Volunteering today - community outreach continues in creative ways
20 May 2020
Volunteering is a great way to connect with others in the community and our Catholic Healthcare volunteers make a real difference in the lives of senior Australians. Even though the current situation means our volunteers can’t visit residents and clients in person, the team has found new ways of connecting via letters, cards and phone calls.
At McQuoin Park Residential Aged Care in Wahroonga, residents are receiving Cards with Care from local children in the community. Regular volunteer, Amy, used to visit resident Paulina at McQuoin Park every week. While visitors to Homes are restricted, Amy still wanted to keep in touch and decided to get a group of local children, including her own, to send artwork, letters and cards to Paulina and other residents.
The reaction from residents has been priceless. They have loved receiving the cards and letters. The children have used their imagination and creativity to connect with the residents and they are all hopeful they can meet in person someday soon.
“When we delivered the first of the cards from the children, they were incredibly well received and put huge smiles on our residents' faces," says Karen Sykes, Recreation Activities Officer at McQuoin Park.
“Some of the residents commented saying ‘how nice for the children to be thinking of us’. Paulina (pictured below) said “I can see the rainbow through the letter box". It was very emotional for Paulina to receive her two cards from Amy and her children.
Maureen (pictured top right) said "How did they know I love fashion and beautiful clothes? I feel really special. This is precious."
Resident Mary (pictured below) said she also felt very special and has been showing her flower card to everyone she chats to.
Sydney based volunteer Laura (pictured top left) has also been reaching out, making weekly phone calls to a Home Care client, known as LD, who lives in Central West NSW.
“I have a real soft spot for our seniors,” says Laura. “When I saw an advertisement for volunteers to assist with making phone calls to elderly clients I decided to apply.
“I really enjoy the weekly phone calls with LD. We talk about the week that was, especially gardening, pets and family. LD is lovely to speak to and I enjoy listening to her stories from the past.”
Providing social support phone calls to Home Care clients is a convenient and safe way to volunteer. Volunteers are matched with one client whom they phone weekly at a scheduled time.
Finding common interests can be key to success. This month the Volunteer team has matched a client who loves watching Home and Away, reading New Idea and doing crosswords to a volunteer with similar interests. Another client who was a history and philosophy teacher as well as a soccer fan has been matched with a volunteer who loves ancient history and supports Liverpool FC.
If you are alone at this time and would appreciate a friendly call from one of our trained volunteers please contact our Customer Care Team on 1800 225 474.
More information about volunteering with Catholic Healthcare can be found on our Volunteers page - https://www.catholichealthcare.com.au/volunteers/