IMPACT's Community Visitors Scheme needs more volunteers just like Betty Rogers and the others in the program who commit their time to providing friendship and improving the lives of the elderly.
Betty is one of IMPACT Community Service’s longest-serving volunteers, having helped others in the community for more than 24 years.
As the organisation calls for more people to join its Community Visitors Scheme, Betty has outlined why she first started and the benefits she gets from helping others.
“If I was living in an aged care facility, I’d love for someone to visit me and spend time connecting," Betty said.
She said she loved it when those she visited shared their early life stories and they seemed to like hearing of her “adventures.”
“I always come away feeling good after a chat and sharing lots of laughs,” Betty explains.
“I feel I get as much out of volunteering as they do.”
Recently Betty brought two people together who hadn’t seen each other for years despite them both living in the Bundaberg region.
It had seemed very unlikely that it would be possible for them to meet as they were both immobile, until Betty became involved.
“I was instrumental in getting my wheelchair-bound lady to visit her brother who she hadn’t seen in four years," Betty said.
"With the approval of the aged care facility, I arranged the maxi taxi and the reunion was such a special moment.
"My tears at their reunion were just as genuine as theirs ... it was very special."
She said she joined the scheme after Janette, IMPACT’s Coordinator at the time, and Gwyn Bishop spoke to her.
“They must have had a good message because I joined, and have been doing it ever since,” said Betty, who also enjoys having a sing-a-long at aged care homes.
The scheme’s current coordinator Heather Hinsbey said the volunteers took great pride in enriching the quality of life for others.
“If you have a little spare time, would like to make a new friend or change someone's life for the better, talk to us today about volunteering in the Community Visitors Scheme,” Ms Hinsbey said.
“This friendship program is about linking volunteer visitors with people who live in aged care facilities throughout the Bundaberg and Burnett regions.
"Volunteers can also choose to visit In-Home Care Package clients in their own private homes.
“We ask that you are able to make a regular visit, approximately an hour a week.
"Perhaps it's for a cuppa together or a board game or listening to music together ... just doing what you both enjoy.
"It’s not a huge amount of time out of the week of a volunteer, but it means so much to the people we visit.”
Interested in volunteering? Volunteer opportunities are available in Bundaberg, Monto, Gayndah, Childers and Gin Gin.
Call 4153 4233.