The Maybank Day Program Needs You!
Do you have the use of a vehicle, or even just a valid New Zealand driver’s license? Could you spare a few hours or more each month, fortnight or week? If so, why not become part of a fleet of roughly 30 volunteer drivers supporting a valuable community initiative? Drivers for the Maybank Day Program are needed now!
The Maybank Day Program provides a warm and welcoming environment, social interaction, and lots of fun and laughs for over 50 of Dunedin’s most isolated and elderly citizens living in the community. But none of this would be possible without the drivers who bring the program’s participants to and from Ross Home. Other volunteer roles are also currently available.
Drivers Drive the Whole Thing!
The Maybank Day Program is run at Ross Home from nine-thirty a.m. until three p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It features arts and crafts activities, cookery, quizzes, ‘sit and be fit’ exercise classes, talks by visiting speakers, and performances by visiting entertainers. There’s also lunch and morning and afternoon tea.
Activity coordinator Janet York insists that the more than 40 volunteers helping out (including roughly 12 volunteer activity assistants) are essential to the program’s ongoing workability. “It is totally down to our volunteers to bring our clients to us and to get them home safely at the end of the day. We just couldn’t run the program without them.” More drivers are needed.
“The program has two cars of its own,” Janet explains. “Sometimes people come and drive those, and others have their own vehicles. Some of our drivers are older than the clients, which may sound odd, but it works very well. It’s absolutely fabulous that we have these people whose basic reasoning is that they want to do something to help. They like older people and they like engaging with them. They love what they do. Some of them drive twice a week or even twice a day. They just love the people.
“We try to give drivers the same people to collect and return home, so relationships are formed over time. Drivers enjoy getting to know the little group of people they bring. They know their needs. They know to make sure clients have their coat or back door key with them and so on. It is very caring. It is real community. I just want it to still be happening when I eventually need it!”
Volunteer as an Activity Assistant.
Working with the elderly can often be surprisingly rewarding. According to Janet, the many clients attending the Maybank Day Program come from a variety of interesting backgrounds. Each client brings with them a unique and rich experience.
If you would like to volunteer as an activity assistant working at the program, Janet advises that this role comes with a minimum time commitment of roughly three hours a week. Besides assisting with daily activities, the position also involves helping to prepare and serve morning and afternoon tea, and helping to serve lunch.
A first aid certificate or food handling certificate is not essential, but having either of these would be a handy bonus. Empathy and tolerance are mandatory qualities, however. Police checks will be carried out on all volunteers. If interested you can email the Maybank Day Program at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone them on (03) 473 0890.
by Hayden Williams