February 13, 2023

Community Visitors Scheme: Making meaningful connections

The Community Visitors Scheme (CVS) Program provides one-on-one friendship and companionship to residents of Australian Government funded residential aged care services.

Northern Health has been an auspice for this wonderful program for 30 years, with over 25 aged care facilities in our catchment area that we work in partnership with.

Volunteer visitors make regular visits to these facilities for a chat, to share life stories, play cards or games, read novels together, watch movies, talk about the footy fixture or go on outings.

When face-to-face visits are not possible, volunteers stay connected with residents through post cards, email, and phone or video calls to maintain the connection and support to residents.

The most important qualities of the visitors are their commitment and reliability, kindness, generosity, compassion, ability to focus on another’s needs and to be a good listener. Visits are available to anyone receiving government-subsidised aged care services.

Jennifer Way, who is a Reception and Switchboard Operator at Northern Health, has also been a volunteer at Broadmeadows Hospital for three years.

Since August 2022, Jennifer has been visiting Brenda Simpson at Baptcare Brookview Community Aged Care in Westmeadows as part of the CVS program.

“I visit Brenda and she is a very interesting lady. We talk about family, how she met her husband, what her family went through in World War II and day-to-day news. When I go in to visit Brenda, she is so happy to see me. We sit and chat non-stop for a good hour and when I leave, it makes me feel good knowing that I have made Brenda’s day.”

There is a need to recruit more volunteers, like Jennifer, to take part in the CVS Program, with a particular focus on volunteers that speak an additional language. If you would like to find out more about the CVS Program, contact Kim Berger from the Volunteer Services Team on 8405 8971, or email volunteer@nh.org.au.

Featured image: Brenda and Jennifer.