A woman from Renfrew has celebrated her volunteering work last month at an event organised by the Stroke Association – the charity whom she supports.

The impact of the stroke on Sharon Williams, 53 was enormous.

Sharon was affected both physically and mentally by the stroke and had to rely on others for personal care. She struggled with the more hidden effects of stroke including extreme fatigue, low mood, and memory problems.

Thankfully Sharon has made a good recovery, and is physically and mentally fit enough, to carry out a normal life again.

During her recovery, she decided to volunteer for the Stroke Association. Sharon became a ‘Here For You’ volunteer, which involves telephone befriending, for people struggling with loneliness and isolation after stroke.

Sharon says: “I decided to become a Stroke Association ‘Here For You’ volunteer because I wanted to give something back to people who have been through a stroke and are dealing with its devastating effects. I am now aware how many stroke survivors are constantly challenged.

“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 knew it would be challenging as well as rewarding. Every stroke is different, so you can’t assume you know everything about stroke, you have to take each person at face value.”

Photo: Sharon Williams
Photo Credits: Sharon Williams / Stroke Association

The celebration event, celebrated the tremendous work volunteers like Sharon do, and to thank them. As part of the event, Sharon sat on a panel, and told her heart-rending story of her stroke.

Sharon said: “The event made me realise just how much I get out of my volunteering. I’ve met new people, like me, who I can share my experience with. We have fun together, and have that common bond, as volunteers, to help work towards stroke improvements.

Karen Garrott, Head of Engagement at The Stroke Association said: “It is thoroughly worthwhile bringing people together to celebrate their volunteering efforts. Volunteers need to be recognised and thanked, and this is one way in which we can do that.”

The Stroke Association is currently advertising ‘Community Connector’ volunteer roles in Scotland. If you are interested to find out more, please email:EngagementTeamScotland@stroke.org.uk or visit: www.stroke.org.uk/jobs/community-connector-scotland.

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