7 July 2023

Your presence can be a present: Make a difference by volunteering to help seniors

| Claire Sams
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elderly man helping elderly woman alighting from bus

A service that supports Eurobodalla’s older residents is calling for volunteers. Photo: Eurobodalla Shire Council.

Everyone needs a helping hand at times. But over the past 10 years, senior support volunteer numbers have dropped almost 50 per cent.

Eurobodalla Shire Council’s Active Living program has supported the shire’s older generations for more than 35 years through individual and group activities and support from local volunteers.

The council’s volunteer development officer Alice Russack said the helpers were a key part of making the program work.

“The program wouldn’t be possible without them,” Ms Russack said.

“Volunteering for Active Living is an opportunity to be involved and make a true difference in our community.

“It’s a great way to learn new skills while helping people stay healthy, engaged and living independently at home – ultimately, you will be improving their quality of life and yours!”

Eurobodalla residents can work with seniors individually or in a group setting, or come on board as a driver.

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Ms Russack said anyone could become involved.

“Hopefully there are some willing people semi-retired or able to spend some time helping seniors in our community,” she said.

The role may see volunteers helping staff in supporting seniors with activities such as outings to the movies, art exhibitions, or arts and crafts workshops.

“Volunteers are so valued – it’s their simple acts of kindness that go such a long way, making everyone’s lives easier and more enjoyable,” Ms Russack said.

“We would love to see more volunteers come on board so we can organise more outings.”

Volunteers can also help seniors with errands, such as their shopping or attending appointments, or just stop by to check in on a fellow community member.

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Over the past 12 months, Active Living volunteers have assisted more than 500 Eurobodalla seniors.

Ms Russack said volunteers received training before they started and were reimbursed for any out-of-pocket expenses that came with volunteering, such as travel and food.

Those interested in becoming an Active Living volunteer can contact Ms Russack by phoning 4474 1383 or emailing [email protected].

For more information on the council’s wider services for seniors, visit its website.

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