Age Concern Southland is a local independent charity which is part of a national network of regional Age Concern Councils. Their vision is a inclusive society where people of all ages and cultures, as they grow older, have opportunities to make choices which lead to quality of life and personal fulfilment. Their work is based on the following values: dignity, wellbeing, equity and respect.
Age Concern offers a range of supportive services which can assist older people to improve quality of life and maintain wellbeing.
Volunteers are sought to be matched with an elderly person who they visit once a week for an hour or so. With your companion your time together may include chatting over a cuppa, crafts, games, exercise activities, reading, visits or outings.
The role includes:
Supporting your companion to extend their social networks.
Being involved in some of their social activities.
Reporting by phone to the coordinator.
Give regular quality time to client.
Attend ongoing support group meetings.
Complete “record of visit” forms six monthly
Maintain communication with coordinator re concerns or issues that arise.
Inform coordinator if your situation changes and you can no longer visit.
Volunteers often find they enjoy their time with their client and the offer of friendship and companionship becomes two-way. Life skills gained often include communication, empathy, understanding and practical skills and activities relevant to the people involved.
The role is not intended to replace family, friends, carers or other visitors. This service is for socially isolated older people who would benefit from a regular visitor each week, to provide friendship and companionship.
Volunteers need to be mature, non-judgemental, open minded and happy communicating with people from a wide range of backgrounds.
Good communication and listening skills are essential. Volunteers must also have a commitment to confidentiality. Volunteers should have a genuine interest in, respect and aware of the needs of older people and should be able to relate to, or try to understand their circumstances.
Empathy, patience, a calm warm caring nature are essential as well as being reliable, well presented and polite.
The volunteer needs to be 18 years and older.
A NZ Citizen or have permanent residency.
Age Concern provides training and orientation in addition to ongoing support, via meetings, emails phone calls and newsletters.
Volunteers are required to visit their elderly companion once a week for an hour or so and a 6 - 12 month commitment is preferred.
The first step is to express your interest by filling out the form below. We will then put you in touch directly with the organisation for more information on the role and how to proceed.