Freya Riley, 19, has made a friend for life through volunteering with Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland.

She signed up online in 2020 to take her mind off her own anxiety during the pandemic.

As a Kindness Caller, she was matched with Chris, who was living on his own.

They started calling twice a week, and quickly noticed an improvement in both their mind sets.

Freya said: “We struck up a good routine and it meant a great deal to us both.

"I really like to help other people and I wanted to make a difference to someone’s day.

"Chris often refers to me as his ‘ray of sunshine’ which is lovely.

"I've been able to drop in and out of it and still call Chris twice a week.

"He has told me it has made a difference, he is by himself and a call twice a week, telling stories or whatever, makes a big difference.

"I am going to visit him in person this month and start doing that instead.

"With my anxiety I get distracted and start worrying about things easily but if I have Chris to phone I don't think about it.

Over the course of the last two years she has gone on to host online music groups with stroke survivors.

Freya is now looking forward to doing more with the charity as Covid restrictions lift.

"I am excited to get out and do stuff in real life," she said, "you can go and visit people in hospitals which I would like to do.

"It gave me something to do during the pandemic, my mum is a nurse so was working a lot and I was on my own, it broke it up."

“I would encourage people to give volunteering a go.

"It doesn’t feel like a chore at all, and I never thought it would have such a great impact on my life”