76-year old Arthur visits 81-year old Alan every Friday. “I first thought I may be too old to volunteer but clearly not! It gives me such a sense of purpose and it’s a great way to spend my extra time, giving back to the community”.
Arthur is a Volunteer on the Community Visitors Scheme (CVS) through Suncare. The CVS programme is funded by the Australian Government and was designed to improve quality of life and reduce isolation by matching an individual receiving care with a volunteer. Alan says “Arthur has such interesting topics to talk about and I really look forward to Friday mornings. We have a cuppa and a scone overlooking the water and just talk about current affairs or anything really. Arthur and I sort out the world’s problems on a Friday!”
After 23 years in the Airforce, Arthur certainly has stories to share. He has just returned from an interesting holiday in Western Australia and Tasmania. “I am grateful I still have my good health and the visits allow me to get out, meet people and keep my mind occupied”. Arthur also volunteers as a delivery assistant on Suncare’s Meals on Wheels Maroochydore program.
Another topic of conversation is Alan’s career, first as a furniture-maker, then building 19ft racing skis. He has lived on the Sunshine Coast for 55 years. “As kids, our family used to camp in Mooloolaba. It made no sense not to move there when I got married. I loved to sail, I have great memories of sailing a 50-footer from Mooloolaba to Sandgate.”
For both the gentlemen, the morning outings add a spark to their week. It’s a visit, a cuppa, a drive to the shops or an outing to the local park that often makes all the difference in the life of an elderly Australian, combating loneliness and isolation. And it is thanks to the millions of volunteers across Australia that this is made possible. National Volunteer Week is Australia’s largest yearly celebration of volunteering. From 15–21 May 2023, we will recognised the vital support that our volunteers deliver to their communities. Thank you!
CVS visits are free to eligible recipients and are available to anyone receiving government-subsidised residential aged care or Home Care Packages. If you are interested in becoming a Volunteer Community Visitor, please contact Debbie Orman on 1800 786 227. For more information, visit https://suncare.org.au/position/volunteer/