Caring for our Community
The Coral Coast Christian Church has a vision for supporting our local community and has several church family members involved in both visiting and receiving visitors.
The following article appeared in Bundaberg's Guardian Newspaper.
One hundred and three volunteer Community Visitors, with some time to spare and a passion for ensuring residents living in aged care facilities remain connected to their community, have befriended isolated aged residents in Bundaberg, Gin Gin, Childers, Monto and Gayndah.
In 1990 IMPACT Make Your Mark (formerly Bundaberg Skills Centre) commenced delivering the Community Visitors Scheme starting with 10 volunteers – some of whom are still providing volunteer services today. In 2001 the visitor numbers had grown to 58 and today the scheme supports 103 volunteer visitors throughout our region.
The Community Visitors Scheme is a program which enables volunteer visitors to regularly visit the residents of Nursing Homes and Hostels. Visits generally take place on a fortnightly basis.
Funded under an Australian Government initiative, the aims of the scheme are:
To improve the quality of life of the residents who have limited family and social contact
Be a companion, confidant and friend
To assist in keeping residents connected with the community.
With an ageing population in our region, and growth in aged care facilities, the scheme is proving an invaluable service to those residents who are in need of social interaction on a personal basis.
When volunteers start with the program, they undertake orientation activities and information sessions with the Coordinator, Gwyn Bishop. The sessions include the role and responsibilities of the visitor, workplace health and safety issues and respecting the confidentiality and privacy of residents.
The volunteer is then interviewed by the supervisor of the aged care facility where he or she will visit, and arrangements are made for an orientation at that facility.
The Community Visitors Scheme benefits all involved – the resident, visitor, the aged care facility and its staff.
Visitors receive training in communication skills and are shown ways to share their individual talents, skills and hobbies with residents. Visitors also encourage residents to reuse their skills and refresh their interest in past activities. This brings a sense of achievement and fulfillment to both resident and visitor as their friendship develops.
The scheme is currently looking to increase its volunteer base to extend the services to include even more aged care residents.
If any community member believes they can offer companionship on a regular basis to residents they should contact Gwyn at IMPACT on 4153 4233.
Showcasing a beautiful friendship
Hi, my name is Shirley Day and I really enjoy visiting Jean each week. She is an inspiration and joy to spend time with.
Jean motivated me to learn how to play Cribbage but Lucille Gott, another Community Visitor, came to my home and taught me how to play and gave me a copy of the rules, a great kindness which was much appreciated. Community visiting gives me an outing each week with great company, lots of talking and I enjoy the time and activities as much as Jean.
I have got to know many other people, residents and staff at Fairways, so it is always a pleasant place to visit.
The Community Visitors Scheme meetings are also a good place to meet new people as well as learning something new. It’s time well spent.
(Resident Fairways Village)
I have lived in Bundaberg since 2001 and was one of the first people to live at Fairways.
Shirley has been my Community Visitor for over a year now and we share many happy afternoons talking, doing a Bible study, playing Cribbage and spending time with Phyl Green another Fairways resident. We always enjoy a cuppa together.
The photo of Shirley and myself is in my little garden where I grow azaleas, lilies, ixoras, impatiens and several pot plants, as well as two orchids on my patio.
We have many talented volunteers who come and give their time freely to make our lives more enjoyable.
Dorothy & Margaret (Volunteer) enjoy a cuppa at Blue Care Pioneer Lodge
I have visited with Dorothy for the last 7 years. In this time we have built a friendly relationship in which we both enjoy our visits. We usually have a joke, a laugh and a cup of coffee together. We exchange news of our respective families. Dorothy is always eager to hear of my children and grandchildren. When my grandchildren visit I often take them to visit Dorothy. Dorothy has become a very special person in my life and I understand she looks forward to my visits and enjoys our time together.
And at Blue Care Pioneer Lodge:
Myrtle, Mavis, Mick & Linda (Volunteer) play cards regularly
Donna (Volunteer) and Gordon Thomson play cribbage
To contact IMPACT please visit www.impactinc.org.au.