A visit makes the world of difference

THE Red Cross has expanded its Community Visitors Scheme (CVS) and needs your help.

The scheme reaches out to socially isolated older people in the local community, with Red Cross having provided CVS for 21 years, brightening the lives of socially isolated people living in aged care homes through one-on-one social visits from caring and generous volunteers. 

The Red Cross already has 35 isolated elderly people living in aged care facilities across the Shoalhaven who receive visits from volunteers. 

The organisation has gained additional funding from the federal government to expand the scheme but more volunteers are now needed to visit people living in their own homes and receiving a home care package. 

The weekly or fortnightly visits can involve anything from sharing a cup of tea, reading together, playing a board game, or simply having a chat and a laugh.

Red Cross CVS community project officer Dawn Bowers said the scheme would now be available in the Shoalhaven and Illawarra. 

“We need at least 20 new volunteers for home visits, but as always continue to need visitors for people living in aged care facilities,” she said.

“Regular visits by volunteers enhance the quality of life of isolated elderly people, through companionship and friendship.

“Our connections with other people matter. Feeling connected enhances our sense of wellbeing and quality of life, supports good mental health and promotes healthy ageing.

“We know that volunteers also value the experience, with their lives being enriched by making regular visits, sharing interests and developing a special friendship.”

For more information about CVS or about becoming a CVS volunteer, contact the Red Cross Southern Region Nowra office on 4428 4900. 

FELLOWSHIP: Red Cross CVS community project officer Dawn Bowers with two of the participants in the scheme, Dumaresq Village resident George Tester (left) and volunteer Len Muir.

FELLOWSHIP: Red Cross CVS community project officer Dawn Bowers with two of the participants in the scheme, Dumaresq Village resident George Tester (left) and volunteer Len Muir.

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