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Call goes out for more volunteers

Monday, 24th October, 2011

COORDINATION: Community Visitors Scheme workers Traci O’Mullane, Simone McPherson and Natalia Williams. COORDINATION: Community Visitors Scheme workers Traci O’Mullane, Simone McPherson and Natalia Williams.

By Erica Visser

As the 10th anniversary of the Community Visitors Scheme (CVS) rolls around, co-ordinators from New School of Arts Neighbourhood House Inc in South Grafton have arrived to meet local volunteers.

The aim of the Government-funded program is to have a volunteer go to an aged home and visit a resident every week.

Coordinator of CVS, Simone McPherson, said it was rewarding for both residents and visitors.

“In a place like Broken Hill a lot of people in aged care homes have great stories to share”, Ms McPherson said.

“The relationships involve spending time together reminiscing and sharing stories and these relationships can last for quite a length of time.

“There’s a great quote - ‘when an old man dies, a library burns down with him’.”

Ms McPherson said the program was about “bridging gaps” and that she would like to see more young people involved.

“We encourage anyone over 18 who has a genuine interest and who wants a genuine link with the community to join.”

Ms McPherson said that Mental Health Month was a good time to consider the different needs of the elderly.

“All of them are individual and they all have different needs.

“Some of them might not be able to communicate fully so verbal communication might be tough.

“We want to teach the ways to break through communication barriers, and communication is not all verbal but it can also be in other ways such as touch.” 

Local volunteer Bill Moxon said that in the scheme had helped him create a great friendship. 

“My resident reached to be 100 and only passed away earlier this year,” Mr Moxon said.

“We got on well together. I have an old car which I drive in the Christmas Pageant and he went in it with me a couple of times.”

“He loved it, he reckoned they were all waving to him!”

BH CVS Co-ordinator, Natalia Williams, said it was a great way of giving back to the community.

“I would definitely encourage young people to get involved,” Ms Williams said, “especially those who are without that grandparent connection. It can be great for them.”

Locals who are interested in getting involved may contact the Broken Hill Visitors Scheme on 0400 914 075.


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