At Resthaven Mount Gambier, visiting volunteer ‘buddies’ bring a little company and cheer to those residents who may have few visitors or are not socially outgoing.
Lifestyle Coordinator, Meredith Simons, says, ‘The visiting volunteer Buddy Program is designed for those residents who choose not to attend the Lifestyle activities on offer, for whatever reason, and may be feeling a little lonely.’
‘Volunteers in the Buddy Program visit them at least once a week for a chat, a cuppa, or just to spend time together.’
‘There are six volunteers in the Buddy Program, who visit residents across the site.’
‘The residents who may have been feeling a little isolated are now enjoying regular social contact with the buddies, and all the positive benefits which go along with that.’
‘It is really important to us that we tailor our services to support each resident’s individual wellness needs, whatever they may be.’
‘The Buddy Program is a great example of that.’
Volunteers also benefit from the visits, with Joan Cooper saying, ‘It’s the most rewarding job; the visits give us more than we can ever give residents.’
Felicia Pentland says, ‘I enjoy learning about residents’ life experiences,’ and Jenny Irving adds, ‘I love watching residents enjoying our conversation.’
The feeling appears to be mutual, with comments from residents including: ‘I would be lost without the visits,’ and ‘I really enjoy forming new friendships’.
Each year in May, Resthaven celebrates volunteers during National Volunteer Week with High Teas across all areas. This year, the High Tea theme is ‘Threads of Life—a yarn starts with “Hello”’.
‘Hello’ is just the beginning for residents and volunteers alike at Resthaven Mount Gambier.