Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland has launched a new strategy after recognising that people are not getting the help they need
A charity which aims to tackle the scourge of heart disease and strokes has unveiled plans to double the amount of people it helps.
Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland (CHSS) has this week launched a new vision entitled No Life Half Lived.
The charity has said that the strategy is aimed at ensuring that Scots have access to support or rehabilitation services that can help them live healthier lives after being struck by serious illness.
By 2021, CHSS has said it will double the number of people reached by launching the No Life Half Lived Rehabilitation Support Service - increasing support available through specialist nurses, community groups, advice and information.
Jane-Claire Judson, chief executive at CHSS, said: “We want to help people breathe better. We want people’s hearts to work as well as they can. We want to make sure that everyone has the best recovery they can after a stroke.”
The charity will address the unmet needs of people who are living with their conditions – social, emotional and physical – across Scotland’s communities. To do this, CHSS said it needs to double its income and its number of volunteers
Judson said that the decision had been made after it was recognised that people are not getting the help they need.
“Every single day in Scotland there are people and families whose worlds are being turned upside down after a diagnosis of chest or heart condition or a stroke,” she said. “Many people can experience fear and isolation and are struggling from the impact on their lives. Not everyone is getting the care and support they need. We won’t stand for that.”
One of those who struggled before receiving specialist support is 22-year-old Hollie. In 2016, she had a stroke and she also has cystic fibrosis. After a year of hospital treatment, Hollie thought she’d never leave the house again. Her stroke affected her speech, reading and writing and she lost the feeling in the right hand side of her body.
She said: “I was too scared to leave the house and didn’t want to speak to anyone in public. I started to withdraw from the world. It didn’t feel safe.”
After receiving help from the charity, Hollie began regaining her confidence - starting with small steps like phone calls so that she had the courage to speak to people outwith her family. Eventually Hollie was able to leave the house and go out and enjoy tea and cake in a café again.
She said: “It was such a big fear but I was able to face it with Wendy, my rehabilitation support coordinator. I began to realise people could understand me and began to get my independence back.”