Council seeks volunteers to provide friendship, companionship for older people

Orange Council

Orange City Council is encouraging residents to consider making a New Year’s Resolution to volunteer with the Aged Care Volunteer Visitors Scheme (ACVVS).

This year, ACVVS is seeking people to volunteer for a minimum of one hour a fortnight to provide friendship and companionship for older people living in Orange.

Orange Mayor Jason Hamling urged people to consider making a resolution that not only enriched their own life, but the life of someone else.

“Just one hour a fortnight can make such a difference to the quality of life of an older person who is unable to get out and about or feels isolated and alone,” Cr Hamling said.

“It’s a simple as dropping in for a cuppa and a chat, a game of cards or a walk around the garden. It couldn’t be easier to make a positive impact. Will this be the year you volunteer?”

The free Australian Government scheme is delivered by Orange City Council and is available to anyone on a Home Care Package or living in residential aged care.

Orange Regional Museum Manager and ACVVS volunteer Mary-Elizabeth Andrews has been visiting Ilse Kittler for about four months. They were paired up after it was discovered Ms Andrews spoke German, while Ilse is of German heritage.

“I drop by on my lunchbreak once a fortnight and we chat for about 45 minutes. Sometimes I’ll take biscuits or a cake. Ilse likes to talk about her family, and she helps me work on my German language skills,” Ms Andrews said.

Mrs Kittler, who used to run a German program on Orange Community Radio and was a Telecare volunteer herself, was signed up to the ACVVS by her daughter who lives in Queensland and wanted her mother to maintain social connections.

“I look forward to the visits. Mary-Liz is a very interesting lady and has done quite a bit of travel, which we enjoy talking about,” Mrs Kittler said.

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