Building great relationships with elderly

Marian Ross is a Club Enliven volunteer who takes pride in involving herself in the elderly community. Club Enliven is a network of volunteers and staff who connect with elderly citizens through a daytime activity programme.

“I have volunteered for about 10 years now, for around seven hours a week. I decided that when I retired, I wasn’t going to sit around, nor did I want to hibernate.”

“I pick up people from around town and take them to Club Enliven for a day programme. I then take out a lady and we go for lunch, but I mostly do a lot of driving now.”

Marian greatly enjoys the social benefits of her service, and believes that she is setting a standard for future generations of elderly care.

“I meet a lot of nice people and it is pleasant to think that someone will do the same for me when I get too old to drive myself.”

“I mostly pick up the same people each week so I've built great relationships with them. We have some good conversations which benefits us all.”

“One lady I picked up had lost her voice and she had no one to talk to. That really hit home for me and I was glad I could help out. It gives me a reason to get out and about and gives me something to occupy my time.”

Marian is grateful for the opportunities that Club Enliven has created for the wider Otago community, in addition to the heartfelt altruism that the initiative promotes.

“Volunteering for Presbyterian Support Otago gives you something to keep you in touch with the world, and the friends I make are amazing.” 

Article by Isabel Colville and Jack Sharp