Published date: 30 November 2022
To celebrate International Day of Volunteers we are sharing another story from the Community Visitor’s Scheme (CVS).
The CVS helps older people experiencing social isolation to engage with volunteers.
Anyone receiving government-funded residential aged care, or a Home Care Package can apply for visits through the free CVS program.
Read Betty and Sarah’s story to see how volunteering has become a strong friendship.
From virtual to face-to-face
Sarah started volunteering with the CVS during the COVID-19 lockdowns and was introduced to Betty. Due to visiting restrictions, the pair started meeting virtually and it was about nine months before they finally met face-to-face.
Sarah says it was very exciting when they finally got to meet in person.
"We've got a regular coffee shop, Betty loves a chai, so we go and get a chai. That was our first date face-to-face," she says.
In a short period of time, they have become great friends.
More than volunteering
Sarah and Betty both reflect that their connection has been more rewarding than either of them expected.
“I think we were both surprised at how easily we find things to talk about and how easily we get along”, Sarah says.
Betty agrees reminiscing they have had some great experiences together and find lots of moments to celebrate. "Our birthdays are very close, we're April babies. So that offers us a chance to have a party".
When asked about Sarah’s visits, Betty responds that she is very happy.
"Sarah’s made a big difference to my life, she really has".
Sarah says that the CVS has given her a new friend.
“I don’t think of it as volunteering, it is visiting a friend,” she says.
“If you're thinking about becoming a volunteer, do it. It's incredibly rewarding, and I think very important so definitely do it”.
Watch the full story
To watch the full interview with Betty and Sarah, visit the Australian Department of Health and Aged Care’s YouTube page.
To learn more about the CVS, including how to get involved, read our previous article Program in focus: Community Visitor’s Scheme.
Last updated date: 10 May 2023
Hans and Rahmans story
If you want to learn more about how the Community Visitor Scheme is changing and enriching lives, read Hans and Rahman’s story.