By Tanya O'Shea, IMPACT Community Services' Managing Director
"STRONGER TOGETHER" is a weekly column where Tanya explores key issues. This week Tanya focuses on volunteering and IMPACT's Community Visitors Scheme.
As human beings we often need a sense of connection and community.
While solitude can be a form of relaxation and peace for some, social isolation for extended periods of time can have adverse impacts on one’s mental health.
This time of year in particular can be a very lonely time for people in our community who, for a range of different circumstances, are without close family and friends to spend time with.
But IMPACT Community Services volunteers are dedicated to ensuring they aren’t alone.
And we’re looking for more people to help us make a difference.
The Community Visitors Scheme is a friendship program linking volunteer visitors with people who are isolated at home or live in aged care facilities throughout the Bundaberg and Burnett regions.
The value of friendship and community interaction is truly priceless – as human beings, having a sense of belonging and self-esteem are significant factors of our needs and mental health.
If your mental health starts to be impacted, your sleep quality may be reduced, as can your self-care, while you may experience increased feelings of anxiety and/or notice a change in your behaviour.
Friendship and positive social interaction can improve self-esteem, stress management, confidence, and even moments of joy and laughter.
As a CVS volunteer your presence truly is a present.
Whether you’re there to have a cuppa and a chat, play a boardgame, listen to music or go for a short walk, you could be enriching the quality of life for the people you visit.
CVS provides a regular familiar face for an aged person to see and gives them something to look forward to.
The program ask that volunteers visit a minimum of once a fortnight and spend time doing something you both enjoy.
Volunteer opportunities are available across the region in Bundaberg, Monto, Gayndah, Childers and Gin Gin.
If you’re looking to find a way to volunteer and give back to your community, the Community Visitors Scheme may be the perfect way for you to spend your time.
Regardless of skill set, we love engaging with people with varied backgrounds and welcome all volunteers as valued members of our team.
Call our CVS coordinator Heather on 0448 035 891 or 07 4153 4233 to get involved.