Chest, Heart & Stroke Scotland pays tribute to Fife volunteers for help in pandemic

Scottish health charity, Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland has thanked volunteers across Fife who play who a huge role in the organisation.
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The message came as part of Volunteers’ Week which runs from June 1-7.

The charity has over 8,100 volunteers across Scotland who dedicated 81,500 hours over the last 12 months to help people with chest, heart and stroke conditions live their lives to the full.

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The pandemic created several challenges for the charity as its shops were closed, face-to-face services could no longer take place and fundraising events cancelled.

Freya Riley,  who became a Kindness volunteer back in MarchFreya Riley,  who became a Kindness volunteer back in March
Freya Riley, who became a Kindness volunteer back in March

Volunteers quickly adapted their roles to make sure people across Scotland got the vital support that they needed.

Many now meet online via Zoom, with weekly phone calls with service users.

They also gained thousands of new volunteers to help people who were shielding.

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Student teacher Freya Riley 18, from Kelty, became a Kindness Caller because she wanted to help people who were isolated and unable to leave their homes during the pandemic.

She was matched with stroke survivor Chris who lives alone, and they speak on the phone each week.

Freya said: “I’m the only person Chris talks to now, and from my experience, I think chatting to someone who is on their own is every bit as important as any other help they might get.

“We have music in common because Chris plays an instrument and I like to sing.

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“We also share a love of animals, so we talk about pets, and generally chat about life twice a week.

“I have anxiety, so calling Chris for a chat distracts me from being worried about other things. He’s like my adopted grandad

“I’ve always liked doing things for other people and I always want to help out.

“I get my greatest joy out of knowing I’m making someone else happy.

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Freya added: “I’ve been a Kindness Caller for just over a year, and now I’ve become a general volunteer with CHSS.

“With the help of the local CHSS staff, I’ve become involved in other online groups, including a conversation group for people who have had a stroke.”

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