Making Connections, Enjoying Good Company

Have you heard about our Enliven Visiting Volunteers? They visit older people in their homes in Dunedin and Mosgiel for a chat over a cup of tea, to play a game of cards, to go for a drive, or to share an outing.

Our volunteers provide regular, ongoing contact and good company for people living alone, often providing a link to the community for those who are confined to the home.

The Visiting Volunteers Coordinator talks with clients about their interests and preferences to ensure the best possible match with a suitable volunteer. All volunteer visitors are vetted and offered ongoing training and supervision.

Esther* is 82 and has lived alone since her husband Lewis passed away 8 years ago. She is a lively person and loves to chat but has lost some confidence with getting out of the house since a fall two years ago resulted in a broken hip. She also had to give up driving recently due to failing eyesight. Her children and grandchildren live in Australia and Singapore and she moved to Dunedin about 5 years ago, to be near Dunedin hospital, after many years in Gore.

Esther’s visiting volunteer Christine has been connecting with Esther each week and the two have become firm friends, through chatting, gardening together, and taking drives to the nursery and to Esther’s medical appointments. “When it’s too wet to garden we sort through my old photos, and I really look forward to Christine’s visits”, Esther says.

This programme welcomes inquiries from people who are interested in becoming a client and receiving visits from a specially matched volunteer.

If you would like to know more about this service for yourself or a loved one, or you are considering being a Visiting Volunteer, please contact Michelle, the Volunteer Coordinator on 03 477 7115, or by email at volunteer@psotago.org.nz

*Not her real name, to protect her privacy.

A volunteer’s story

Julie is a visiting volunteer with Gwen, 94. Julie was originally visiting Gwen’s husband, who has since passed away.

“At the time I was recovering from an episode of depression and needed to engage in something positive and feel useful again”, Julie says.

Julie has now known Gwen for twenty years, and finds her to be an intelligent caring woman with a good sense of humour, and considers her a good friend.

“Gwen told me when I called on her last week that her birthday had been made special by my visit. If you feel something lacking in your life try this service. If it doesn't work out it can always be discontinued but you might make a life-long friend!”