News 17 February, 2021

Here’s a lovely story of support and friendship to emerge from our Community Visitors Scheme (CVS) volunteer program.

CVS volunteer Beverley has been visiting 81-year-old Lesley at her Parkdale Aged Care home since 2019, with the pair enjoying regular catch-ups for coffee, chats and supported walks.

In the early days of visiting, Beverley would dedicate up to two hours to visiting and says it was, “mutually enjoyable and we seem to have lots to talk about and numerous things in common”.

Due to COVID, CVS visits were required to rapidly change, with virtual visits replacing face-to-face meetings for social support during lockdown.

Thinking outside the square, Beverley initiated a way to deliver a hot, fresh coffee safely to the door of Lesley`s care facility. She then went home straight away to call Lesley so they could share their coffee over a chat on the phone.

The surface of the cup was always wiped down by staff before being passed on to Lesley. A new ritual brought on by COVID-19!

This small gesture made such a difference to Lesley and is a wonderful example of how the CVS program can be adapted to meet the needs of different volunteers and residents.

Well done to Beverley for coming up with this thoughtful solution.  There are many other examples of our wonderful volunteers adjusting to virtual visiting through phone calls, sending letters/postcards, posting art and craft works or kids’ drawings, virtual games, sharing photos of pets, and doing chats over Zoom, Skype or FaceTime to provide a face to a distant voice.

The CVS continues to provide that much needed companionship, adding immeasurable value to seniors in our community.

For more information about the Community Visitors Scheme please visit https://www.cbchs.org.au/services/companionship-for-older-people/