Making a difference

Enjoying a chat.

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.

The Community Visitors Scheme (CVS) is celebrating its 30th year of service in 2022 and, in a world

that is busy and stressful, often with little time for the elderly, the dedication and genuine care of

volunteers, who generously donate their time, can make such a positive difference in an older

person’s life.

The CVS 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. In 2020, $10 million

was earmarked for the CVS to further support older people feeling more isolated during the Covid19 pandemic.

Loneliness in the elderly can be attributed to various reasons, including little meaningful contact

with friends or relatives, feeling isolated from their culture and heritage or mobility issues that

prevent them from taking part in social or leisure activities.

Volunteer Doug appreciates the friendships that develop from his visits and says making others

happy motivates him. “With sharing experiences and tales from days gone by, listening and

remembering are good traits for a volunteer. You need to have genuine empathy and be flexible,

understanding your customer and his or her needs.”

CVS visits are free to eligible recipients and are available to anyone receiving governmentsubsidised residential aged care or Home Care Packages.

For Liz, volunteering is about sharing memories, listening to stories and finding things in common.

Liz proudly shares that customer Maureen bakes the best macadamia and ginger shortbread

biscuits and both thoroughly enjoy their visits when they share their mutual interests in art, travel

and gardening.

To celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the CVS program, a number of local CVS providers are hosting

a morning tea to thank their volunteers and create awareness of the program. Held at the Vitality

Village in Birtinya, guest will enjoy a delicious array of treats, impressive lucky door prizes donated

by organisations across the Coast and a musical performance by the Sunshine Statesmen

Barbershop Chorus. In a celebration of friendship and connection in the local community, it will be

a reminder that we can reduce loneliness and social isolation, one visit at a time.

If you are interested in becoming a Volunteer Community Visitor, please email the QLD CVS State

Representative, Kieran Mawdsley at kieran@qccn.org.au or contact your local provider of the CVS.

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