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Volunteer Development Scotland Ltd. (also known as Volunteer Scotland).
Charity registered in Scotland SC013740 and a company limited by guarantee, registered in Scotland, No. SC106743. Our registered Office is Jubilee House, Forthside Way, Stirling. FK8 1QZ

Sheena Travis

Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland

Sheena Travis is 66 and lives near Biggar in the Scottish Borders. She suffered a stroke in December 2021. A long-time supporter of Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland, she began a volunteer role with the charity in 2023.

Unable to return to her university role after her stroke, Sheena Travis knew she still had something to give. Then she saw an advert on Facebook.

Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland were looking for volunteers. For Sheena it was the perfect opportunity.

Now, just over a year on, she’s fulfilling not one, not two but three volunteer roles for the charity and loving every moment of her new direction in life!

Sheena said: “I remember saying to my husband ‘do you think I should go for this?’ I didn’t want him thinking I’d be taking on too much too soon after my stroke, and I still had a little bit of doubt that I was ready to do anything like this.

“I’m so glad he told me to go for it. It has been a wonderful experience, and I really feel I’m doing something useful and valuable. Having stopped working prematurely, volunteering for CHSS has provided a huge boost to my self-esteem

Sheena had a stroke in December 2021, and having tested positive for Covid-19 only a week after being admitted to hospital, she missed out on immediate stroke rehabilitation and occupational therapy services as she was in isolation.

The stroke left her with some issues with her balance, and coordination as well as poor concentration and memory loss. She says she is much improved from those early days. She has not been able to drive since the stroke, but fortunately the three volunteer roles with CHSS are all online.

Sheena gives support to those with aphasia on a communication group and has called on her background in HR and careers advice to work with those looking to return to work.

Sheena is also a Kindness Caller and this gives her immense satisfaction. She said: “The Kindness Call program gives someone 12 weeks of telephone support. I’ve already completed one 12-week program and am now speaking regularly to another lady. It’s a very simple thing, to call someone, but it’s so important to them and to me, too. I feel I can show empathy for what they’re going through and also just listen when they need to talk".

“Everything about the volunteer program at CHSS is impressive. The training was so thorough and made me feel very confident I knew what I was doing when I got started.

“I’m in a different phase of my life now, and volunteering is very much part of it.”