Volunteering creates great friendships and life-changing bonds

Judi finds interacting with aged residents provides her with a great sense of peace and enjoyment

Judi finds interacting with aged residents provides her with a great sense of peace and enjoyment

For many of our Community and Oral Health (COH) volunteers, the bonds created and happiness generated are an important outcome of the time they share with patients and aged care residents.

Judi Perks, a much loved and respected volunteer, has spent 11 years supporting residents, families and staff at the Gannet House residential aged care facility in Brighton.

“I worked at the Brighton Health Campus for 19 years in the catering section and always said I would come back and become a volunteer,” Judi said.

“So many of the residents don’t have family and don’t get regular visitors, so it is good to make them smile and show that someone cares about them.

“It is so important to just be able to provide company to the residents here at Brighton Health Campus, or simply help them by getting a book or magazine for them to read.

“I love being around older people and love the other volunteers who together regularly go on social outings. We are all friends here – I am at peace being a volunteer.”

COH Engagement Officer Katie Chan said Judi was one of a good number of volunteers
who work alongside healthcare staff to provide support, companionship and care for our
clients, patients and residents and their loved ones.

A total of 400 years spent volunteering at Community and Oral Health was acknowledged recently.

A total of 400 years spent volunteering at Community and Oral Health was acknowledged recently.

“Amazingly, our current group of volunteers have selflessly provided around 400 years of combined service, support and companionship to our patients and residents,” Katie said.

“The COH Volunteer Program provides a rewarding opportunity to experience a sense of meaning and appreciation, meet new people and make new friends, and stay physically and mentally active.

“Importantly, our volunteers experience the happiness that comes from helping others and overwhelming feel as though they are contributing to our community in a meaningful way.”

Katie said COH offers a range of volunteering opportunities in various locations and experiences to match each person’s skills and interests to activities best suited to them.

“Some volunteer activities include providing companionship and bedside visits, or supporting social and recreational activities including morning teas, bingo, reading groups, and arts and crafts, and music sessions,” she said.

“Other activities include supporting outings and bus trips, and outdoor activities including gardening, walking groups or information sessions and events at the Brighton Wellness Hub.”

Shashi Chowhan is another volunteer who has spent the last 12 months volunteering at COH.

“When I volunteer I feel like I get twice back from the experience,” Shashi said. “It is important to inspire people to be engaged.

“COH is a different type of organisation, there is more opportunity and areas to be part of as a volunteer, both in community and aged care settings.

“It has been a great opportunity to broaden my knowledge so I can help other people and become a better person.

“If my advice helps people to find a better path than that is good. The happiness you experience when you are truly helping someone is wonderful – it is true help!”

Locally, COH delivers home hospital, rehabilitation, transition care for people returning home or to a nursing home, and specialist residential care services at Brighton and Kippa-Ring.

Other services also include oral health care across multiple adult, adolescent and children’s clinics and mobile sites, palliative care in the home, complex chronic disease and healthy aging care at our community facilities.

Visit our website for more information on joining the volunteer team or phone 3631 7450.

2024-06-11T08:54:24+10:0011 June 2024|
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