Anita’s husband Billy had a stroke which left him with aphasia when he was just 49 years old. This experience came as a massive shock for the family, but it has inspired Anita and her daughter, Priya, to volunteer for the Stroke Association’s Here For You telephone support service.
Anita said: “Volunteering for Here for You is so rewarding. You could be that person that makes a real difference to someone’s day. You’re not there to judge, you’re just there to listen and guide where you can. It’s a journey and every day is really different.”
She is also in the unique position to be able to speak Punjabi, which makes a real difference to stroke survivors where English isn’t their first language: “I think speaking Punjabi helps stroke survivors from the Asian community open up to me more. They feel more conformable and can say what they’re really feeling.”
Anita and her daughter are now encouraging others to get involved in Here For You, and she feels that her own experiences of stroke have helped develop her knowledge too: “You never feel that something like a stroke will ever happen to you or someone you love. I have learned so much just talking to people about their experiences and I feel lots more knowledgeable now too. Plus I’m learning new skills all the time.”