Lend some of your spare time to those in need and make new friends along the way. Register now to be a volunteer for the Australian Red Cross Community Visitors Scheme.
Red Cross is looking for volunteers for its Community Visitors Scheme which has been providing friendship and support for residents in aged care facilities for over 20 years.
Bev Wilkin, Red Cross Community Care Services Manager, says the need for volunteers is greater than ever as the scheme prepares for expansion. New volunteers are needed in South West, Great Southern, Goldfields, Wheatbelt, Kimberley and Pilbara regions as well as in Perth’s northern suburbs.
She says social isolation from friends and family can make life hard for some people living in aged care facilities.
“Having a regular visitor, even just once a fortnight, is mutually beneficial for both volunteers and residents. For residents it boosts confidence and self-esteem and for volunteers it makes them feel good to see they are making a real difference to someone’s life and making the community stronger,” Mrs Wilkin says.
For volunteer Julius Re the scheme has not only given him a social outlet and a chance to meet with a new friend but also a link to someone who can share his passion for soccer.
“I really enjoy our chats. We talk a lot about football, but we’ll also talk about a lot of other things too,” he says. “Sometimes we’ll chat non-stop for an hour and a half.”
He’s been visiting John Orchard in an aged care home for more than a year. “My daughter thinks I’m very lucky to have a bloke like Julius,” John says. “So do I.”
Volunteers are matched with aged care facility residents based on interests, background and life experiences.
The visits are relaxed and social. The resident and their Community Visitor might just chat together, share a cup of tea, play a board game, read or take a walk around the home and its gardens.