GLEBE: The Junction Neighbourhood Centre (JNC) at St Helen’s Community Centre is seeking volunteers who have some free time, and want to make a difference to older people in their neighbourhood.
“Many older people in our community feel very isolated,” says Janet Green, JNC’s General Manager. “The JNC’s Glebe Friendly Call Service helps to reduce that sense of isolation and provide a sense of connection. It’s a free service, funded through the Commonwealth Government. JNC provides services to older people who need support to continue living independently in the community.”
Volunteers make regular phone calls from the JNC’s Volunteer Hub at Glebe. For some older people this is a friendly call they receive between service visits, providing continuity and connection. For others, the call may be their only service and their only way to connect with the world beyond their homes.
The JNC is seeking more volunteers to ensure this service can be run for everyone who needs it.
“In our community, older people are becoming increasingly isolated as their circumstances change,” Green says. “They often face mobility, health and financial issues. Their family members may have other commitments, and their friendship groups are shrinking. There are fewer opportunities to discuss their concerns about the environment and other current affairs. The Friendly Call Service creates connections and confidence.”
Green adds, “Your spot is waiting at the JNC’s Glebe Volunteer Hub. We have phones and seating for two volunteers to work together.”
Once volunteers have completed the required training, they work for a minimum of two hours a fortnight at the JNC Volunteer Hub at St Helen’s Community Centre. There is ongoing support for volunteers and the rewards are great.
Deanne Chapman has been making friendly phone calls as a volunteer for over a year. “Being a phone support volunteer means listening to people’s stories. It’s made me aware of the enormity of the problem of isolation – so many people are on their own and disconnected.”
Chapman continues, “Some of the people I speak to haven’t had contact with another person for days and they are so appreciative to be heard. You can hear the difference in their voice between the beginning and the end of the call.
“I like the feeling of making a difference to someone’s day.”
Bruce Coyte has volunteered with the JNC in Glebe for many years. For him, volunteering means, “Enjoyment in helping people, and giving back a little to society. It’s rewarding.”
To volunteer phone Matt, JNC’s Volunteer Coordinator, on 9349 8200 email firstname.lastname@example.org, website www.jnc.org.au, Facebook @TheJNC. The Glebe hub is at St Helen’s Community Centre, 184 Glebe Point Road, Glebe.