Brighten up someone’s life

Portrait of bride and groom by church
Portrait of bride and groom by church

In January, 2010, having recently retired and motivated by the need to ‘give something back’, Jean decided to check out www.volunteering wa.org.au to see if there were any volunteer positions close to her Como home.

Jean felt that, as she had led a fortunate life, she would like to share some of that and also meet people from different backgrounds.

She spotted a position with Southcare, looking for ‘a community friend’ for an isolated person in a local aged care facility; part of the Community Visitors Scheme (CVS), which is a Commonwealth Government initiative run by Southcare and other community organisations on a national scale.

For many years, Southcare has been matching volunteers to residents living in aged care homes, resulting in brightening up the lives of residents identified as having no regular visitors and who have become isolated.

After a friendly interview with Jean, we matched her with Maria, who she has been visiting ever since.

Maria says that she especially appreciates Jean’s visits at Easter because many of the other residents go to visit family or have grandchildren visiting.

Nursing homes and residents have reported great benefits from the one-to-one friendships formed between residents and volunteers. Jean feels that she has benefited just as much from their friendship.

Volunteers are asked to visit weekly as this frequency helps to build the relationship.

Visiting days can be arranged to suit both people and for CVS volunteers who work full-time, weekends are an option. As you enjoy your Easter holiday celebrations with your family and friends, think of the many people on their own and consider donating an hour a week and becoming a friend to a lonely person.

Call 9450 6233 or email vicki.m@southcare.org.au