Strokesafe Volunteer Program Interview
We are very happy to announce that the Strokesafe Volunteer Program piloted in Vic in 2009 will be rolled out in WA thanks to support from The Danks Trust. To fill you in on what it was all about we chatted with Donna Fahie, our woman on the ground in WA.
Please tell us a bit about the Strokesafe Volunteer Program. And the program’s aims?
The Strokesafe Ambassador Program is a new initiative by the National Stroke Foundation. It involves trained volunteers conducting presentations to a wide range of community groups to deliver key messages about stroke and stroke prevention.
The program aims to improve community knowledge about stroke and stroke prevention.
The National Stroke Foundation is delighted in its success in obtaining a grant from the Danks Trust to roll out the Strokesafe Volunteer Program in metropolitan Western Australia in 2011. Victoria is the only state in Australia with trained Strokesafe Volunteers, and these volunteers are largely from metropolitan Victoria. The program is being expanded to include regional Victoria in 2011 with a separate grant from from Eric Ormond Baker.
For enquiries about the program - including to request a speaker or to express interest in becoming a Strokesafe Volunteer Ambassador - please visit Stroke Foundation or contact 1800 787 653.
Why is it so important to get the Strokesafe message out there?
Educating members of the community about stroke and how to prevent a stroke is an important element of NSF awareness campaign and directly contributes to the foundation’s mission to stop stroke, saves lives and end suffering. Our goal is to save 110,000 lives from death and disability caused by stroke over 10 years. Stroke is Australia’s second biggest cause of death and a leading cause of disability. Over 60,000 will have a stroke in 2010 - that is one every 10 minutes.
What can you tell us a about the pilot program in Vic?
The Strokesafe Volunteer Program has been piloted in Melbourne and surrounding suburbs and our initial evaluation results are very encouraging. The volunteers spoke to over 1,200 people and conducted 50 community talks in less than one year. Evaluation results show that over 90% of presentation attendees correctly identified at least one sign of stroke and 96% correctly identified ‘Dialing 000’ as the first thing to do when they think someone may be having a stroke.
How important are volunteers in spreading the message of Strokesafe?
Volunteers are key to the success of the Strokesafe Volunteer Program. Many volunteers who apply to the program have been affected by stroke, either directly or indirectly. They are generously giving up their time, by conducting talks to community groups and providing important messages about stroke. Strokesafe Volunteers play an important role in passing on life-saving information to people in the community about stroke, stroke prevention and contributing to the National Stroke Foundation’s goal to ‘Stop stroke, save lives and end suffering’.