the house since mid-March and 58 per cent of clinically extremely vulnerable people are continuing to shield even as lockdown eases
Kaye Adams, whose mum had two strokes in 2018 said, “Stroke is a cruel condition that turns lives upside down in an instant. When my mum had a stroke our whole family’s lives changed forever. The thought of that happening during lockdown is just unbearable.
“I can only imagine how scary it must feel for survivors and their loved ones. Having someone to talk things through, especially as people struggle to come to terms with what’s happened to them, is vital.”
Stroke survivors and their carers can sign up for a half hour phone call, weekly, for 12 weeks with a trained Stroke Association volunteer.
The coronavirus pandemic has meant that all 215 Stroke Association Groups have been unable to meet. The charity is still unsure when these groups will be able to start up their face-to-face meetings again. The ‘Here for You’ service offers two kinds of support:
- ‘Lived Experience’ telephone volunteers who have experienced stroke themselves and can connect with recent stroke survivors and help them talk through the challenges they are facing.
- ‘Connect and Chat’ volunteers who can talk and offer an empathetic ear to stroke survivors who are experiencing loneliness and isolation and would welcome a friendly voice for a weekly chat.
To sign up to Here for You if you’re feeling lonely, isolated and in need of a chat, or to volunteer visit Stroke Association website: https://www.stroke.org.uk/finding-support/here-for-you or call the Stroke Helpline: 0303 3033 100
Volunteers are expected to make one, 30 minute phone call per week for 12 weeks and also to attend a two-hour online training session delivered by the Stroke Association. Whilst people need to have experience of stroke personally or as a carer to undertake the lived experience telephone support volunteer role, the ‘Connect and Chat’ volunteer role is open to anyone regardless of stroke experience.
For more information on how to access the service or to volunteer, please visit www.stroke.org.uk/hereforyou.
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