STRONGER TOGETHER: Visiting the lonely is more important than ever

Last updated: 30/08/2021

STRONGER TOGETHER: Visiting the lonely is more important than ever

By Tanya O'Shea, IMPACT Community Services' Managing Director

"STRONGER TOGETHER" is a weekly column where Tanya explores key issues. This week Tanya talks about our region's lonely elderly the and isolation COVID-19 has caused.

In a time where travel and visiting interstate is trickier than ever, and national mental health concerns are on the rise, visiting our lonely and elderly residents has never been more important.

Tanya O'Shea, IMPACT Community Services Managing Director
Tanya O'Shea, IMPACT Community Services Managing Director

Bundaberg and the surrounding districts typically have ageing populations and, with that, a rising need for kind-hearted volunteers.

It’s easy to become caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, but unfortunately that often means our elderly can become an afterthought.

IMPACT’s Community Visitors Scheme (CVS) knows this, and has been operating its aged visitor service in the Bundaberg region for over 28 years.

The CVS program provides much needed companionship to older people who wouldn’t otherwise engage in much social interaction; if any at all.

It provides a regular familiar face for an aged person to see each week and gives them something to look forward to.

I have heard countless stories over the years about how much our volunteers brighten up the lives of others.

One particular volunteer that comes to mind is Roy McGuiness who retired from volunteering last year after 28 years with CVS.

He was one of our first volunteers when the pilot program began in 1992, and will continue to be an inspiration to us all.

His kind and giving attitude to relationship building set the tone for our volunteer program, and his achievements will continue to be well respected by all at IMPACT.

Roy was sad to be leaving the volunteer program to focus on his own health, but his parting outlook was that it was time to give others a go.

The CVS program is always looking for more volunteers, and in more areas than just Bundaberg.

We also operate in Monto, Gayndah, Childers and Gin Gin, with our staff recently participating in the Gin Gin Seniors Expo.

The unfortunate reality is that there are lonely people everywhere, and we need volunteers to provide company to isolated community members in these uncertain times.

For as little as an hour each week, you could make a real difference in somebody’s life.

It is truly inspiring to see the difference we and our volunteers can make to people suffering from a lack of interaction.

I am incredibly proud of our CVS team and the fact we have been providing this important service in our community for almost 30 years.

I can’t thank our wonderful staff and our selfless volunteers enough for their time and commitment to improving the lives of others.

It’s people like this that are worth their weight in gold, but we always need more.

Get involved today and give the gift of friendship to someone in need; you’ll be surprised at how rewarded you will feel within yourself.

Phone Heather today on 0448 035 891 or 07 4153 4233.

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